Sunday, April 14, 2013

Thoughts on church

I can't help but wonder if God is grieved when (we) try to pack so many to-do's in on Sundays that we miss out on the beauty of sabbath?

My heart grows weary when I'm so exhausted on Sundays and I can't think about any part of my day that I geniunely enjoyed. That we are so desperate to pack in activities that have no value? It's heart breaking.

I am growing weary of the routine. I'm going to sound hypocritical because I love routine. I have a morning routine and a work routine. I have routine. But on Saturdays and Sundays, routine drives me crazy if its wasteful. I don't want to be a people babysitter. (Nor do I want anyone to babysit me.) I want to do things that are meaningful and intentional. That doesn't necessarily translate to complicated. I don't need some big splash, some unnecessary hooplah that is just a show. But I do need things that are intentional.

I'm struggling to find that. I still wrestle with putting expectations on people. But I don't want to look back at 2013 and see the frustration that I've seen the last thee months.

Plainly put, I'm craving a change in my routine.

Help me Jesus.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

2013 word.

I need to start this post off by saying how thankful I am for bloggy friends that have become good friends! Over the now 8 years I’ve been blogging (including the year that no one really knows about), I have been so blessed. I pray that you all have a very blessed New Year in 2013.

With that said, it’s One Word time.

If my memory serves me correct, I was skeptical about this idea that first year I wrote mine. I really didn’t think I’d make it 2 weeks without somehow screwing up and dropping the ball on the word I chose. Last year I know that I felt similar trepidation because balance is not my strong suit. But I could have never guessed how wrong I would be, both times, and how optimistic it makes me for this year!

My 2011 word was intentional. God definitely started a reshaping process in me that I can only describe as being thrown in a fire. I had more people in 2011 that wanted to hold me accountable than ever before. People that depended on me. People that I needed to give my word to, and mean it. I wish I could tell you I was on my game 100% of the time, but I wasn’t, and that was okay. Fortunately those same folks that needed me had a lot of grace. But I am better. Daily I continue to get better. For every stumble, there is a corresponding and reactive victory.

My 2012 word was balance. I was apparently blogging prophetic and poetic when I decided on this word because WOW at the difference a year makes. Balance is hard. And this year was no exception to being pushed and prodded at being a better, more balanced person. While I didn’t make any progress in my weight, I make a HUGE advance in my finances. I stuck to a budget book for the last 10 months. I bought a car! (My first time buying a car!) I kept (and still keep) a balanced checkbook. I know where every penny is going. I started keeping a notebook at work to not be so scatterbrained. I started keeping my house in better balance. I know that I need accountability, so having someone come to my house at least once a week prevented my house from looking like Hurricane Sandy stopped by. I started telling people no when what they were asking was too hard for me. I ROYGBIV’d my closet at home. I haven’t lost a pair of pants in 8 months. I still haven’t achieved full balance, but that’s okay. Also, that’s realistic. Balance for me is also dependent on what is going on. Sometimes balance just means being flexible.

2012 was hard for me. There were so many things going on in my life that I never blogged about, but I carried the weight and stress every day. At the end of the year, I had a day where I got a break. I told someone that it felt like I could breathe deeply for the first time in 14 months. It didn’t mean all of my problems went away, but one very important stress factor was eliminated. And PRAISE GOD for that. I traveled the world (almost by myself) this year. I flew 68 hours in 9 days. I visited another continent. I spent New Years (last year) in Washington DC. I rejoined the online dating world, and then quit it again. (Dear Sweet, Wonderful Husband of mine, I would LOVE to just meet you IRL. Also, please come quickly!) There were relationships that healed this year. I had to grow and stretch, and even though it was painful at times, I know I am better and stronger because of those trials. I have loved more deeply this year than ever before. My best friend’s baby stole my heart all over again. (And He knows it too!) I watched another bestie marry the man of her dreams. I dyed my hair tangerine by accident.

But none of that matters if I’m not changed. That’s why my 2013 word is TRANSFORM.

It’s often said that, if you don’t have a goal, then your reasons for starting something are futile and you’ll quit (whatever you’re doing) in a matter of weeks.

Achieving balance in my life was only one part of the transition of life. The beauty of balance to me, is that it frees you up to some growth and opportunity in areas where you’d only seen chaos. Now it’s clear.

And I need some transformation!

2013 has already started as the year to transform my body. I hate the changes I’ve chosen to me, but my weight is not going to magically fall off. And I have to do something about it.

Romans 12:2 admonishes us that we are transformed by the renewing of our mind. Spiritually? That’s where I need to go. I don’t think I’m fundamentally wrong in my theology, but I need the Holy Spirit to radically transform me this year. Whole new level, if you will.

Daily I have thoughts and attitudes that are wrong. I need them to be wrecked and transformed.

I still have some work behaviors that need to be transformed too!

More than anything (and I know this is a lofty (and will be at times a painful!) goal), but I want to look back at 2013 and not recognize who I was, for the good. I need my heart and head and body to be completely transformed.

I’m ready!!!!!!



Saturday, December 8, 2012

Love in the Joint

I posted a photo the other day on Instagram and realized that I may not have ever shared this story! Here goes:

Labor Day Weekend 1997 (I feel like Sophia Pettrillo). We had a gas leak in my neighborhood that weekend. We smelled a little bit of that rotten egg smell on Saturday, but by Sunday, we knew we had a big problem. Several neighbors called the city and even though they would have preferred to wait, we all knew that if this leak wasn't fixed, it was gonna be bad news. The utility trucks arrived around 5 that evening and when we got back home from church that night, they were still there. All in all, they would up digging five or six 6'x6' holes in the road to find the leak. (As an aside, my parents only live about a mile and a half from the Chattahoochee. If that leak has blown up, there would have been major damage to the river and water system.) All of us were assured that the city would not leave giant holes in the road.

The next morning, my Mom woke me up to tell me she was going to my grandparents. So, I got dressed in a hurry. I grabbed a teal Disney magic music days t-shirt, hunter green and navy Disney shorts, my gold round frame glasses, threw my hair in a ponytail and ran out the door. My mom and I got in the car and left.

This should be the end of the story, but, no.

The following Sunday night, as we were getting ready for church. My mom handed me a letter. It was addressed to "Babygirl" and although my address wasn't right, I thought it was a joke.

That is, until I read the letter.

Apparently, in the 30 seconds it took to walk from the back door of my parents house to my Mom's car, I'd made quite an impression.

What detail I'd seemingly forgotten is that the city, in an effort to save money, didn't want to pay the regular city workers time-and-a-half to patch those holes in the street on a holiday.

So they opted to use free, available labor -- the inmates from the county jail.

That's right, I got a letter from a prisoner.

So, if you're keeping track, my options for a beloved are as follows: a 17 year-old, an Inmate, and guys on the Internet. Lucky me!

(You should know that I wrote this post in Waffle House this am.) Just as I was finishing up, a 2-toothed cook lingered a little too long asking how my food was. So I'm guessing I should add him to the list too.

God help my future gene pool. And somebody help me.

That convent is looking better and better.


Friday, December 7, 2012

30 days of Christian Mingle

(I need to preface what I write with this: I will do my best not to mention a single screen name. I am thankful for dating website and realize this posts could get me banned for life.)

Currently, I'm listening to a cover of a Celine Dion song that transports me (regardless of the artist) back to my 17 year old self. I'm not proud of this, but I was so cruel to a few boys. Boys that I never, ever in a million years meant to hurt, but now see very clearly, how badly I hurt them. (I'M SO SORRY. TRULY I AM.) Ironically enough, they're all married now. With kids.

(Maybe it's not karma, but it's definitely the golden rule. How you treat people will affect how others treat you.)

And even though I swore that I would never do it again, I joined Christian Mingle.

Right now, you're judging me. That's fine. I'm still judging me, so we're even.

I had one of those weirdo nights where I got very sad about being single. I have days where it truthfully just sucks. (There are also a lot of days where I have no time to dwell on my lack-o-relationship.) I joined and promised myself that I wouldn't tell anybody. And that lasted about two days. I was intrigued.

I justified my actions by not paying for the site. You can just be a member for free. You don't have to answer a million questions (I'm talking to you EHarmony) but what you write, and the pictures you want to post have to be approved. It just takes a day or two. Not a big deal. Very early after I joined, I got an email. Because I wasn't paying, I couldn't read the email. This is my one big Christian Mingle regret. (Later on, once I paid, I read the email and nearly cried because it was so sweet.) It was from a very kind guy and I honestly don't think I deserved the nice things he said about me – a complete stranger. Sadly, he's not on CM anymore meaning I missed my chance.

What I have gotten so tickled about though are the screen names that people choose. And the places they take photos. And the animals they take photos with. When I tell you that there are a few folks that have provided HOURS of entertainment, I'm not kidding. One guy was wearing an eye patch and I wound up speaking in a pirate voice for almost two days. ARGGH. One guy's photos all included his ex-wife. (He mentioned her in his profile. UUMMM, NO.) One guy was having a LOT of mental health issues and went into great depth to detail those issues. One guy took a photo in a windowless white van. (Thanks to a bevy of lifetime movies in my latter teen years, I am afraid of being kidnapped in a windowless white van.) A LOT of guys take photos in a bathroom. With visible toilets. Often lid up.

Side note: if you can't take a better photo than that, I must conclude you are NOT the man that God has for me. Thanks for playing. True story.

There are a lot of dogs that make photos. Strangely enough, no cats. One guy had a ginormous iguana/kimodo dragon/lizard that could eat him. Nothing screams "I'm sexy" like reptiles. (I should make a shirt that says that. #winning)

And the screen names. OH MY WORD. Every superhero, superpower, James Bond, bible verses, and more "Christian-ese" phrases than I can shake a stick at. I have seriously loved every one.

I went into this process with my very short list of non-negotiables: must love Jesus, at least 5'9", gainfully employed. Now my list is longer and I'm contemplating chucking the whole list out the window. (Seriously, who am I to know God's best for me?)

I haven't found love. Instead, I've started googling how to join a convent.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Single part 1

A friend of mine posted a hilarious tweet the other day:

"Me to Jesus: If I can't have sex, I better have some words of knowledge & miracles all up in here"

First off, I died laughing because my friend is hilarious. Secondly, I amen'd her because she's so right. This is how I feel more often than not.

Today I got a text from a lady at church:

can anybody take my place helping in the nursery tonight at 530? i feel awful n 2 ppl already cancelled.

I hate that this lady is sick, but her stinkin' thinkin' barely skins the surface of the frustration I feel sometimes, especially from church people.

Mostly because church people are the worst offenders when it comes to single folks. We have leprosy. We are undesired and unloved. That is, until there's a need, and then it's assumed we have no life and thusly no excuse to not jump in and help do the things that no one else wants to do because they've been blessed with a spouse (and possibly kids). And we should all be jumping to help because, hello... PURPOSE.

I feel that the older I get, and maybe, hopefully it's just a season, but I'm struggling with singleness. At night, my heart aches out of frustration. I get angry when people justify why I'm alone (God's just preparing somebody for you!), and as of the last few days, find myself more and more restless. It's exhausting.

I'm not angry at God. I would just like him to move a little faster. Expedite His plan.

And then there's sex... I should probably pace myself and save that for another post though...


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Thankful things, part 3

I know, bad blogger. (Do not guilty eye me.) life is fun and busy!

But I'm thankful!

31. Back on some medicine but no nausea!
32. Cooler weather!
33. Long sleeves
34. Not having to shave as often. Ha!
35. Friendships that are worth fighting for.
36. My mom (whose birthday is today!) I love her.
37. 5Ks and Fun Runs.
38. Carmex healing cream lotion (try it. It'll change your life)
39. Homemade makeup remover that keeps me from looking like a raccoon!
40. One of my best friends getting married next weekend!


Monday, September 10, 2012

Thankful things part 2

14. College friends getting together
15. That regardless of time, distance, or crazy -- these people love me, and I them. Deeply.
16. Making buckeyes candy with friends! Yum!
17. No traffic and beautiful weather for Sunday drives.
18. Quality time with teen girls discussing Jesus & life.
19. Heart friends.
20. Being able to smell fresh cut grass.
21. Saturday am walk. Woo hoo!
22. Snuggling with Ada!
23. Videoing Hudson telling me he loves me.
24. Meeting my best friends fiancé.
25. Alabama football. ROLL TIDE!
26. Laughing on the phone with my brother.
27. Worshipping my Jesus.
28. Tweets to start a Jericho march in church. :)
29. Focus at work.
30. People in my house! (I've missed it)

Hope you are having a great day!!