Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Your name: Jennifer
1. Famous Athlete: Jesse "The Body" Ventura
2. 4 letter word: Jump
3. Street name: JFK Parkway
5. Gifts/presents: Jewels
7. Tropical Locations:
8. College Majors:
9. Dairy Products:
10. Things in a Souvenir Shop:
11. Boy Name: John
12. Girl Name: Janna
13. Movie Titles:
15. Occupations: Janitor
17. Celebrities: Jennifer Garner, Anniston, Lopez... etc.
19. U.S. Cities: Jacksonville
20. Pro Sports Teams: Jacksonville Jaguars
21. Something Found in a kitchen:
22. Reason for Being Late: Just running late...
23. Something You Throw Away: Junk
24. Things You Shout: JUMP!!
25. Cartoon Character: Jiminy Cricket?
This has been a wild month for me! Sometimes, I'm ridiculously reflective and take inventory on what's been happening. Here's a list of just a few things:
1) Documentation. I have journaled or blogged almost every single day this month. For the first time in seven years, I have kept a paper journal. I love it. I didn't set ridiculous expectations, and if I have "fallen short", I just pick up again. In lamens terms, that means that I didn't write in the journal four days. Four out of thirty-one isn't bad though.
2) Revelation. God has really rocked my 31 days!!! He has revealed lots of things in my life -- relationships, my faults and areas that need improvement, closed doors, etc. The list goes on long!
3) Impartation. (I know... this is getting out of hand, right?) I'm amazed at the ways that people have imparted into my life. Books too.
4) Anticipation. This is by far my favorite! So many things have been renewed this month, and I am left with nothing by an excitement for what's coming!!!!
Okay, so I write that, and now I have no where to go with this entry. Later...
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Monday, January 29, 2007
What a weekend! Let me start first by saying that, God is good, All the time. Maybe that seems like a ridiculous way to start an entry, but when life doesn’t go as planned, Praise God anyway. It works. For all the things I’ve learned in the last several months, it’s definitely been God’s faithful and sovereignty in life. God is constant. Always.
Friday night, I went to dinner with a few friends to a Cleveland specialty. Had an interesting discussion with one of the people there – almost a doctrinal debate, but not really. It’s okay for Christians to see things differently. I did get to see all of the new girls (they were trying to figure out how to raise money for this semester). I just love them! After dinner, we headed to my house to play a rousing game of Speed Scrabble. Now, I’m fairly dictionarily talented, but I thought I was playing horrible. A good hour and a half into the game, I realized that I had been scoring incorrectly. I placed last because I had only been adding the value once, instead of at every intersection. I can’t wait for a rematch to redeem myself.
Saturday morning, I ran a few errands around town – just trying to get things done that I don’t typically have time to do when I’m there. Unfortunately, every place that I needed to go was CLOSED. Oh well. My friend Ashley lives in Charlotte, but her parents live in Cleveland, so they had a baby shower for her. She’s having a little girl – Ella Grace – sometime in March. I had a great time seeing a few old friends and catching up.
I went to West Point Saturday night, in preparation of my best friend’s shower on Sunday. I didn’t get home until fairly late (my mom was aggravated), but I had a good time just driving and relaxing. I also had the chance and time to talk to a few people/catch up on a few conversations. It’s hard when you want to spend an hour talking to someone, but you get interrupted and only have five minutes. Totally defeats quality time. But, I finally got the chance and enjoyed it.
Sunday, was my best friend baby shower. She’s having a little boy and is due Feb 21. She went to the doctor on Friday, and she’s 2 ½ centimeters dialated and 70% ephased. She’ll be lucky to make it to Friday. (Also found out that my cousin had early labor pains and may have her baby two weeks before her due date as well.)
Spending time with Laura yesterday,… was beyond therapeutic. I have repeatedly blogged about how thankful I am for her friendship, and yesterday, when I unseemingly needed her the most, we were able to be together. God has blessed her with a good husband, and two beautiful children, with #3 ready to come out. Our lives are so different – but still alike. We share a lot of the same values. Our methodologies are just different. She’s an encourager, a confidante, the straightforward honest opinion that I always need, funny, sweet, talented, and inspiring. She, unlike almost anyone else, knows me for who I really am. And she loves me for me. I cannot thank God enough for blessing my life with her and her family. I posted the picture of she and I from yesterday. Albeit blurry, that’s the first time in probably two years where that’s MY smile. It’s genuine. No holds barred. I just love it!!!
** On a different note… just wanted to share this little “nugget”:
“Fear and hiding go together like adolescence and hormones. The very first recorded instance of fear reflects this: “Where were you, Adam?” “I heard you in the garden, And I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid.” And we have been hiding ever since – behind smiles we don’t really feel, behind agreeable words we don’t really believe, mostly behind the things we truly feel and believe but refuse to say. I hate to say it, but sometimes – for altogether different reasons these days – I still play the quiet game. All too often I hold back from saying what I truly thing or feel because of fear. I am afraid of what someone might think of me; or I am afraid of the pain in the conflict that might emerge; or I am afraid that I will have to spend more energy cleaning up the relational mess that will emerge than I really want to spend. You play the quiet game when you pretend something does not bother you when it really does; or when you pretend to agree with someone when you really don’t; o r when you act as if you don’t care, but you really do. Fear always lies behind the quiet game.” (John Ortberg)
Revolutionizing my world to not hide behind the fear is not going to be easy or quick. I’m refusing to hide anymore. I’m getting out of the boat.
I have never seen the thermometer in my car read this number. It's cold! My brother called to tell me that last Tuesday, it was -11 degrees where he's staying. He discovered that shampoo froze at that temperature.
This weekend I had two baby showers. One was for my friend Ashley, the other for my Very Best Friend Laura. A lot of fun!!! Here are a few pictures...
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Friday, January 26, 2007
I had this whole long random blog prepared of stuff I thought was worth sharing. Then God took my breath away. (And the church say "Whew!".)
I would describe me as weird. Weird in relation to normal. But who's really normal? And I am that weird? No, I don't think so. Weird is my subconcious' way of saying "Have pity on me. Get to know me. Please like me." Stupid subconcious. :) My friend K. told me a story yesterday. Her husband is a meter-reader for a power company in GA. He's in Dahlonega now. Yesterday, he called and the convo went as follow:
Husband: "Guess what I'm staring at?"
Wife: "A bear?"
Husband: "No, better. Two tigers and a lion."
Wife: "WHERE ARE YOU?"
Husband: "Behind a trailer up on this mountain trying to get a reading for this house."
Wife: "Really? Tigers and a Lion?"
Now THIS is weird. (I'm not mocking modular accommodations -- read the rest of this scenario.) If you live in a trailer, up on the side of a mountain in Dahlonega, Georgia, WHAT would possess you to purchase two tigers and a lion? Where do you go to buy tigers and lions? (I assume that Petco and Petsmart don't just keep those cages ready to buy.) If you have the money and lack of common sense to purchase those animals -- why do you live in a trailer? I think this validates that I am not weird, or at least not as weird as I think. I do not own any animals that can grow to weigh more than I do or would ever consider me a meal. Moreover, I can't ever understand why you would come to the conclusion to up and purchase such an animal. I can (never) imagine the conversation with my future spouse of "Honey, I really like our indoor pet, but I think we need something outside, maybe something wild." NEVER. Never in a million years.
I guess I'm going to have to come up with a new adjective to describe myself. Pray Church Pray.
""I understand that to be with you may in fact mean degredation rather than accommodation." We have not been promised palatial housing, but we have been promised His presence. We often find ourselves in spaces that seem the last spot on earth we would have picked to insert ourselves, engaged in things that we never imagined ourselves having to do, but we can know this comfort; that wherever we are, we are in the very residence of God and this is sweeter and greater than anywhere without Him. We carry His residence into these spaces. Perhaps we're on our hands and knees with sponge and soap because someone has just made a mess of things or maybe we've just noticed that most places we inhabit are in need of cleaning. Living praise often leads us close to the ground. To dirt. It often leads to industry that is unglamorous and unromantic. It often leads us to sweat and toil and lonesome valleys. But around the bend are cool springs. Thse moments are holy becuase we know that wherever we find ourselves, we are in the very house of God. And there is space and comfort here exceeding anything offered elsewhere. Even if it leads us to dark places on our hands and knees, it is sweeter than lying on a beach in Greece because the sunshine of our Maker's presence is brighter and stronger than a thousand stars, and it reaches wherever we are." David Crowder Praise Habit
Thursday, January 25, 2007
I have been in a slump the last day or so. NO MORE. This is the day that the Lord has made and I WILL rejoice and be glad in it. Period.
Gas prices are another reason to shout. It only cost me $26.00 to fill up my tank. Now... my tank runneth over! Surely goodness and inexpensive gas prices will follow me ALL of the days of my life. Most likely not, but it's good to worship God for cheaper gas anyway. (The sky looks rad in the picture too.)
My roommate cracks me up. She and I had a two-hour conversation about our celebrity crushes. Well, that, and that my brother sent me a bootleg copy of The Holiday (Jack Black, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, and Kate Winslet), and people kept walking in front of the screen.... absolutely hysterical.
I'm still reading the John Ortberg book. If you haven't read it -- DO IT. Last night, I read something that challenged my heart. It's too good to share right now. Read the book though. You will totally want to do it too. (That was very Valley Girl, huh?)
Anywho... on to Thursday Thirteen. I've slacked on this, but today is a new day!!!
Thirteen things that fill my heart with Joy TODAY:
1. God's love and promises. Everlasting to Everlasting rocks my soul!!
2. David Caruso -- did you actually think he wouldn't be up at the top?
3. Psalm 63:1 -- "O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water."
4. Getting to see my best friend this weekend! (We're throwing her a baby shower!)
5. My pending girls' weekend in Gatlinburg with Amanda, Miranda, and Aubre.
6. Hawai'i. Aloha!!!
7. My bootleg copy of The Holiday -- rent it on DVD when it comes out. I loved this movie!
8. A pending trip to Charlotte with my friend Crystal.
9. Gas prices!!
10. Eating Zaxby's with old friends today!
11. Beautiful weather outside -- it's cold, but the sky is majestic!
12. Being able to tag my friends who think they're too busy, but know that they have 13 reasons to be joyful!!
13. New blogs to read... !!!
My tag is to all my blog friends (and anyone I haven't met!!!)
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Bible study was a bit of a downer last night. I know that it's change, and it's uncomfortable, but that it's going to be okay. I had a conversation with my Mom last night about the kind of person I want to be. I don't think it's ever too late to change. I'm striving... that's all I can say.
On an entirely different note, a fellow that I went to college with, and had the privilege of working with him and his wife one summer, made it to Hollywood for American Idol!!! Because of contractual obligation, he is not allowed to let anyone know how far he made it (whether he'll be a part of the top 30), but the fact that he made it is Very Impressive! Here's the Link. His name is Phil Stacey, and he was a part of Lee Singers, and their ensemble Second Edition. Phil is an interesting guy... (his wife is Stacey, and she's precious!), and they have two daughters. He missed the birth of his second daughter because he auditioned. So... VOTE FOR PHIL!!!!
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
I'm "blah" right now. Make the sound. Stick your tongue out. I don't know why I feel this way.
We have auditors at work right now. They are asking a million questions. About everything. And anything. I really don't have a problem with the auditors. I get frustrated when they ask about stuff that was so inconsequential last year, but are making a big deal because they didn't do it last year. THAT frustrates me. I told my brother about it last night, and he told me to SUD it.
** I just spent... WASTED... five minutes of my time looking for a definition link for SUD. It's a Summary of unadjusted differences. And it's so irrelevant to the story now, I'm not sure why I mentioned it.
I have homework to do tonight before bible study. Gotta go.
The homework made me cry today. It's getting good.
He posts people secrets. Novel but simple idea. While I was listening to him last night, I thought about the liberation people feel when they send in secrets. Then I thought about sin. To the unchurched, unsaved world, secrets keep us in bondage. To the churched world, secrets are sin, and we ALL know that sin keeps us in bondage. Frank mentioned last night that he's not a religious man. Sometimes God will use people in ways they never intended. If one person can find freedom with a sin their struggling with by sending in a 4X6 secret, then I'm all for it. I could really expound on that more, but I'm going to refrain on purpose.
I did meet a nice lady last night. She and I talked the entire time we were in line. I wanted to thank Frank for the "engagement" that secrets give people. Camaraderie. Compassion. Empathy. Sympathy. Emotion.
Instead... I gave him two of my very own secrets.
Monday, January 22, 2007
Friday night, I had a David Caruso marathon. I'm on the verge of sending him a fan letter. Friday night, I finally saw the three episodes involved in his character's wife's death on CSI:Miami. The next-to-last episode of last season, he married one of his employee's (and friend's) sister. On the last episode, she was murdered. (Bummer.) On the first episode of this season (#5), they showed Horatio (David) going to visit her grave. The tombstone read - 1978 2006. I freaked out! I was born in 1978! I know this is weird, but I don't care, and frankly, it's just perpetuating my celebrity crush!!!! So, even though he's 50, I know he would love a 28 year old. LOL!
Saturday, went to a wedding for my friends J. & J. It was beautiful!!! I didn't have that "I'm going to slit wrist because I'm still single" feeling either. I realized that, it's okay that it's not my time. It will happen, and it will be better than I can anticipate, and I can't wait. The bride's family was not really supportive, and you can see that she is still processing frustration. You can't eradicate a year and a half worth of tension, anxiety, frustration, and hurt in a 40-minute ceremony. But... a honeymoon to Spain is definitely a great way to start! J. is one of those women who I respect and admire. She is more beautiful inside than I can articulate. She inspires me.
Saturday night, I spent time with some "new girls". When I got in DZT six years ago, I wanted someone to make an investment in me. A few girls did. But in my heart, I wanted more. I wanted to know more people, and never really took the time to do that. Saturday night, I had the chance to actually talk to some of these incredible girls. They are young, and had lots of questions, and were very funny, but one... she got my attention. Right now, it's not important to know the details of why she got my attention, but she did. So... I'm going to do what I wanted someone to do for me... I'm going to really make an investment. I really felt in my heart to intercede for her, pray for her, and in a weird way, silently mentor her. She may never know who I am, but I want to stand in the gap for her. So... for the next ten weeks, I'm going to invest in her life, and love her as my sister, and pray for God to show her so much... more than I can articulate right now.
Sunday... I had a good time with God, and got in a fight with a representative from Linksys. Please do not ever buy their products. EVER.
Tonight, I am going to (try) to meet Frank Warren, creation/originator of Post Secret. I'm super-excited!!! I have a secret for him. I (secretly) hope it will make in to the website.
I have other stuff, but want to have it worded correctly. I will post later.
Friday, January 19, 2007
How would you answer if someone asked you who you are? The truth is sometimes I forget who I belong to. I forget that God alone gives me my identity. If I dig a little deeper and answer with complete honesty the question of who I am, my answer includes these responses: I am someone who struggles with losing the same ten pounds; sometimes I respond in fear rather than faith; I can be selfish and not want to serve others; I've made mistakes in the past and can carry them around like a ball and chain.
The truth is that sometimes I let my past, my feelings, and others' disapproval of me define me; rather than letting God and His Word define me. However, the closer I grow to the Lord, the more I understand that those other definitions are lies, not the truth. God's enemy, Satan, is a liar who wants to keep me from walking in the truth. The truth of who I am is found in God's Word. I know who I am when I know Whose I am.
Let these statements remind you of who you are and Whose you are:
Nothing can separate you from God's love (Romans 8: 35 – 39).
You are God's work of art, His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10).
God does not condemn you (Romans 8: 1,2).
God loves you so much that the price He paid to have a relationship with you was His own life (1 Corinthians 6: 20).
Jesus is your Daddy (Romans 8:15).
God's love for you is everlasting and unfailing. He wants you to have a relationship with Him where you grow closer to Him and look more like Him as you abide in His truth. Rest in the truth that His steadfast love never fails.
Dear Father, I am so thankful that I am Your child and that You love me. I am thankful that Your love never changes and that nothing will take Your love away from me. Open my eyes to any lies I'm believing about myself and my life. Help me to believe only You – not Satan, not my feelings, not what anyone else says. In Jesus' Name, Amen
This week has been humbling, to say the least. I find myself in moments where I am so excited about what God is doing, but realize that I have a LONG way to go. The road to spiritual maturity is paved with (me) falling on my face alot. Strangely enough, I'm okay with that.
Last night was the "new" part of induction for my Sorority. My Alma Mater made several changes this year, and the club added a portion that included alumnae. I'm trying to be as vague as possible, because I'm struggling with whether I should even be blogging this at all. I am, based on the justification that I can, and it bothers me, but the war within is whether I'm blogging out of anger and frustration, and also cognitively, who I'm blogging to. As I've late, I've been sharing this blog with a lot of people, to open up for a plethora of reasons. There are however, a few who I feel would use this in a way to attempt to hurt me. It's a Catch 22. You can't share the good and the bad, and be exposed, without being subject to the consequences.
So here goes:
Wednesday, I received an email from a "sister" who I haven't spoken to or seen in nearly a year. Her email frustrated me in that, it was a "command" to do something that I was not responsible for, nor I am directly involved in. I chose to ignore it. (I rarely do this -- but I was very frustrated with this person.) My frustration came because this person indicated for me to email out information to a list of people whose email addresses she had (she replied to a forward she received with all the info intact), and I still can't figure out why SHE couldn't email that out to everyone?!? Also, what she was asking me to pass along -- I didn't know as fact. Seeing her last night, just infuriated me. She intentionally didn't speak to me, and I her. It's so immature. My behavior that is. But I didn't have anything nice to say, and was afraid that I was going to be not nice in a setting where that behavior was completely inappropriate. Then to add fuel to my fire, seeing the rest of the entourage and the cliches that still exist, long after we've graduated.
I know that I should not care. I KNOW THAT. But the fact is that I do, and I know that this is where I fall short emotionally, but virtue that I am still in need to that acceptance. Some of the people that spoke last night. Not because they were funny, but because of the hypocrisy. I wish I could go into detail. I REALLY wish I could go into detail. But, I'm not, and it's foolish, and it's probably stupid for me to even write about this, but ... I did. My hope is that I won't come back and feel some need to edit/erase this.
Last night, I really had to struggle alot with forgiveness. I don't see where I did anything wrong to these people. I've tried, with great gesture, to let them know that I love them, and want the best for them, and yet, I am still received coldly and, just plain hatefully! But I want to make things as "right" as I can. It starts with me asking for forgiveness. I do need to ask forgiveness for my hateful attitude, and obviously, my not so pure thoughts. We're admonished to think on things that are good, and (reading the above), I am obviously struggling with that. I know this is a sign of spiritual maturity as well... and it's a day by day process. Last night, I seriously contemplated another huge gesture to say "I think you're Great!", but decided that, this is one of those times where it's really best to say "I'm sorry." and realize that God will heal the frustration in my heart. Should they choose not to forgive me, then it lies on their hands, not mine.
Kay Arthur once said (my paraphase) that we would be hard-pressed to find where Jesus ever told us to forgive ourselves. He repeatedly instructs us to forgive others and to accept His Forgiveness. Because of our sin nature, we have no capacity to forgive ourselves; it must be from Him.
I know that there are people in my life that I have "done wrong". That's why I love "My Name is Earl". Although the premise of the show is a comedy, the fact is, if we could write a list of things we'd done wrong, people we'd mistreated, and mistakes we'd made and undo them all, we WOULD. In a heartbeat. This weekend, I have the prime opportunity to make restitution for a roommate that I apparently mistreated. I was stupid. I can't undo anything. But I am going to ask her forgiveness, and pray for healing, and believe that God will take care of the rest.
Albeit COMPLETELY FRUSTRATING, I am thankful for last night's event. It reminds me of my humanity, and that God will humble me when I get too big for my own good. It's all about him, and not about me. I am unworthy of forgiveness, but "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son. Whoever believes in Him, will not die, but have everlasting life." J3:16. And God knew I would struggle repeatedly with this stuff, so he and Peter had this conversation:
"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.""
I've got a long way to go...
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
I'm eating a pop-tart that's ridiculously soft, even though I didn't put it in the toaster. The texture is making my mouth concerned. I was craving a Bacon, Egg, & Cheese biscuit from the new McDonald's in Cohutta, but I resisted this morning. Yay for willpower.
It's 30 degrees outside, and as I pulled up to work this morning, I realized that I left my jacket at home! I am still slightly frustrated with myself. Oh well. At least I have on a good sweater.
I am easily intimidated by people. I can be cool and confident on the outside, but secretly I am seeking approval from people -- and it all comes out in some serious intimidation for me. Tomorrow night, my sorority is having a special ceremony for "new girls" and alumni. There will be people there that I haven't seen in a while. And I'm going shopping tonight. I have been out of college for five years, I have a good job, but I still in some weird way am intimidated by them and feel some need to impress. I have moments where I feel like the cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz.
My roommate left me the sweetest note last night. I wanted to squeeze her when I read it this morning. :) Also... we are addicted to "Dog, The Bounty Hunter". We even google'd Leland last night. He would be perfect for my roomie, since she's 4'11", and Leland's only 5'5". We are trying to figure out how to get to Hawaii QUICKLY!!!
And my celebrity crush is getting out of hand. I looked up David Caruso yesterday, and my heart actually skipped a beat!! I know that I am getting older when I think a 50-year old redhead is HOT! So... please keep me in your prayers. I think I need them!!!
Last night, I had bible study at FBC. I think it went well. I don't think I did such a hot job keeping things under control, but I had help (two women in particular who kept things in line), and also think that the conversation/discussion we had was good. The homework... is terrible. But, I know that this is "stretching". It's different from what I've done, and different from what they've done, but it's good. We need to be uncomfortable; we need to be stretched. I am taking the liberty to speak for the group when I say, we don't want to stay the same. If we did, we wouldn't be doing this. We would be at home, (they would be at home with their families, I would be watching TV!), and not come back. But we're not. I can only pray for God to show us things out of our consistency and dedication. That we may be persistent enough to continually approach the throne until we get something! As opposed to Jacob's literal wrestling with God, I'd like to think of this as emotional wrestling. I'm not stopping until God blesses me!
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
I'm a woman, therefore, I'm a worrier. I'm overly analytical (often times to the wrong), and a deep thinker. Lately, my thoughts have made me restless and sleepless (until I fall asleep and then I don't want to get up to go to work in the a.m.!). Saturday was an especially rough day for me, as I had a lot of time driving. Normally... typically... driving is very therapeutic for me. It's been that way for 12 years. But during times of healing and restoration, when I know that I am still very involved in the process, driving can be the "anti" of what I really need. So Saturday, I found myself rebuking my thoughts and cranking up praise and worship music in the hopes that my ears would hurt too bad for me to think. (It didn't really help and I think I have temporary deafness in one ear.)
There are times when I read scripture and I don't always understand the context. But last night in my reading, I understand something David said with complete clarity:
"Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to you word." Psalm 119:37.
I can imagine David going through the land, thinking about what his enemies were plotting against him (see the rest of Psalm 119), and worrying about what they're next move was, or what they were saying about him, or what he ever really did to deserve this. If David could drive, I'm sure he'd be flying through the desert at Mach 3 trying to get out of dodge. But, his heart is pained as he cries out to his God to sanctify and re-align his mind by saying (my paraphrase) - "God, help me get this crap out of my head, these thoughts that I can't do anything with, that only hurt me, and help me focus on You, and take care of me Lord. By Your words you promised to take care of me."
Do you ever find yourself worrying endlessly about stuff that you have no business worrying and fretting over? I do. I can't stop "them" from saying ugly things about, or thinking terrible thoughts about me, based on lies. But I can stop wasting my time worrying and being anxious over those things, and get my focus back on God's will and God's work.
"You prepare a table before me, in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever." Psalm 23:5-6
Monday, January 15, 2007
Really... that's all. It's rainy and yucky outside, and I thought of you all... (all 15 of you PG friends I know). Love you bunches!
My heart is bursting with excitement. It has been for a while, and last night was no exception. Last night I was reading and came across this quote:
"Some people say, "God will never ask me to do something I can't do." I have come to the place in my life that, if the assignment I sense God is giving me is something that I know I can handle, I know it probably isn't from God. The kind of assignments God gives in the Bible are always God-sized. They are always beyond what people can do, because He wants to demonstrate His nature, His strength, His provision, and His kindness to His people and to a watching world. This is the only way the world will come to know Him." (Henry Blackaby, my emphasis)
And then... it hit me. I thought about all the pastors on television who ask for money. I am not defending those who have made some mistakes (Bakker, Swaggert, Haggard), but I thought about the dynamic ministries and specifically something that Jesse Duplantis said when I heard him preach a few months ago. I have questioned and judged those who get on television, thinking that what they were asking for was ridiculous, or, since I would never see it in person, wouldn't want to give anyway. I have turned the channels in the name of frivolity. But it hit me last night -- that I have NO IDEA of the vision that God gave them. I realize that this opens a "can of worms" with some people, and I'm not going to waste my time on the differing opinions. I thought of my own dreams and aspirations. You know, sometimes God puts things in your heart and your head that, if you ever REALLY shared them, your loved ones would have you shipped off to padded rooms with little while jackets. But that is EXACTLY what God does. Real callings are doing those things that seem ridiculous and impossible. They're humanly impossible, but totally God-possible. As a matter of fact, they're God-Easy, but we don't have the capacity to understand that. As I kept on reading/studying, I ran across this scripture, and for me, it lines right up with the quote above:
"Do not let this Book of Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:8-9
Did he not command us? Yes!!! He did!! I love that the Lord has to tell Joshua three times in one chapter to "be strong and courageous". God know it wasn't going to come easy. God knew that the task He assigned Joshua was too big for Joshua to get. He needed to be encouraged. His faith needed to be reminded. Mine was reminded twice in October, and once on New Years Eve. I was even more encouraged in my heart last night regarding what I've been praying about in my life. Here are the facts: I am moving. (I'm not moving to Dalton anymore... long story!) But I am moving. When are where -- totally in the Lord's hands. Not mine. If I had been destined for a life of mediocrity, then I would have mediocre dreams and mediocre hopes, and there would be mediocre people in my life. I don't. I don't. And there aren't. This ride, this adventure, this roller coaster -- is Just the Beginning. You know, I'm 28 years old, and I still get excited and can't sleep the night before I go to Six Flags. I have been probably 100 times, but I still get butterflies. That's the way I feel right now. I am at the door of the adventure.... this incredible adventure that the Lord has for me... and I've got the butterflies... and I can't wait!
This weekend, a friend of mine came in town and we ate/laughed/acted silly, the whole nine. But last night, as I was getting ready to drop her off, she made a reference a relationship that I am not longer in, and how nothing good came out of it. I was slightly appalled that she made that comment, because so much good came out of that horrible relationship.
1) I deserve God's best for me. What I was holding onto so desperately was not the best. It wasn't even close.
2) The foolish fantasized relationship that I thought I wanted had to be shattered in the process.
3) The dreams that I had, the plans that I made, had to be destroyed and must die a painful death in order for me to realize that what God planned for me, Before I was ever born, is so much bigger than this.
Maybe that doesn't sound like a good thing -- but call me. Hear the excitement in my voice when I tell you of the good things that came out of that bad relationship. Better still... hear the excitement in my voice when I tell you that, while I don't know what waits ahead for me, that I do know that it will be so wonderful that I won't be able to contain it.
Psalm 5:3 "In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation."
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Friday, January 12, 2007
I shared last night, and share with you now that my heart -- is bursting! My journey these last few months, these last few weeks, has been alot to absorb. My "emotional" heart is still mending (God is in control of that -- I ACTUALLY left it alone for once!), but my soul is rejoicing! There are so many good things!!! Yes, there is world hunger, a national deficit, war, and countless other terrible things that are happening in the world that I can't do much about, I can share where my joy is! Last night, I talked about the "blahs", and made myself laugh when I got ready to write an email -- Jesus came that we might have life Less Blah and More Abundantly! (I know... I'm a dork... but I'm a dork for Jesus and that's all that counts.)
I just realized that I took the bible I keep at work -- Home. What was I thinking? Oh well... thank God for BibleGateway.com.
... I'm totally zapped out right now. I had something good to share, and it's gone! Maybe I'll have more to post soon...
Thursday, January 11, 2007
I brought my stuff today to finish up what I'll be speaking about tonight. I have butterflies. I momentarily attempted to attach an emotion, but frankly, none of them fit. And I can't trust my emotions anyway, thus a feeble attempt at defining them is futile.
Some thoughts to share from my readings:
"Fear makes people bury the treasure God has given them." (Ortberg)
"Living means being addressed." Martin Buber
"The line between "Thou shalt not be afraid" and "Thou shalt not be ridiculous" is often a fine one and not easily located." (Ortberg)
"You will have to be willing to let some dreams die a painful death." (Ortberg)
There are a thousand things that I have not blogged about. The greatest two reasons are that: 1) they are beyond painful to share, and 2) there are a few people who have my blog address that I refuse to blog about, because in their sick heads, it validates (to them) that how they treated me was okay (in essence, that I'm the only one who is screwed up). I wish this were not the case, but it is, and it prevents me from wholly sharing what I'd like to share sometimes. In my heart, I also know that this represents a sign of personal growth for me. It's okay to share how you feel about something, or how you perceive that someone/something has wronged you. But not saying it, or writing it in my case, can also help you keep the wounds that are still healing from being ripped open again. That is where I take comfort in knowing that, ONE DAY, I will be able to share, and not care who reads this.
I love that my life is changing. And I mean it. I can't undo anything that happened last year, or the year before, or the year before that. But I refuse to be defined by those actions. Moreover, I refuse to be defeated by those actions. I had a melt-down in a Wal-Mart parking lot today after I had picked up some chicken. Something that should have been completely inconsequential. Something that should have not happened. I had to sit in my current vehicle and repent. My prayer went something like this: "Dear God. Forgive my attitude and my actions. It totally sucks." Then the lyrics of a song slapped me in the face "I will declare the beauty of the Lord, for nothing compares to the beauty of the Lord, and Jesus your love, it takes my breath away, now I'm living everyday, for the beauty of the Lord." There was NO beauty in my lapse in sense. But there is beauty in repentance. Just reiterates that I think God. is. the. coolest. EVER.
I meant this to be a happy blog, but it's not. Boo.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
"Know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God promised concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one thing of them has failed." Joshua 23:14
the note: This is past tense...so to me, I receive it as it's already done---faith! "ALL HAVE COME TO PASS FOR YOU"- it's a done deal, already! hee hee!
I am encouraged... hope you are too!
Last night, the group at FBC started Stormie O'Martian's DVD Bible Study series on the Power of Praying Woman. I feel like a letch for saying this, but the DVD leaves a little to be desired. HOWEVER... I don't know what happened, but last night wound up being a really awesome night. You know those moments where you realize that you don't need to be entertained because frankly, it's not about you? Well... last night was just that for an interesting group of 15 women. We can laugh and cut up and have a good time, and Beth kept us entertained, but last night had nothing to do with entertainment -- it was just about praying for the very intimate personal needs to those in closest contact. Maybe that sounds weird to anyone reading this... but it was mind-blowing. I can only pray that the rest of the series gives us as much.
I also highlighted a bunch of stuff to bring in and blog about today, and then I left it all at my house. Maybe that's a sign. Probably not.
I did read on my friend J.'s blog that she went to meet Frank Warren last night. I am being honest to say I am jealous, but hopefully I will have the same privilege when he comes to Atlanta at the end of the month. Any of you ATL girls want to meet me? He's going to be at the Barnes & Noble on Peachtree (below the Cheesecake Factory). Just let me know!
There are a few things weighing heavy on my heart, but I am trying to work through them. I am geniunely trying to let go and let God heal them. We are all giant control freaks when it comes to this kind of issue, so relinquishing that control is not easy. But, it is necessary, and healing. I wish I had the vocabulary to articulate how amazing God really is to me. To realize that this issues I am struggling with are COMPLETELY inconsequential in terms of Christ's emminent return is humbling to say the least. It makes me think that almost every conversation I have with friends is completely wasteful, and yet, God is concerned and involved. Wow.
"My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him." Isaiah 62:1
Tuesday, January 9, 2007
Also, blogger went down today and I had a panic attack thinking I had lost the last year of blogging. I have created a back-up site just in case. When I get everything transferred, I'll link it up.
Also, I had a great conversation with my roommate last night. I haven't opened up and shared alot with her lately, because she was home for Christmas, and I don't like sharing stuff with her over the phone. Much better to do in person...
Tonight, I have bible study at DFBC, and I couldn't be more excited. I know that my butterflies will get worse before the day is over. Hopefully, things will go smooth, (I'm sure they will), but I figure that the nervousness is good. The day that I don't get anxious about something like this will probably be a good time for some personal analysis. :D
Last night, I watched a little bit of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (the original version). I kept dreaming about " 'goin' a-courtin' ". Very funny.
Monday, January 8, 2007
I went and picked up the materials for the bible study tomorrow night. I'm very nervous about facilitating a bible study at a baptist church, but ... I know it's going to be okay. The funny part is that, Stormie's picture is ALL over the material (literally, there is a picture of her at the beginning of every week's session), and she is doing different things, such as cooking, hanging out with friends, playing the piano, reading, writing a note, staring off into the sunset (that's the strangest one), and a few others. After doing three other bible studies, I'm quite amused by the candor of Mrs. O'Martian to plaster her face on everything.
"Waiting is the hardes work of hope." Lewis Smedes
"Jesus promised those who follow him only three things... that they would be absurdly happy, entirely fearless, and always in trouble." Gregg Lavoy (I can totally relate to the third one!)
But my point for blogging: a acquaintance of mine has accepted the position of offensive line coach at the University of Georgia. Here's the article. I'm excited. I work with Stacy's sister, and met him and his wife at a hockey game a few years ago. Yay!
I am reading the best book ever, but because I'm contemplating speaking about it, I am refraining from sharing... but it's killing me! Life is such an adventure for me, and I feel like I am bursting at the seams at times.
I am excited to share that I am now seven days straight writing in a journal. I'm not trying to overboard -- I haven't filled up the entire page sometimes, but I'm at least being consistent -- hence my personal excitement.
"It's not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena... who, at best, knows in the end the triumph of great achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. So that his place will never be with those cold timid souls who know neither victory or defeat." Theodore Roosevelt
Friday, January 5, 2007
Also, I couldn't sleep last night. I called my brother and we wound up talking until about 1:30. I think my house was too hot. Also, in sad, unrelated news, I am unable to download pictures from my new camera to my computer. I have to purchase a USB 2, or a removable SD memory port that will work with a USB 1. It does mean that I won't be able to have those completely narcissistic moments where I take 40 pictures of myself trying to find the one good shot to change my myspace profile. See... God still works in mysterious ways.
Thursday, January 4, 2007
I have several scriptures taped on to a bulletin board, including Jeremiah 15:16. It was included in my daily devo this morning, with a brief story about the words that people say and how they affect us. I immediately thought of something that a lady told me when I was 12. We were standing outside of my church, and I had made some comment about my weight (I was 12, I mean seriously), but she reached down and poked my hip bone and said, "Girl, you can still feel your bones. You are not overweight. When you lose them, Then you have problems." I can't tell you why I remembered that, but it has always stuck with me. In the strangest times, I will reach down and feel my hip socket, just to make sure that I've not gone past the point of no return. Then I thought about all the junk that has spewed out of my mouth, in anger, frustration, times of deep hurt, times of disregard for the person/people I was talking to or about, and times of great personal transition. There is no way I can remember all that I have said or have any idea of what impact my words had. I wish that they had all been gentle, but I know that most of them probably have not been. Many times in great vain, I recited the benediction for my alma mater. May today be the day that I really take it to heart.
"So let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, My Strength, and My Redeemer." Psalm 19:14
Wednesday, January 3, 2007
What struck me is that THIS is new mercy. The Lord makes His mercy brand new everyday -- like the rising of the sun. The darkness has to flee. Almost indescribable.
On a totally different note, The University of Alabama finally has a head coach. Nick Saban is leaving Miami after he vehemently denied ever wanting to go there.
I got excited, then laughed at myself for getting excited over a football team. Then, I started thinking about my love of teams, and why I love them... and it's all about boys. I like teams because of different guys that I had crushes on. The only exception is Auburn. I know I have a few of you who are DIE-HARD Auburn fans, and that's fine, I still love you, but I loath and detest Auburn University with every fiber of my being. I have one picture from the time my youngest cousin was born (19 years ago), where I got to hold her and I'm wearing an Auburn sweatshirt. Somebody had given my brother and I similar sweatshirts for Christmas, and since K. was born Dec 15th,... that's why we are wearing them. So... in a completely un-religeous blog, here is why I have been interested in certain teams, and approximately what time frame.
Georgia Tech -- This is the oldest "fan-ship" that I can recall. His name was Chad Tidd, and he wore something Georgia Tech to school every day during 7th and 8th grade. And I mean EVERY DAY. Every undershirt that he owned was GT, and that's when I fell in love with Navy Blue. I was so infatuated with Chad! For the record, I do still keep tabs on him. He graduated from Clemson with a degree in Engineering, and lives in South Carolina, is very involved with his church, and is still unmarried. I'm not gonna lie -- I'm STILL holding out hope.
Alabama -- I've been an Alabama fan for a while. I worked with a redhead named Nick Benson (I had actually gone to Elementary school with him), and he was the most devoted UA fan I've ever met. It didn't matter what time of year, he always supported his team. I ran into him a few times before my sixteenth birthday, and then we worked together, then worked third shift together (just he and I), and kinda had a thing, but not really, because I was so naive that I thought he'd broken up with his girlfriend, when in reality, she was on vacation. She also was the one who broke into my car to leave me a note to leave her man alone. This is a very funny story for a later date. Another girl I worked with, Angel, was with me when I discovered the note. Aaahhh... young stupid love. Nick married a girl named Hillary and he' s a history teacher now. He's the Biggest reason I love Red Heads! Also, my brother bought me an Alabama license plate that I used until I wrecked that car. And I loved the color of my car because of the next guy. I'm still an Alabama fan because 1) my brother owes them $70K for his student loans, and 2) Bear Bryant, 3) My aforementioned disgust of Auburn, and 4) my love of crimson red. It's all about the blood of Jesus and the Crimson Tide.
Tennessee -- the Great love of Tennessee was because of a guy in high school named Patrick Doyle. He was in the saxophone section with me my freshman year, and then he was drum major my sophomore and junior years. (He graduated the year before me.) Patrick was a really interesting guy, and I had the BIGGEST crush on him. He wore dark teal Doc's and had a temper. He drove a light blue Jeep Cherokee (Bradley once rented a Jeep Cherokee b/c he knew I loved them; he just didn't know why, but it was b/c of Patrick). But, somebody (I think his Mom) bought him Tennessee Boxer shorts and T-shirts and being the devoted fan, refused to tuck in his shirts. During marching season, when he would direct, he shirts would come up a little bit and reveal the trim of his boxers. Go Vols. Coincidentally, this spurred my love for orange; I even had my class ring made with (brilliant orange) Padparascha sapphires instead of my very predictable blue birth stone.My very BF can attest to the fact that I became a Tennessee fan (and devoted for a long time) because of this crush. To my understanding, he's now a band director in Georgia, married a nice girl, and I would assume is doing well. Yay for Patrick.
Georgia -- I went to high school in Georgia and my parents still live there, but honestly I didn't really care about UGA until I started liking the last guy. It was totally an attention thing. There was a girl at Lee that was a big UGA fan, and I kind of envied her great passion for the team.
Other random sports facts related to me worth mentioning:
Auburn -- I already mentioned the sweatshirts. My dad is a huge Auburn fan. My step-mom graduated from Auburn, and she and my Dad have season tickets.
Florida -- I hate Florida as much as I hate Auburn. I had Florida because my step-brother Billy was obsessed with them. Plus, I'm not a big fan of Gators in general. They do get mad props for inventing Gatorade (the Original Lemon Lime is my all time favorite, followed by Watermelon All Stars). My friend Robert loves them, and has also been a good joke between us when any of the unnumerable teams I followed played them.
Ohio State -- I'm not really a fan, but I love buckeyes candy. My friend Mike makes the best Buckeye candy I've ever had. When the old gang ran around, I would root for OS because I loved Mike. I was indifferent to won the game between Florida & Ohio this year though.
Michigan -- My brother was obsessed with Michigan for a little while, so we all had the fever at my house when we were younger. (It was after my parents divorced but before I started high school. Circa 1989.)
Miami -- Only followed anything about the hurricanes because of my friend Brad. He had a bomber jacket that he almost wouldn't take off during football season. I should find a picture... very funny.
That highlights most of them. I root for Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia. Alabama over all. Tennessee over Georgia. Florida over Auburn. Not that any of you care, but I thought it was fun to share anyway.
Tuesday, January 2, 2007
There are days when I really enjoy working where I do. My job is not hard – difficult at times, but definitely not hard. But today, everyone is here, all the doors are open and the entire floor is flooded with light. The wind is blowing outside, but inside, you would almost thing it’s spring. Today is the first workday of the New Year too.
I’m just in a really happy, upbeat mood, and I’m not completely sure why.
Also, my pants have some serious static cling, and every time I walk, I look like I belong in the ‘hood with one pants leg up. I think that my pantyhose are the culprits causing the cling.
Saturday I went and saw my Papa. I love him. He started talking about when he won’t be around, and frankly I just can’t take it. I teared up quite a few times and had to bit my lip to keep from cracking. I think he’s lonely, and the fact that my brother and I kinda suck as grandkids doesn’t help. But I do love him, even though I'm not so good about showing so as frequently as I should. I am however going to get him an Express pass to go through the toll bridge at his house. He decided that he would feel like JM with an EZ pass; he sorta got excited about that.
Our Biggest Loser final weigh-in is Thursday, and I can almost guarantee that I will not be willing. $700.00 would have been a nice belated Christmas present, but I have eaten poorly and haven’t exercised in a while. :(
My next few months are getting busier as time goes along: Baby shower for my best friend L., Mullet night Hockey Game in Knoxville (I’m pumped about that!), My Papa Calhoun’s 80th Birthday, getting ready for another shower for my friend K., LOTSA close friend Birthdays -- like 11 really good friends (the picture at the side should explain where you all will be getting your birthday cards), the illustrious Valentine’s day, a wedding in Florida, getting ready to be small-debt free, and of course my present situation, Year End.
There is a really big change that will also be happening in the next two months, but I’m not quite ready to blog about it… not yet.
New Years was really great! My friend M. and I went to College Park, Georgia to Creflo Dollar’s church to ring in the new year. If you haven’t been – YOU MUST GO. I have been to entirely too many churches in my life, but I can say that those were some of the nicest, most loving people I have ever met! The choir was incredible, and Pastor Creflo was hysterical. At around 12:20 a.m., he told the congregation that he was wrapping up his message, not necessarily because God was finished, but because he had Pancakes and Eggs waiting for him at the house. Too funny! M. and I didn’t get back to her house until 3:30, but we had a blast. This was definitely the best New Years I’ve ever had.
Also, the Silver Bullet is in the shop being fixed right now, so Y’all Pray Hard! She’s got a lot more miles to go on her! Also, I am driving my Mom’s truck… which is entertaining enough just at the thought.
My friend M. bought me a journal for Christmas; the first real paper journal I’ve had in almost 7 years. I blog regularly, but I don’t think that counts. I have a few journal entries for each of the years, but I’ve not been super dedicated since I started at Lee. I wish you all could read that journal; I was just a big ‘ole Dork back then. God REALLY has been merciful!
I’m trying to finish up my new book, and also getting ready to finish up the Beth Moore bible study I’ve been doing. The FBC bible study cranks up Tuesday, but I’d like to be doing another one at the same time.
I didn’t intend for this to be a long blog, but it is … L8G8R!