Friday, November 23, 2007
I told my friend Ever that I expected to go and have doors opened. Instead, I sit here almost a week later, feeling like I saw lots of doors close instead. Either my time to give was too short, the program someone thought I'd be a fit for is over, or my timeline just didn't fit with any of the teams' plans. I don't doubt that I should still go, but now it is a question of patience and trust. I have emailed every group I talked to, made contact with a few teams I didn't get to meet, and still don't feel like I am any closer to changing my situation....and this is where the trust part comes into play.
This morning, my quote of the day was this: "Never think that God's delays are God's denials. Hold on; hold fast; hold out. Patience is genius." Comte de Buffon
The passage that went with it was even better..."I waited patiently for God to help me; then he listened and heard my cry. He lifted me...and set my feet on a hard, firm path and steadied me...He has given me a new song to sing..." Psalm 40:1-3
I pray for that new song, even if it is different that the one that's in my mind. I trust that the Lord does have a plan for me, in His good timing. Please pray with me that I would rely on God's providence and that I would continue to trust his guidance.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
So, there's this girl I work with who sings all the time. She sings well with her crystal clear soprano voice, and I envy her ease & skill. When she comes to work, it's easy to predict what kind of day it has been...if she's singing opera, she's been painting; if she's singing disney, she's been with her family, etc. Today, we heard Christmas medley--I heard Jingle Bells, O Christmas Tree, It Came upon a Midnight Clear--among others. She sounded so full of joy that it caused me to pause and wonder, how joyful am I? Does anyone know?
How joyful are you?
Saturday, November 10, 2007
There has been lots going on, and I wanted to share so you were in the know.
1-I had the floors replaced at my house. It looks great, but now there is so much dust, I fear I may never get rid of it.
2-While floors were being worked on, I stayed with my sister & her family, which was such a blessing to me. My sis & I had one conversation where I was trying to explain to her the idea of covenant, and how as ones who have accepted Christ as their savior, that both ends of the covenant are held by God, which allows us to rest in Him. Conversation was going well, but I must have some linguistic gap, because I just couldn't shed enough light on the idea of covenant to help her understand.
I know as a skeptic, I was very hard to reach and almost wouldn't let myself trust that God could do all of that. For those of you who knew me before I trusted Christ, how on earth did you get me to listen? I pray for grace to help others understand.
3-My best friend from high school is on her way to my house as we speak, without her husband & kids. We are celebrating her bday in a good old-fashioned way--shopping, movies, and ice cream. We may throw in a football game and a nap just for good measure, but no guarantees!
4-The most exciting news I have is that I was accepted as an intern for Mission to the World, the PCA missions agency. I will be going into the field in January, 2009, and plan to be overseas for at least 3 months, but am approved for an 11-month stint if I am moved in that direction. I will be going to the Global Missions Conference in less than a week to meet teams from all over the world and pray that the Lord finds a team or project that will allow me to serve most to His glory. The last person I talked to really has me interested in Latvia, so we'll see.
Thanks for reading, but I make no promises that my blogging schedule will improve!
Friday, October 5, 2007
These days, I pray that I am enough. I pray that I love enough, that I laugh enough, and that I enjoy life enough. (Clearly, I still need to get better with words.) I pray that I am a good enough friend, that I exercise empathy enough, and that I hug people enough. I pray that my friends who live far away and don't hear from me enough still know that I love them & think of them often. I pray that I trust the Lord enough and that I stop struggling to be and do everything myself. I pray that I ask for help enough--there's a lot to be said for letting a brother or sister help me--and most of that is said in humility, so I pray I am humble enough.
Mary is doing better, she's at home with my folks for about 2 weeks. She is going to see a doctor here to ensure she is getting the right care. I am so happy I was able to go be with her, and so thankful that I had the support to be able to be there without worry. Thanks to everyone for your prayers. We talked today about what she & her hubby want to do after their stint in Central America is over, and I heavily hinted that Central Texas might be the place for her, so we'll see.
Sorry to all I haven't called yet. My 5th long day of work is today, then I'm free over the weekend, so I'll try to get in touch then.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
After finding out some of her fears last night (over the phone) I decided to go see her. I am leaving on Saturday, and will be gone for about a week. Please pray for continued healing for Mary, safe travel for me, and that I would be wise enough to comfort her in the ways she needs. Thanks!
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Don't worry...you're not one I'd wish would just hush...I promise.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
I am in the home stretch of completing my first ever read-through of the Bible. I am in the 19th chapter of Revelation, and I'm challenged by it. A year or so ago, as Jeff was preaching through Revelation, I could see, hear, and find comfort in this book. However, this time I'm reading it without guidance, and I haven't even referenced my notes from the series on Revelation. I understand why some folks are fearful or uncertain when diving into this book. Pray that it would be a source of hope in God, not a time of questioning His goodness.
Other than that, there have been ups & downs, joy & tears. The self-discipline is still an issue, but getting better...keep on praying.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Prayer abounds for so many, but these are on my list: Judy--she keeps herself really, really, really busy--and I still don't think she's taken time to grieve. Daniel, LeeAnn, Damascus, and baby D--for continued trust and hope in the Lord's provision. My friend Ever--just left home for the first time and did it with gumption (!)--that she also trusts that the Lord provide what He knows she needs. For the families of the missing in Minneapolis after the bridge collapse--the waiting is the worst. For Erika, Jeremy, Sara, Jason, and any others I may have forgotten--that their time serving the Lord in the far corners of the world is fruitful. For David in the hospital down in San Antonio--that he continues to heal and his family & friends continue to bravely believe that this too, is the Lord's plan & timing for him.
Amen & amen.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
One of those things is spend time with my sisters, one who's local & one who came down from Missouri. The Missouri girl brought our 18 year old niece with her, along with 4 of her own kids, ranging in age from 5 to 12. I had forgotten, until today, how noisy a house can be with the following ages in only two rooms:
1 @ 18
2 @ 12
2 @ 10
2 @ 8
1 @ 5
and one aunt who is aging gracefully.
Pray for us all, that we would enjoy our time together, and treasure this rare visit. Pray particularly that I would bear well with the noise and not get frustrated by it. Thanks!
Monday, July 23, 2007
"...We must live differently from unbelievers, not letting secular society dictate how we are to treat others. Don't let culture invade your practices at church."
Plus, I got a good reminder from Julie, something along the lines of "A Christian makes man small, and God big, not the other way around."
Friday, July 13, 2007
Problem is, I don't know anything about any of that (I can probably figure out removing the old stuff). Does anyone have any best bets on how to get all this done on a budget? If you do, I'd appreciate any help.
Thursday, July 5, 2007
If I were creative, each of those could be a story, but that is for another day. I'm outta here (gotta be up for work in about 5 hours). Peace
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
My sister joined Weight Watchers. I thought about it, but when she shared her program with me, I realized I had already made most of the changes she was starting to make to my own diet. Then she had the brilliant idea that we should work out together, so...we joined a women's only gym!
I am loving life. 4 days a week, I am up early to work out before 7am. I sleep like a baby, and I have energy for days. It's amazing. I only recently wandered into the couch potato zone, so getting out of it has made me see how much I love getting up & moving. Honestly, I think I've watched less than 2 hours of TV this week, and for me, that is record-breaking.
There are some other moves I'm making to get over myself & my blue mood of late. As I'm ready, I'll share those with you, too. (And now I'm sad that Lee Ann is without a computer, because she'd be the one with an interest...oh well.) Those of you who know & love me, keep on praying that my heart's desire will be what the Lord has for me (and, you know, that it is the same as what I want!)
A shout out here to my g'ville buddies--Tracey, Greg, Tonya G--it's time you get your own blog! Thanks for the great visit this weekend...love you all. Hug Chipper for me.
Monday, June 4, 2007
I got a text message last week from a friend who's been hanging on to me for 8 or 9 years. He's sarcastic, witty, smart, and surprisingly soft-hearted. He's at the age when he can't remember the things he wanted to do when he was in high school (and for the record, that's 4 years older than me. I guess that means I've got 4 years left to remember what I dreamed about.), but young enough to know he's not done living. We talked tonight--well, I talked & he listened--and I was reminded why I still love his friendship...regardless of the mood or the trail of conversation, he's still in it.
So, Mike, thanks. I appreciate that you still call even though I am clearly insane. Thanks for sticking around for what my niece refers to as "a long time." Cheers, my friend.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
There are things I know I want. I want great love...tears and laughter, joy and pain. I think I'd like to be a mom. I want to FEEL things instead of continuing to live this average, risk-free life. I'd like to end my days knowing I'd lived a life, not just survived an existence.
Staying the same depresses me. Changing terrifies me. Being alone is not my worst fear-or fate. Knowing that my life isn't everything it could be makes me want to be different. I'm just not sure where to start.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Sunday, May 13, 2007
In some ways, it has been a relief. I feel really rested. I think my voice may return eventually. I paid bills, straightened the house, fed the dogs--all the mundane things that happen when I am at home. At other times it was frustrating. I wanted to call my mom & other mothers I know to tell them I love them for loving their kids. I wanted to vent frustration at people who kept calling me because they couldn't make a decision. It's been an odd place for me.
I wonder, though, about those people who have no voice, no hope. Who breaks their silences? Who comes to their aid? At which point do they feel like they've lost their voice because no one hears them? It's deadening and deafening--the silence that answers them. I do hope for my future, but only because being without voice is a temporary situation for me, and a strictly physical ailment. I wonder if others without voice lose their hope...if they do, how do we help them find it again?
Sunday, May 6, 2007
Today, driving to my sister's church, there was one 3-second spray of sunshine right onto my face that made me think...
Thursday, May 3, 2007
I thought my sister was going to be on Oprah last week, but she wasn't, and I was disappointed that I gave up an hour of my day to watch Oprah. I know it's silly, but I almost don't trust Oprah anymore. I used to think Oprah stood for something; perhaps she was someone to believe in.
I don't think so anymore. I now think Oprah is only out for Oprah. That translates into putting people on her show who are so tabloid-friendly that folks all over middle america will flock to her show in order to hear the voice of the person whose picture they've seen thousands of times before. I also think Oprah wouldn't say no to anything that gets her ratings. Did you see her "show" on where to meet single guys over 35? Apparently, the only places they are, according to Oprah's 'best friend,' Gayle, is in Chicago, New York, LA, or Dallas. Sucks to be me, huh?
So I guess I'm Oprah-bashing. I've heard several folks say they think she should run for president. She'd probably come close to being elected, until someone pointed out that she doesn't stand for anything. (For the record, I'm going to say something positive about our current president, you should write this down, for I will try to deny it later.) Our current president may be an arrogant, stubborn man, but most of the time you know what he stands for. "You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything," in the words of a famous country song...sorry, Oprah, I think you're falling.
PS-I'll definitely still watch the show my sister's on, but after that, I think I'm out. And the bold print was just to point out how easy it is to over-use someone's name, even if it's unintended.
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
I have been working for the same company full time for 8 (but a total of 10-crazy) years, and 6 of those years have been right here in TX. About 4 years ago, at a big conference in Seattle, I watched a lot of my friends and coworkers get recognition for their accomplishments. In many ways, it bummed me out, because I always had worked really hard and I was under the misguided impression that working hard should get noticed. Also, it was somewhat a blow to my pride that my friends, who were newer to the job, were already considered better at it than I was. At one point during the presentation, I leaned over to a friend and told him that "next year I'd be walking across that stage."
Well, the next year came & went, and little changed about how I did my job, so no recognition. Again, disappointment. I asked for a change in assignment from my boss and was devastated when he told me that he couldn't support a move because I wasn't performing my job. I was confounded...how had I been able to keep this job for so long if I wasn't doing it well? Those of you who read this who know my work may realize now that I was good at the people part of my job, but not so much else. I didn't know what to do.
In one of the unexplainable miracles of life, I ended up getting the change I had asked for. I took that as a sign that I was not to go forward unchanged, so I looked at my job with fresh eyes. I changed a lot of what I did, and the job felt different--good, promising, rewarding--just for doing it the right way. I have now been in that "new" city for 3 years.
On Monday of this week, in a group of my supervisors and peers, I finally won the award I had sought after for 4 long years. I was named Manager of the Quarter out of over 60 managers in our region. It seems silly, that sentence, but it isn't to me. I can't explain why, but I feel validated about the changes I've made, not just to my work life, but my friendships, my faith, and my family life as well. I thank God for His provision over the last four years, to sustain me even when I felt like uprooting everything and starting over. I guess in some ways I have, but in the best way ever.
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
On the other hand, I am terrified that my life looks so similar to the early part of the movie. I count when brushing my teeth, taking stairs, etc. I have a job that brings me into contact with a lot of people, but only at the surface. I long for more, but I don't know how to get it.
I pray often that I want to trust the Lord's plan for my life, but sometimes I wish the narration were a bit more like that of Harold Crick...clear, certain, and easily accessible.
1-I got straight A's in school until my 8th grade year, when I got an F in art class.
2-I once told my dad his most distinctive feature was his laugh (and now I think others say the same of me).
3-My childhood dream is to play the drums.
4-I am a natural introvert--extroversion takes effort.
5-I wrote a book as a gift for my mom's 60th birthday.
6-My two favorite teachers ever were a nun & a priest (the nun in 2nd grade, the priest in college).
7-I took a college course called "Fable Literature" and loved it.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Thirty-three lives lost are a lot. Tragic is the right word to describe the situation. Families, friends, loved ones are going to go a long time before feeling like the world is right again. I know.
Yet, every day, in places like Uganda, the Sudan, Baghdad, Afghanistan, losing this many people at once has become common. Who flinches anymore when a news anchor says something like, "In Baghdad today, a suicide bomber killed 35 Iraqi civilians who were in line signing up for the police force."? Or, "Thousands of children in Uganda tonight will travel into cities and lock themselves into safe buildings to prevent their own aduction and recruitment in the Lord's Resistance Army."?
When did we become so self-involved to think that the only lives that matter are American lives? When did the ongoing tragedies of our time stop being tragic? Every life has value, even a Sudanese life. Every senseless killing is, in fact, senseless. Let's stop pretending our small corner of the world is the only place where people grieve over events they cannot change. My heart hurts for those people who will never know what other life their friend, son, or daughter might have had....even if that friend, son, or daughter wasn't an American.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Home has many different shapes, sizes, and places to me. I am so blessed!
Sunday, April 1, 2007
Now get the fact that he has a law blog, "Bob Loblaw's Law Blog." Say it a few times and it sticks with you...I've been saying it randomly for 4 days now and it still cracks me up!
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
2-Stop saying 'terminally ill.' Last time I checked we're all dying. Say 'sick with cancer' or some other phrase. We're all terminal, deal with it.
3-Stop saying 'at about' like "I'll meet you at about 3." It is ridiculous. At indicates precision, while about indicates generality. Use around instead, as in, "I'll meet you around 3."
Okay, rants over. Thanks
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Sunday, March 18, 2007
- I get furious over a fairly mild confrontation at work
- I would rather sleep in than get up & to places on time
- I choose the TV over my Bible
- I have one glass of wine too many
- I devote more of my life to work than to God
Fortunately, I have saints for friends. Today, Denise asked me how I was feeling spiritually. This type of discussion is still odd for me. I spent my life prior to the last 3 years just pretending that everything was okay that I never got very good at analyzing 'how I feel.' So, I stopped and I thought about how my life seems full of blessings, in spite of all the shortcomings listed above. I have a home, a job I enjoy, family & friends I love, and more than enough of all the material things I always seem to see as so important. Then I thought about the gift of discipline. I don't have enough, but I have more than I ever thought possible for me. I daily read the Bible, and even though I'm not even through the OT after 15 months, I still feel like the daily time in the Word is a blessing I couldn't have imagined. I pray regularly and the daily dialogue reminds me that I am not all there is, and that this life is fleeting. I finally get what it means to live for the future instead of the here & now.
Because of that, I think I might get what the saints hold out for. Amen!
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Thing 2-There is a website I learned about today that gives an overview of what our congress-people are doing, voting on, and making noise about. The bonus is that it is easy to access, read, and understand. There are links to "most viewed members" as well as links to current bills being debated. Other interesting stuff abounds as well. The site is www.opencongress.org
Friday, March 9, 2007
- The best thing about having dogs is how much they can teach me. Forever I have tried walking them separately, and no one has been happy. The dog on the walk is yanking my arm out, trying to track down every scent. The dog at home barks the entire time we're gone. I am cranky because I am worried about the barking dog annoying my neighbors and fearful that the walking dog will pull my arm out. This week I got brave. I created an extra leash out of stuff in my garage, pulled Junnah's training halter out of my car where it has not been used in over 2 years, and took both dogs out--together. Wonders never cease! It was our best walk ever! Both dogs were so entertained by the other that they didn't try pulling my arms out while chasing down every other interesting thing in the neighborhood. We've walked 3 times this week, and we are all happier.
- I watched a documentary this week about sisters who had both been molested by the same abuser when they were very young. It was sad, and someday I will talk about why the film spoke to me so much. Remind me, because I'll try to forget.
- My house is quiet tonight, and one of the neighbors is grilling out. It smells delicious.
- My prayer life is changing bit by tiny bit. My friend Julie and I were talking this week about how my standard prayer is really a list of requests from God. "Please watch over so and so, please help me be patient," you know the list. I was convicted when I read some of Paul's prayers, and Julie helped define them as general, but effectual. I'm still fleshing that out, and enjoying it.
- I think someday I'd like to be married and have kids, but I'm gradually starting to be okay with the idea that it may not be God's plan for me...again with the wonders!
Have a great day! (I'm probably praying for you!)
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
Who knew what movies lay in wait for me? I'm watching documentaries, drama, and comedy, but not in such equal measure. Someone please remind me that there is no harm in laughing every once in a while and to get off the documentary wagon for a bit.
So, no more Boys of Baraka, Born Into Brothels, Awful Normal, until I've laughed some. (Though I may risk that on Shut up and Sing, about the Dixie Chicks.)
Friday, March 2, 2007
Sunday, February 25, 2007
For me, it's a breathtaking adventure, learning how much My Father loves me. It's interesting how it happens, I'm just reading along and all of the sudden POW! a revelation that I am loved!
And not the cheesy red buttons you get at the jewelry store "I am loved" but the remarkable I will give you everything you need to live and love and celebrate the life and creation I've given you kind of love.
Now, how does this connect to Ezekiel? Well, I'll tell it this way. I have been trying to change the 'why' behind my writing. I didn't want to write solely from a sad, dark, lonely place anymore, so I tried something new this week. As I was reading Ezekiel I wrote down what struck me from the material, whether it was something that was said directly or just an impression that I got. Granted, I only remembered to take any notes two days, but both of them were pretty awe-inspiring.
I took notes (and very limited ones at that) on chapters 1-6, but here's what I got. In the first few chapters, I realized how unimaginative I am, how I like the idea of words but I would never use the phrases "like sparkling beryl" or "the expanse...like lapis lazuli" to describe anything in creation. I would say, 'oh, that's shiny' or 'what a nice shade of blue.'
Then I noted that I am indeed, like Judah, "a rebellious house" who does not want to depart from my sin. Then I saw that Ezekiel was unable to act on his own, so "the Spirit entered him." I realized what a gift it is to have a God who loves us so much that He will do for us what we are unwilling or unable to do. (Sound familiar anyone?)
Finally, I was thunderstruck by the fact that God promises that Judah "will know He is Lord" after each and every calamity He lays before them, and I realized (in a duh!) moment that I still don't quite get what that means. I mean, okay, he created everything, gave the Israelites multiple opportunities to love and serve him, then when they couldn't He gave his Son to be sacrificed because that just suited Him???? I don't think any human being, especially a parent, could actually make that decision, so it begs the question,
Do we ever fully understand that He is Lord? How can we?
Monday, February 19, 2007
Today, then, was excellent. A quiet morning with my sister, yummy breakfast and a morning movie. Then off to a productive (half) day at work, with lots of things checked off my list. This was followed by a great dinner with friends, none of which I made, so it was the ultimate in indulgent delicious-ness. A bit more work, to get a project done a couple of days early (yay!), then off to other friends for a long-overdue visit.
I am exhausted, but feel complete.
I started reading Ezekiel yesterday, noticing some interesting stuff there, but I'll save that for another post.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
"I could not count the times during the average day when something would come up that I needed to tell him. This impulse did not end with his death. What ended was the possibility of response. I read something in the paper that I would normally have read to him. I notice some change in the neighborhood that would interest him...I recall coming in from Central Park one morning in mid-August with urgent news to report...I am dropping my keys on the table inside the door before I fully remember. There is no one to hear this news, nowhere to go with the unmade plan, the uncompleted thought."
"Marriage is memory, marriage is time. Marriage is not only time: it is also, parodoxically, the denial of time. For forty years I saw myself through John's eyes. I did not age. This year for the first time since I was twenty-nine I saw myself through the eyes of others. This year for the first time since I was twenty-nine I realized that my image of myself was of someone significantly younger."
And this, my friends, is why I am terrified of getting married. I'm not sure I could handle the loss.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
A bit about me, in case you linked to me through someone you know and you have no idea who I am. I manage a coffee shop and love it. I am a Christian, a member of Redeemer Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Waco, TX (which, for the record, I also love). I am the 10th of 13 children (hence the name of the blog), and yes, I grew up Catholic, and no, there are no multiple births, and yes, indeed, my mother is a saint. (For the record, I think she may also by slightly insane, but who wouldn't be after 13 kids, eh?) Apparently, I also love parentheses, but I don't think that relationship is going anywhere.
I tend to write when I am moved by something I read, or when something is troubling me. I will often ask for prayer about something I am struggling with, so I appreciate any and all comments about people praying with/for me...it is very comforting to have such love from people I don't even know!
Thanks for reading, let me know what things you're thinking & praying about. I'll be back!