Showing posts with label thoughts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label thoughts. Show all posts

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Under-Achiever

On my own, I am the classic under-achiever.  I really am.  

My natural gut instinct is to do just enough to get by.  If you asked any of my coaches or teachers from back in the day, they would completely confirm this to be true.  

Sure, there have been a few areas here and there that I've excelled, but it wasn't due to the sense of achieving something great.  

Quite frankly...I'm good with average.  I like average.  I'm comfortable with average.

Lately though, as I'm learning to more closely walk in the Spirit of the Living God, I'm finding that what He wants me to do, is taking me out of my little average comfort zone.   And just when I think I've stepped so far out that I can't see my beloved comfort zone anymore, He JUST KEEPS GOING until I can't even remember where the comfort zone is or was!

And it's good, and it's peaceful...even though it makes no sense.

There's specifics of these things right now...most of which will not make it to the big ole Internet...at least for now.  

One thing though, is what I shared yesterday.

Today I got a call from the exchange student coordinator letting me know that our little school district only has 2 slots open for exchange students, and that another program may have already filled them.  (This usually doesn't happen this early on)  We're waiting to hear back from the principal. 

My friend, the coordinator, wrote these words to me:

I believe if God wants you to host this year and have this student that the principal will give us the school slot.  After all, He is in control, and already knows!

How true.  I don't know the outcome yet.  But I do know we took the steps He wanted us to take, and that His plan is so far beyond my wildest dreams that He can only show me a teeny-tiny portion at a time.  

I don't have to have it figured out.  I just need to be doing what He tells me to do.  

We're praying today, that whatever His plan...it would be accomplished...both in this particular situation and in us.  It's exciting, really.  To just sit back and watch Him work!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Just Thinking...

I spent most of yesterday being completely entertained by your comments.

Hair is just so much fun...I can't explain it.

I have a couple shots of the side and back...because I had requests...and I aim to please. The side shot:

I hadn't taken a back-shot the other night, so I did it today...which means I took the back this morning, so it's not as straight as when my stylist does it...because she's a professional, and I'm lazy.

OK, on to other stuff.

  • I have Ladies Bible Study tonight and I can't even begin to explain all that God is doing within me right now. Most of it I'm just pondering in my heart for the time being. I gotta let it settle and sink in, good and deep, and then I'll fill you in :)
  • Big day for America today. My guy did not win in November. Hate when that happens. I did refrain from putting on sack cloth and mourning today though ;) And I will watch the speech...kinda like one who sits and watches a train wreck because they just can't peel their eyes away. I disagree with President Obama on some major things, but as the president, I will treat him with honor and respect because of the office he holds. I will refrain from getting a bumper sticker that says "Don't blame me, I didn't vote for him" because those thoroughly annoyed me during Bush's terms as president ;) It's easy to give honor and respect to someone who agrees with me, it's much more difficult to give when that person so fundamentally disagrees with me, but it does not change the fact that both people deserve the same respect. I can disagree without badmouthing...which is a fundamental truth I want my children to see and learn.
  • If anyone is interested in the why of my disagreement with President Obama, Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee has an excellent post that sums it up perfectly...because, well, she's a writer...
  • I want to commit to praying for the new First Family, because I can't imagine the stress that comes from his position. And now that I've started watching 24, I'm convinced there are bad guys that are smarter than the government lurking around every corner :) For real. I have no idea how they keep the president and his family safe from crazy people, but I pray that each on is guarded and protected today by someone much more powerful than secret service.
  • And is it just me, or does anyone feel like they're gonna have a heart attack after every episode of 24?!? My heart races the entire time...I think it may be a better workout than running on my treadmill. I need to get caught up on all the seasons...but I don't think I'll be doing marathon watching of this particular show. Better stick to one episode at a time.

Happy Inauguration Day everyone!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

To Find You...

My faith in Jesus defines me. I know this. It's who I am, to the core of my being. He changed me...and in still in the process, but without a doubt, I cannot for one second deny the change He's done.

I know who I was. And I know who I am now.

When someone close to me, whom I love immeasurably, walks away from that same faith...it hurts in a way I can't explain. Sometimes they're aware of what they're doing, and sometimes...not.

Last night, as I was driving to a friends Tupperware party, I was stewing about the situation with this one I care about so much. Playing conversations in my head, over and over. Some of the conversations were real...others were imaginary...you know the ones...where I'm all tellin' them what they need to hear, and they're all listening and responding positively...funny how it goes perfectly in my head and never that great in real life :)

Anyways, I was also making a mental list of all the possible reasons they were turning their back on a God who is so obviously trying to love them, and WHY this was such a bad, bad move.

I came up with a pretty good list.

But the list...it didn't make me feel better. It gave me a sense of hopelessness.

I happened to be listening to a CD that I've listened too since I was 15. It's an Audio Adrenaline Greatest Hits, and a song came on.

This song, in particular, I've never cared for. Something about the style of it makes me skip over it every. single. time. But last night, I know without a doubt God meant for me to hear the words to that song, because as I moved to push the skip button, I suddenly knew I needed to hear what that song said.

And, like so many other things in my life, something I didn't care for at all has now become one of my favorites.








I'm lost and broken all alone on this road
The wheels keep turning but the feeling is gone
when I fear I'm on my own
But you remind me i am not alone


You say..


I'd leave ninety-nine
Leave them all behind
To find you
(For you alone)I'd leave ninety-nine
Leave them all behind
To find you



It's dark and lonely and the path is unclear
Can't move my feet because I'm frozen with fear
And you say, my child, my child
I am always here, I'm by your side


I'd leave ninety-nine
Leave them all behind
To find you
(For you alone) I'd leave ninety-nine
Leave them all behind
To find you


You're never too far down
I promise you'll be found,
I'll reach into the mud,
the miry clay
pursue you to the end,
like a faithful friend,
nothing in this world,
will keep me away,


I'd leave ninety-nine
Leave them all behind
To find you
(For you alone) I'd leave ninety-nine
Leave them all behind
To find you... to find you..



I was filled with peace. All of my own words were washed away with the truth this song brings out of scripture. The song reads like a love letter from Jesus. He pursues us, because He loves us...and He knows where each one of us is at today, the good, the bad, and the ugly in each of us. He's not intimidated when we run from Him...and some of us know we've been running for a looooong time.



And He PURSUES us. Nothing in this world can keep Him away. Nothing.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last Day

Hard to believe 2008 is going to be over soon.

For the most part, years go by and they all seem to blend together. But 2008 held a lot of joys, and a lot of tough stuff. I have a feeling this past year will stay around in my heart for awhile.

The good...the bad...in bullet form (with pieces of it missing because I'm too lazy to spend more than 15 minutes on a post ;)

  • February I started blogging...on a total whim. I had no idea the amazing friends that it held in store. It is so much fun to peek into each of your lives.
  • Winter here felt like it would never end. In March my Ladies Bible study began the Seeking Him study. God used it to make my walk with Him so much deeper, closer. It was harder than I had imagined...in ways I can't explain, and many times I wanted to just give up and run back to where I felt comfortable...even if it did make me miserable inside. That's when I realized that that temptation, to give up and not trust where He's leading me...it will always be there...always. I can't run from it, or hide from it. I've got to acknowledge it, and then cling to Him for the help I need to keep pressing on according to His will...not mine. I also realized that pride: it's an issue for me...just a little bit ;)
  • Spring finally came. It was blissful. I even ran my first race (since highschool)...then the EF5 tornado came to tiny-town. Exactly 2 weeks later we were evacuated as our entire little town filled with flood water. Summer turned out to not be quite what I dreamed of all winter long...but amidst the tragedy and the tears, there was joy and fun, and I saw once again that life keeps going on, one day at a time.
  • In June Ben and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary with a little getaway/conference. Only we would think a get-a-way to our church's state conference can also be romantic...explains a lot doesn't it? :)
  • By fall, tiny town was in recovery mode, and while much still needs repair, so much has also been restored. Tiny town is forever different and forever the same, all mixed together. I love this place...even without a gas station.
  • Friendships have grown and deepened this year. Reconnecting with old friends, who I share a history with, and making new friends who can easily see me for who I am today, has been such an encouragement to me...and well, just FUN!
  • My boys have grown so much in this past year...I can hardly write about them without getting choked up. I tend to get lost in the madness of each day...the craziness, and then before I know it, I'm looking back over the past year. They are amazing, and each completely unique. This next year, it's the cry of my heart to enjoy the day...not get lost in weariness that comes along with it.

Looking ahead...

  • January 6th, we will be starting this Bible study. Can I tell you how desperately I need it?!? I'm giddy with anticipation...anxious to continue this journey with Him.
  • Dis-cip-pline. Need me some. Need me A LOT.
  • Organization: I mentioned a book yesterday. It's great...really. I'm gonna post about it on Friday. There will also be pictures of the huge messes I've made in an attempt to get organized...because seriously, its therapeutic looking at someones elses mess, no?!? It is.
  • Blogging: I'd like some new vocabulary, ya know...to replace: hilarious, crack me up, cute, totally, fabulous...you get the idea, I don't need to tell YOU that I use the same words ALL the time. If ya'll have any suggestions, do tell.
  • I can't possibly anticipate all this next year will hold...but I know Him who holds it in His hands...and that makes it ok.

Happy New Years Eve!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

*Insert Eye Roll*

Last night after Bible Club I came home and plopped myself on the couch...it's a routine I have going.

Flipped through the DVR and channels and...nothing. Bummer. So I resorted to the Guide menu to see if anything would be coming on soon...nothing, nothing...and THEN I found it.

It read: Victoria Secret Fashion Show
9-10 PM
PG-13

*Insert eye roll* I had to laugh...out loud. Because THIRTEEN is the precise age that I WOULD NOT want my new-to-testosterone-crazed boy or feeling-completely-awkward & insecure daughter to watch the Victoria Secret fashion show.

For real.

I think it should read: Victoria Secret Fashion Show
9-10 PM
Ages 2 and under.

Just a thought ;)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My Review *cough*

Yesterday I mentioned that the Twilight series has got me thinking a lot about Heaven.



The books are not meant to do that. There's no hidden meanings or symbolism that I'm trying to draw out...I can barely pick out the symbolism in the Narnia series even though my husband has explained it to me countless times! I just want to share some of the things that have caused me to think about Heaven as I was reading these books. And if you've been reading this blog very long, you already know that pretty much any random thing can trigger another random thought for me ;)



Which reminds me, I need a disclaimer first. Here it is: The following post will in fact give away some of the plot of the Twilight series, if you are or will be reading this and do not want it given away you should leave now...right now. :)



So why on earth does reading about fictional vampires make me think of Heaven?!? Good question. Who knows the answer, I certainly have no idea. But my thoughts on Heaven come from Scripture...not just things I like to make up...which I should clarify, because somethings I do like to make up...like words...I digress.



Here's a few reasons.



There are certain qualities of the vampire characters that make me think about the new perfect bodies we'll be getting in Heaven. Those bodies will in fact be EVEN better than a vampires ;)
  • beautiful, perfect, no sickness, no weakness.
  • I imagine our senses will all be so much clearer. What we see, touch, taste, feel, hear etc will likely be 10,000x's greater.
  • When Bella is changed, she looks different but her dad and Jacob still recognize her. Much like what will likely happen in Heaven.
  • Bella, as a human, does her best to try to understand what being in a vampires body will be like...but nothing compares to her actually experiencing it for herself. I think we will be completely blown away at the perfectness of them, things we can't even begin to imagine or understand with our puny little minds.
  • The devotion that Edward feels towards Bella, not being able to be away from her makes me think of how relationships will be in Heaven. So closely bonded. And with Jesus...I imagine the desire to be in His presence will be overwhelming.
  • Understanding one anothers thoughts clearly.
  • The eternal aspect of it. It's hard for me to wrap my mind around eternity. Priorities change when there's no time crunch.
  • I think we'll be able to move here and there really quickly ;)
  • The vampires have an amazing sense of style...deep, I know.
  • And the Cullen's baseball game...I think that's what baseball will be like in Heaven.
  • No need to sleep! No feeling tired and worn out.

Ok, I'll stop BUT I do have to say...I'm not big into vampires or vampire stories (although I did go to that one movie with Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt back when I was in High school because seriously those were Brad Pitt's glory days) but this series really does just pull ya in and it's really quite fun to read.

I've heard different critiques of the authors writing style, but I for one, am so not a writer that I can't tell ya anything about what she does or does not do well. All I know is that I just read four big books because...I liked the story and loved the characters. Book #2 got a little long for me...and the 4th one is my favorite. That's all I know :)

PS...

  • I do not think we will drink blood...for the record.
  • And I hope we're not all pale. This pasty-white-Iowan would like some color...I'm hoping Jesus agrees. *smiles*

This just exceeded my own personal limit on blog post length...I had to skim my own writing. So sad.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Not Logical...

When I was shopping the other day I ran across a bunch of different notepads. My heart skipped a beat...they were adorable...and for a list lover, they were nearly perfect. I flipped through to find just the right one, which took about half a second.

PRO/CON List it read at the top. Which in my head means, "How to make a logical/rational/responsible decision." Man I love a pro/con list, and the idea of being able to buy a little notepad that already had those two words so cutely typed on it made me giddy! (seriously, that's how easy it is)

There is a pro/con list running through my head pretty much all the time. The advantages/disadvantages of everything I encounter. From the itty bitty decisions to the life altering.

As I reached to pick of one two of those little tablets that I was SURE were created JUST for me I heard a faint whisper in my head.



It went something like this: Seriously?!? You have me, The God of the Universe, who knows every second of your life, from before you were born until the day you take your last breath...and then some, and yet you resort to the pro/con list?!? That's really the best you can do?



Oh the Holy Spirit...He gets me every time...speaking truth, straight to my heart, in a language I understand. Reminding me that my humanness...it slays me. Big time.



I put that cute little notepad down...and walked away.



Just last night I had a situation come up that caught me off guard. I immediately began the list...and then stopped. It didn't matter what the list said. It didn't matter that logically the cons outnumbered the pros, I knew in my heart what my decision should be. It should be yes even though the list says no.



God's power and plans shatter my lists...always. My humanness craves logic and reason...tangible evidence. But my heart...it longs for faith. The kind of faith that steps out of the boat, and onto the crashing waves simply because Jesus said to. It doesn't have to make sense to me. In fact, most of the time it makes NO sense to me...because my mind limits Him time and time again.



Today I'm praying for a bigger vision. Bigger expectations for what God is doing...because He's doing them whether I see it or not...and I don't wanna miss it by being an idiot ;)



...also praying He helps me to miraculously stop making those dumb lists in my head...seriously, A MIRACLE!





*on a completely unrelated note: The Twilight series I've been reading has really got me thinking about Heaven...so more on that tomorrow. I know, I know you're wondering how a book about vampires has me thinking about Heaven and so I must remind you that I am in fact a pastor's wife, which gives me the ability to make ANYTHING into a spiritual lesson...it's a gift, what can I say? ;)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's What I Am...

I started college with every intention of becoming a social worker. It took ten minutes into the first semester for me to realize I did NOT in fact want to be a social worker.

Two big factors stood in the way. 1 - I'm a fix-it type person. You come to me with a problem and I want to fix it for you...or tell you what to do to fix it. I have to make myself just sit and listen without giving options...I think this may make me like a man, but whatever. 2 - I quickly realized I would have trouble leaving work at work.

Looking back, I can see that the desire inside my heart that made me want to be a social worker was in fact placed there by God...but it wasn't to be a social worker...it was to be a Pastor's wife...which sometimes looks and feels kinda like working for human services.

I am constantly battling #1...seeking God's discernment on when to just listen and when to act. On my own, I tend to go over-board in either direction.

#2 - In ministry, there's no such thing as leaving work at work. The people God has placed into our lives are literally a part of our lives. The blessing in it, for Ben and I, is that we are in it together. Do we sometimes have to shut it out? Absolutely...for a time.

This week God literally dropped a desperate young mommy of three into my life. She called looking for a church...looking for Jesus. I hung up the phone so excited that she had called us...and at the same time wishing she'd called someone else. Excited because I know a Savior that will change her life, and yet wishing she'd called someone else better experienced to help her in her particular situation.

I'm asking for your prayers today...that she would meet Jesus in a life-changing way, that God would pour out His wisdom on Ben and I and our little church regarding how He desires us to minister to her and so many others.

It's overwhelming...in a really fantastic sorta way. We need so much of Him...because without Him, I'm fully aware of how badly we will screw it up ;)

Thanks for listening and praying bloggy friends!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I Lay it Down...

If you could see me now...


  • it would not be pretty.

  • sitting at the computer, headphones in (trying to block out a 3 year old's incessant whining that is frankly driving me to drink....excessive amounts of coffee.)

  • Making lists. Menu list, grocery list, things that need to be organized list, cleaning list, Bible Club to-do list, Bible Study to-do list, get my butt in gear list...on and on.

  • sitting here with a complete lack of ideas on what to blog about.

  • feeling a little inadequate in just about every area right now.

  • hoping the Schwan's guy doesn't come while I'm sitting here because I don't have an order for him and that makes me feel bad...for some reason.

  • listening to this song that just came on my MP3...how quickly I forget to do this...

Everything I am

Everything I long to be

I lay it down, at your feet

I lay it down, I lay it down, I lay it down...at your feet.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fun-Hater...

It is my new favorite word.  Fun-hater.

It's like a better version of Party-pooper.

It came up last week at our Ladies Bible Study.  We were on the Sexual Purity chapter in Seeking Him, discussing God's instructions on the whole issue (I know, you're wishing you'd been there for that one;)  A friend mentioned how His instructions are for our protection, He gave them to us out of His love for us, not because He is a fun-hater.

I *gasped*, not because I disagree, but because I'd NEVER heard that amazingly wonderful word before!  It's also around the time we collectively decided that our women's study needs t-shirts that say "We are not fun-haters" 

Anyways...the whole fun-hater thing has got me thinking.

Do people around me think I'm a fun-hater?  Depends upon the definition of fun I guess.  My definition is vastly different than many.

There are things I don't do that could make me considered a fun-hater...

The biggest:  I don't drink alcohol...ever.  Never been bar hopping, drunk, buzzed, hung-over...never had a drink to loosen up, or take my mind off something.  I don't even like the smell or taste of it.  I grew up around it...seen all the stages...from the casual one-drinker with dinner to the raging alcoholic...still can't find the fun in it.  

I think I've witnessed too many of the not-fun-things about it to ever think it was actually fun. 

Call me crazy.

I'm sure as my boys grow up, and turn into teenagers, and I begin the lovely task of setting and enforcing curfews, dating rules, driving privileges and all that good stuff I will really be considered a fun-hater.

I can deal ;)

Because really...its not about hating fun...it's about guarding their heart, mind, and life.  

It may seems crazy to some...but for me, it's what I often refer to as a hedge.  A hedge of protection...something put into place to guard.

One of my absolute favorite books (that I'm recommending all the time in real life) is called Hedges.  It's a book on protecting your marriage, but the principals in it carry over into life in general.  We do or don't do certain things in order to protect something or someone.  

For real...I'm not a fun-hater ;)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Still in There...

Know what's been on my mind a lot lately?


Teenagers. For a couple of reasons:


The past few weeks I've reconnected with some friends from highschool through the previously mentioned wonders of Facebook. It's got me thinking about how fast time has flown by.


In a couple of months I will be 31 years old, but the words of this post, ring as true as ever. (you should go read it, because I wrote it back when I had about 5 people reading my blog, there's a good chance you didn't read it already...trust me.)


I have matured...for sure. But much of that same dorky quirkiness is still living inside of this body. And ya know what...I heart that silly 15 year old...she's the one that get's excited about the little things. Gives people the benefit of the doubt...remembers to give some grace...isn't afraid to ask why or ask hard questions, and easily admits she stands in awe before a Holy God, whom she can't wrap her tiny brain around.


The second reason I've got teenagers on the brain is that I'm going to start teaching a high school Sunday School class...which will consist of myself and 2 girls that are foreign exchange students. I'm already praying for them, because seriously, it's hard enough for people who speak English as their first language to follow my randomness...poor girls...I'm pretty sure the Holy Spirit will be doing some divine interpreting for them ;)


Anyways, last night I went and got a Revolve Devotional Bible for teenage girls (it's a gift to my inner 15 year old;) and the study we're gonna do, which is Experiencing the Heart of Jesus student edition by Max Lucado. When Ben was in seminary we worked with the teens...I didn't realize how much I missed it until I was standing in the bookstore looking at all the different resources.


Fun stuff.


There's more:

  1. Picked up this CD for this song...it's my current fave...and life theme.
  2. My parents are coming tonight to help Ben install my new light from IKEA. Happy Day! Pics tomorrow.

Phew! This was a long one.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Reality

On my mind... (kinda makes me think of a Willie Nelson song...)

  • gotta add $ to the boys lunch accounts because a note came home saying they're $7.30 in the hole...oops.
  • looking at all the "reminder" cards of dentist appointments, flu shots, Fall Party for school sign up sheets, and all the other notes from everywhere that seem to all require something of me.
  • trying to resist the cinnamon rolls sitting on the counter...wishing I hadn't seen that they are 650 calories a piece. Evil yummy things.
  • realizing that I spend a lot of time mentally scolding myself for not getting more accomplished, even though I know all the reasons I shouldn't do that.
  • Trying to figure out how to do a Beth Moore DVD study with my ladies without spending $250 on dvd's (which I'm sure are totally worth it) Tiny church in tiny town probably not gonna think $250 is tiny...and now realizing that my first 4 words of this statement are part of the problem...should read: Seeking God's plan on; instead of trying to figure out...
  • realizing Jake is no longer watching Dora, and is very, very quiet...that's never good. Ever.
  • Wishing I had the right words to encourage a friend.
  • Feeling a heaviness that I can't explain...seems so many around me are dealing with so much, I can't help but hurt for them...but know I'm not meant to carry that heaviness.
  • Gonna go spend some time with Him...the one who can bear all of it.

Friday, October 3, 2008

I Make it Difficult...

Have you ever been absolutely positively certain about something? I mean really thoroughly convinced of what you feel, certain that your feeling won't change?



I have.



And I've had those very same feelings change, in the blink of an eye...which always tends to feel a tad bit disturbing at the time.



I know, deep in my heart that God knows the desires of my heart better than me. He's proved this over and OVER about a zillion times in my 30 years of existence.



Why then, do I go about life, trying to push my own agenda? Trying to convince Him of what I truly want, sometimes feeling like He's gonna make me do something I don't want to do and I'll be totally miserable?



It makes no sense...it's gotta stop.



I mentioned yesterday that God is ever so gently showing me areas in my life that I have maintained control of...haven't quite handed over to him...or handed over and then snatched right back.



I'm good at that. Hanging onto something till I realize I've completely messed it up or I'm completely unsure of what I want...then go before Him, begging for His wisdom and direction, and then getting discouraged when He doesn't immediately tell me what I should do.



I realized this week that He doesn't immediately tell me what to do, because I'm not even in a place to be able to hear Him.



How do I get to that place? It's a question I ask all the time...it's a question I was asked this week.



The answer is simple but I don't often like it.



Obedience.



His way...trusting Him, taking those hard steps of faith that are sometimes so very scary. Out of the boat and onto the crashing waves, so to speak. Sometimes the steps are so very basic that we ignore them...thinking they're too simple, wanting to just jump ahead.



I generally want Him give me some sort of assurance that this is gonna work out for me...that whatever the step of faith it would feel easy. But that is not required of Him...He owes me no guarantee, except that He will be with me, and that I am required to obey if I want His blessing on my life. And, I have the absolute guarantee that He knows more than I do.



So, today...if you're feeling His nudging in some area of your life, but you're resisting...you're not alone. And, if you're choosing to obey, and are still scared outta your mind...still not alone. And if you're resting on the assurance that it's ok to be scared, but trusting He's got a plan...not alone. I'm with ya on all of it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Where'd the Fear Come From?!?

Updates:

  • Eli is back to school
  • I am feeling better!
  • A lovely friend called and volunteered to take Jake today, God bless her.
  • I always want a quiet house...and then when it's quiet, guess what I do...miss them. Good grief. I am going to be a terrible empty-nester I think.

Here's me thinking out loud today...

So, I may have mentioned before that I am a bit of a control freak.

I wish I wasn't...but I am.

I also mentioned before that there is one particular life-changing decision that I'm trying to give up control of. It is not particularly enjoyable, the process of letting go.

Part of the problem is...that I'm not quite sure which decision is actually the one that relinquishes control.

The other part of the problem is that I can't shut-up the inner dialogue in my head that keeps making pro and con lists...aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!

Really, as I type this, I'm thinking what would I tell someone in my particular predicament... (because I like telling other people how to obey ;)

So, if I were going to Dr. Phil myself, I would say...

  • play out the "what-if" game to completion.
  • How's that working for you?

And then I wonder...where is this fear coming from? The fear of something happening that I think I'm not ready for...after all, I can name a million things that have happened in my little life that I was pretty sure I couldn't handle...and it turns out, they're some of the biggest blessings.

You all know why...His strength, His leading, His plan. How can I look back at all of that and have any doubts of who is in control? What am I so scared of? When did this fear creep in?

It needs to go.

I wish I could share details with you. I wish I could put a little poll box at the top of my blog and ya'll could just cast a vote and then I would just do what you said...do you ever get to that point? Where you wear yourself out thinking about something and end up just wanting someone to tell you what you should do?!?

It's been my prayer for awhile now...God, just tell me what to do...and then I sit back and pout because it isn't "clear" enough. Truth is...He's been crystal clear...I just seem to keep clouding it up with my pro/con list. Dang lists.

Ya know what...through all this rambling, I've found some clarity.

I know what He wants...and I know that it may not be my first choice, but I trust Him.

I'm gonna trust Him, and walk through the fear.

And if I start to waiver (which I totally will), and revert back to my pro/con list in some upcoming post, it's your duty bloggy friends to remind me to walk in faith and not fear ;)

Monday, September 22, 2008

I Heart Her...

There is a certain woman in my life who God ordained from the beginning.

There is no doubt.

I was the daughter, of her teenage daughter.

My mom tells the story of how right before I was born, she shared with my Grandma the name she had picked out for me. And my Grandma, who must have already read my un-born mind, said something to the effect of "why don't you name her something normal, like...Sarah."

Amen, Grandma. Amen.

She is the same woman who introduced me to:

  • The gift of black coffee...in Kindergarten. (perhaps I'll just blame her for my slight addiction now ;)
  • The bedtime snack of butter on saltine crackers.
  • The best home-made noodles...ever.
  • "Cold Bread" which is what my boys call her home-made bread because we store it in the fridge...
  • Goldilocks and the Three Bears
  • Crocheting...that I learned to do left handed (like her)...even though I am not left handed...and let's face it, I could never really get past that one single strand (that she let me make 12 feet long and wrap around the Christmas tree:)

My childhood memories that involve her are infinite.

I love her smile. I love how she LOVES babies. Her quiet strength. Her example of self-sacrificing love. The way she loves with food. The toys she still has from when I was little. Her ability to can just about anything...tomatoes, beans, jams, chili...The way she loves my boys, and the way they love her.

I love the smell of her house...because it's her.

And for some time now...she hasn't been feeling so great.

A little thing called Congestive Heart Failure...at least we all like to think pretend it's little...but some doctor's appointments recently suggest otherwise.

Dang Doctor's and their reality checks...

This post is for her...Grandma, it's just a little bit of all the reasons I love you. I wish my writing abilities allowed me to more eloquently put it into words (we'll blame that on my dad's side *wink*) I have always known how proud of me you are...not because of anything I had done...but because of who I was, the person I was...the woman I am. I hope that you too, know that I feel the same way about you. I love being your grand-daughter. I love you.

I am praying for God's wisdom to be poured out on your doctors, and for the Ultimate Healer's hands to be upon you and most importantly, that you know and feel just how big His love for you is.


Now...I told my mom I was going to blog about Grandma, so my mom passed along the information to her...to which Grandma said "She's gonna what?" *smile*

Time to introduce Grandma to the blog world...which means I will print this off for her to read...so, if all my lovely friends (which by the way, is all of you) would leave me a comment and let my Grandma know you'll be lifting her before His throne, I would be ever so thankful AND I'll be able to show her that I do have some friends...even if you are all imaginary *wink*

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More Than Enough...

For some strange reason the topic of getting old has been coming up in a lot of my conversations...

I have a few theories/preferences/weirdness issues when it comes to getting old and dieing.

Granted, I have a certain guarantee that death will eventually happen...oldness, not so much. I very well could die before ever reaching old age...but this does not stop my "planning my life out in my head" game.

You do that too, right? Tell God the order of things. I generally arrange "my order" of things in a way that I think will cause ME the least amount of pain and inconvenience. That's how unselfish I am.

Impressed, aren't you ;)

My random list:
  • I'd like to live to be old...but not too old. I'd still like all my mental and physical capacities in order.
  • I'd prefer not to die of something long, painful, and drawn out...but also not anything too quick, that way I can say good-bye.
  • I'm totally ok with the idea of assisted living. Heck, I'll probably be 65 and trying to get them to let me in! (But I want Ben and I to go to one with friends, of course ;) But nursing homes...not so much. No thanks.
  • If Ben dies before me (which he can't because in my plans, I die first, thus not having to live without him) BUT if he does die first...I'm not remarrying. I'm moving to the pasture by his parents and building a house in it...the cows can eat the grass/yard and I won't have to mow.
  • I told him to tell me he's never going to remarry ;) Oh sure...he can if he wants to, but while I'm alive, we'll just say he's not going to.
  • Preferably, we both die at the same time...like in the movie "the notebook"...except I could live without the whole Alzheimer's thing.
  • I want a closed casket at my funeral. If there's people that feel the need to look, by all means, take a peek...but otherwise...no thanks.
  • No singing of How Great Thou Art. I know, it is a really beautiful song...but it's been sung at all sorts of funerals I've gone too, and it creeps me out a little.
  • The list goes on and on...for real.

Oh I joke.

I make light of serious stuff.

It's a coping mechanism...and it doesn't for one second change or influence what God has planned.

Someday, I will lose ones that, as of right now, I don't believe I could live on this earth without.

My whole life I've watched it happen to people close to me. Losing grandparents, moms to cancer, a father hit by a falling tree, suicides, a husband in a tragic car accident, teenagers in car accidents, miscarriages, a beautiful sleeping baby...the list goes on.

None of those people had that in "their plans." Each have suffered, and walked down a path they did not choose on their own.

Every time I can't help but stand by and watch in awe as they carry on with life...living through the pain.

And I often wonder...when is my turn? Life is life...one can only go for so long before personally affected by loss.

When I think about it...I mean really think about it, I realize that the fear of it could become all-consuming...

But it isn't. I know pain and loss and suffering will come...someday. But I have the comfort and peace of knowing no matter what may come, He is with me. On my own, it's certainly stuff I could not handle, but with Him...I will.

I will also have those who have walked down the road before me, living through it, sharing and knowing the journey. And that too, conquers fear.

For those of you who are living through it right now, my heart is with you. It hurts for you...and hopes for you. And most of all, it's thankful that you are not alone...and that Jesus is big enough to fill even the deepest and widest caverns of pain.

More than enough.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Please Don't Make Me Regret This :)

Have I ever mentioned I don't particularly care for confrontation?

I don't.

It's part of the reason that this particular post has been started and deleted and started and deleted again.

I don't want to make anyone mad. And I especially don't want any mean comments :)

Or a blog riot involving lovely Christian ladies :)

So...I'm going to keep it kind of vague while trying to share my heart...

I've been reading a book...a really really HIGHLY recommended book. One that some had posted on, sharing how it had made them view God in a new or fresh way. This, of course appealed to me!

When it finally came in the mail from Amazon, I couldn't wait to get home, snuggle in and begin.

But my experience with the book has not produced the same reaction as my bloggy friends...which has caused my mind to keep churning and churning.

I am speaking purely for myself here...but I think the reason that the story bothers me, is because it gives God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit a narrative voice. The "voice" comes from the author...not from God Himself. Much of the authors ideas are good, BUT...and this is a BIG BUT, it's still just a human authors words...we may wish Jesus had put it that way or really relate to it, but ultimately it's a human writer putting words in the mouth of...Jesus.

*Sigh* That, makes me uneasy.

If I want to see what God has to say, for Himself...I go to the Bible...He wrote it...He revealed Himself in there the way He desired...does His heart break that I feel the need to search Him out in a new way in some human authors book, rather than His own?

I love books that help me understand God...that explain His Word to me...but putting words in Jesus' mouth, it just doesn't settle well with me.

It's not that I want to keep God in a box...by all means, I want Him to show me where I am limiting Him, where my understanding is small...it's just that I want that knowledge to come from His written words...not the ideas of any human man.

I may be the only person on this planet who doesn't love this book.

*I totally understand that the other millions of people who've read this book totally and utterly disagree with me...I'm cool with that, and if God is changing you through this book, I say amen! You don't have to convince me of it...I already believe you...just sharing "my version"...since it's my blog and all...so be ye kind in the comment love ;)*

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I Can't Help Myself...


It's been six months since I wrote this post. (when all but 5 of you were not reading)


Guess what I did on Saturday? C'mon guess.


Yep...I cut bangs...again. *sheepish grin*


But, GOOD NEWS! I like them this time. For now anyways.


I decided I needed to have a heavier fringe (that's bang term I learned in the countless magazines I flipped through)...


I also colored it...the exact same color it already is, but with dimension. And dimension is code for: no one else will even be able to tell a difference...not even me, even though I will try to convince myself I can.


Apparently there's something in the air here, because I also feel the need to re-paint and re-arrange everything in my house.


Weird.


How 'bout you...what's changing out their bloggy friends?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

One Answer...

I've been avoiding the news for quite some time now. I'm annoyed with all the "analyzing" of candidates.


I heart politics. I do. But I do not like debating about it.


My minds made up. Morally, ethically, socially, economically, I fall on a certain side...BUT, do I think my party is "the answer"...absolutely not.


I think both parties fail...miserably. I pick one, I pick a side because it's America, it's how it works.


I think there is one answer. And he is Jesus.


Makes me think of a song :)


My favorite part (I've highlighted in the fab color of orange) is a spoken part of the song..and it is RIGHT ON.


You can listen here. Enjoy.


Lyrics:

What this world needs

Is not another one hit wonder with an axe to grind,

Another two bit politician peddlin` lies,

Another three ring circus society.



What this world needs Is not another sign wavin` super saint that's better than you,

Another ear pleasin` candy man afraid of the truth,

Another prophet in an Armani suit.



What this world needs

Is a Savior who will rescue,

A Spirit who will lead,

A Father who will love them in their time of need.



A Savior who will rescue,

A Spirit who will lead,

A Father who will love,

That's what this world needs.



What this world needs

Is for us to care more about the inside than the outside.

Have we become so blind that we can't see?

God's gotta change her heart before He changes her shirt.



What this world needs

Is for us to stop hiding behind our relevance.

Blendin` in so well that people can't see the difference

And it's the difference that sets the world free.



What this world needs

Is a Savior who will rescue,

A Spirit who will lead,

A Father who will love them in their time of need.

That's what this world needs.



(Spoken)

People aren't confused by the gospel,

They're confused by us.

Jesus is the only way to God,

But we are not the only way to Jesus.

This world doesn't need

My tie, my hoodie,

My denomination, or my translation of the Bible,

They just need Jesus.

We can be passionate about what we believe,

But we can't strap ourselves to the gospel.

Because we're slowing it down

Jesus is going to save the world,

But maybe the best thing we can do

Is just get out of the way.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Don't Get It...

Just thinking...

There's a weird phenomena that occurs in my life.

One day, I feel like I'm staying on top of everything...or at least keeping my head above water...as a wife, mom, pastor's wife, friend etc

And then the very next day or moment I feel like a complete and total failure at everything.

Logically this does not make sense. After all, if one day I'm a loving wife, patient & organized mother, ministry minded, available for all my friends kind of gal...how can I, the very next day, be a selfish wife, at-my-wits-end mom, spiritually drained, friend who never calls you back.

Hmmm...kinda makes me think I'm actually all those things, all the time. I'm not either/or...I'm both. I'm human.

More of Him, less of me.
SO. Much. Less. of. me.