Wednesday, January 31, 2007
For those of you that know the good ole Sir Mix-a-lot song, that was for you. I made it to Kansas City just fine, and my buddy DJ Lee picked me up from the airport. Checked into the hotel before walking around the Plaza. Gorgeous area. Walked into some stores that no one I know would be able to afford...I'm talking Prada bags in some glass cases. Crazy. I tried not to touch anything.
Then I thought it would be a great idea to catch a movie since I may be one of the only people who had yet to see "The Pursuit of Happyness". So I bought a ticket. And for some reason, my body decided now would be a great time to launch into a full-blown, nausea-included migraine! Yay for me!
I had determined to tough it out at least to the end of the movie before walking up the hill back to my hotel. Excedrin migraine and a two hour nap saved my life before I had to get up and study the materials for my interview.
Made it to the interview just fine. Freezing weather, by the way. Everybody was so nice, and none of the questions really threw me. It was such a nice group of people, very supportive of the residents' learning and development. I was wrapping up with the program director when I realized it was 2:30 and my flight left at 3:55 at the airport that is located about 30 minutes out of town. And did I mention it snowed a few inches while I was there?
So after a few options retired, one of the residents offered to drive me. After pulling my bags through the snow and trying not to slip and fall (at times like these those big ole' hiking boots my dad bought me woulda come in handy) on the way to her car, we were on our way.
I got there at 3:30 to find about 200 people trying to get checked in. Let me just add that I texted Reagan, Donna, and Katie Rae to pray that I made my flight. So after them calling people whose flight was about to leave to the front and making it through security, I was waiting to board. They had delayed it just enough. I even got to sit near the front.
And now I'm home...back in the Nashvegas...waiting on the snow.
Can I just add that God is so faithful? I can't say that enough, but so many questions today, so many conversations reminded me that He is all over my life. I want Him to be known. I tried my best not to brandish Him over my head, but His banner over me is love! What's a girl to do? I got nothing better to talk about...seriously! So I did my best to keep it professional and on the correct side of certain lines. But I don't think it hurt me at all. I was genuine. I know that, and I think they picked that up. I will never suppress my heart, especially about something so vital.
And He is answering my prayers to grow my faith and to teach me to abide in His Spirit. Now I was a little nervous trying to make it to the airport, but somehow I knew it would all work out. When I prayed and asked my friends to pray, I knew God would answer that. And even if it meant another night in KC, that would work out and God would accomplish His plan for me that way. I'm excited about new growth. I'll stop there.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Or actually tomorrow...I'll be on the Price is Right with my pharmacy friends! I think it airs at 10:00 central. Hopefully someone in my fam can tape it because I'll be giving a presentation right about that time. Yay. We'll only be chillin in the audience, but still, fun times.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
You all knew this, but I'm about to confirm it. I was really excited last night when I was prompted to use none other than the crazy math I learned in high school and college. I seriously never thought I'd see it again; I was wrong. Here's the story:
Ok, so I'm working this word puzzle book, and it gives me a "brainteaser". It reads
Two forks plus three spoons equals $1.48. Three forks and two spoons equals $1.47. How much does one fork and one spoon cost?
So I set up the equations in order to figure this out scientifically. They should look like this:
2x + 3y = 1.48
3x + 2y = 1.47
The next step is to isolate one of the variables. I chose to isolate x. So I took the top equation and moved things around mathematically until
x = 0.74 - 1.5y
Then you substitute what x is equal to into the other equation so that the equation only contains one variable. It ends up looking something like this:
3(0.74 - 1.5y) + 2y = 1.47
Obviously multiply through the parentheses, add up the like variables, and it comes down to 2.5y = 0.75, so y = 0.30
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Monday, January 22, 2007
Here's one of my favorite praise songs that never gets sung anymore...except by me during one of my little personal worship times before bed.
I could run away
You would never leave
You would always stay
right by my side.
Right by my side,
right by my side.
And I need You, yes, I need You
every step of the way.
And I need You, yes, I need You
every step of the way.
Everything I've ever wanted I've found in You
(right by my side)
Everything I've ever wanted I've found in You
(right by my side)
It's honestly hard for me to sing that now without bursting into laughter, thanks to one my pals who likes to change up the pronunciation. I was able to make it through a few times last night with no chuckles. Great song, now forever an inside joke as well.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Friday, January 19, 2007
Sunday, January 14, 2007
The black accord was facing forward, and the impact of the wreck turned it about 110 degrees to where we were both facing away from the road. It was sitting in the turn lane in the right side of the picture before impact.
I was blessed to sit under the teaching of Mike Glenn, the pastor at Brentwood Baptist Church, this morning. He's been going through a series based on Acts 1:8 because he really wants to lead the church toward becoming a better example of an "Acts 1:8 church". Today he talked about Samaria: how they were a mixed race, looked down upon by the Jews, and basically shunned due to their past and their culture. He pointed out how Jesus gave no bounds when he commissioned the disciples to go and spread the Gospel. He didn't tell them to stop at this street or this socioeconomic background or this language or color. He went into Samaria Himself to show compassion and to convert the woman at the well. He saw no lines. He knew everyone needed Him and the salvation He offers equally.
Well, this is still the case, but we have our own lines now. Don't we? I wouldn't go into this area of town or be tight with this group of people or look or act like them. What are all the cultural and deeply-ingrained stigmas keeping me from meeting people where they are in order to take Christ and His message to them?
I was rudely interrupted with this Truth last week when I first visited the homeless shelter downtown. It's hard for me to explain without you seeing if for yourself, but these are not the people you see on the interstate ramps or sitting outside the restaurants downtown. Not that those people don't need help and compassion, they do. But these are people who are not into drugs or alcohol and have just fallen on hard times financially. Safehaven offers them shelter, food, and a program to equip them to live on their own again. It's great.
After the short time I've been doing community service there, I've been convicted about my own outlook: how I see them as different than me, how I think they should know certain things to do and not to do, how I think they should handle their children and themselves, how I (shamefully) try to justify their situation. It's gross that this stuff exists within me. Me, wanting to do missions and love people to Jesus.
This past Friday night I was the overnight volunteer at the other shelter, one I had not been to before. They just require that you lock the place up, make sure the residents are following the rules, then you go to sleep after everyone's appointed bedtime (kids at 8:00, everyone else at 10:00). I had met a few of the kids the night before, so I knew about 30% of the residents already. It was a smaller group, and I was really tired and didn't have much energy to build relationships. However, once the kids went to bed, I had an opportunity to talk with a woman, mother of 4 and married to the only man in the shelter.
I'll call her Sharon for the sake of the story. Sharon is white, probably early 30's, came from middle class America. Sharon fell for David (another made-up name), a mixed man, her sophomore year of high school. Sharon and David got married four years later. They have since had four kids, been separated, been shunned by her family, and squandered money from good jobs, which ended them up in the shelter. She was honest about how she never thought she'd be there. They had a house, car, and the typical American life. They just made some bad decisions. Now she and David have just gotten back together from being separated. They and the four kids, (10, 6, 4, and 2 years old), now live in one room in a homeless shelter. After hearing her story and the soft honesty of her heart, it broke mine. After 13 years, they are trying to get back on their feet. They're learning to budget, to parent, and to live responsibly. And they don't have anything to prove. It put things in perspective as to why they didn't behave as a drill sargeant when dealing with their kids. They' re tackling one thing at a time.
Right now, the people at the shelters are my Samaria. I desire to break down all walls and barriers. If next year, when I become completely financially independent, I don't make good decisions, that could be me. I'm no different. We all need Jesus.
Speaking of Samaria and different races, I also had a conversation with a friend today on inter-racial dating. I won't cross that bridge today, but I will say that I'm tired of ignorance that perpetuates divides. I'm tired of assumptions that sustain the chasms. As long as there is an "us" and a "them" regardless of what the basis is, there will never be a "we".
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
I'm super-excited to say that I'm in the middle of my first experience as a maid of honor! Britt sent me a card in the mail yesterday, and I bout had a panic attack as I was driving down the road. I'm nervous, because I want to be the best one ever. I've already started the plans for the getaway weekend/bachelorette shindig. I'm so excited. Maybe I'll get some tips from Ginger. Hmmmm.
Oh, and props to the SEC for the gators' win. I was kinda glad to see OSU humbled...or who are we kidding-DRILLED. Yay for underdogs.
Monday, January 08, 2007
our cd cover
get even stronger, and I'm holding light
some of my favorites...hope you liked them.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
I'm not really sure where this blog is going, but I feel a need to revamp. Not the blog, not my hairstyle, not my future. Maybe my perspective, or my world view, or my self perception. I'm really hungry to learn and be improved by what I encounter.
Different inputs have been blowing my mind for the past month or so, and I've been very blessed for God to use such unique avenues to expand my mind about Himself:
- Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis. I've been reading through it for over a month now, small pieces at a time in order to savor the small morsels of sensible outlook and understanding of Truth. He's genius. I know everybody always says that, but seriously, read the book...slowly. He was dead on. I may end up blogging on some pieces from that soon. I have many pages marked to share. I know you're excited! You could save yourself the trouble and read it on your own!
- Conversation. I've had so many stimulating ones over the break and even recently with various types of people from all across the board: my amazing friends from college, or after or before, my coworkers, my room-mate, my family, and sometimes random strangers. It would be insane for any one person to think they had everything figured out and that they could not benefit from deep transparency and accountability with at least one other individual. The Biblical ideal of community and relationship and walking together becomes more and more real and necessary to me all the time.
- Teaching. I've listened to some great sermons, some great songs, and been challenged by others equipped to expound upon Biblical Truth. My home pastor, my friends, random pastors I've been able to hear, singer/songwriters, Mike Glenn from Brentwood Baptist. Each of them do what they have been built and equipped to do, and it's beautiful. It makes me want to fully let go and brace myself for what niche God has for me to fill in His beautiful scheme of accomplishing His glory.
- Stillness. Over the holidays I've been able to just slow down a bit. Stop pressuring myself with deadlines and "efficiency" and just exist the best way I know how in each moment. It's hard to retrain yourself, but it's worth it and I want to get better at it. I need time to process, to rethink, to assess. I know you're all thinking "yeah, right, like you need more chance to analyze". But I actually do. My thoughts need to be bathed in Scripture and cleansed with Truth. And the final result should be a person who looks more like Jesus.
I've decided that's it. You can call it my New Year's resolution if you need to, but that's my life plan: look more like Jesus. Conform to what He would do and how He would love and how He would trust His Father's plan. I want to move towards the eternal and let go of more and more temporal. Do I think I can do this? No, not quickly and definitely not without failing, but His Word is true. His mercies ARE new every morning. And what else is worth striving for?
Saturday, January 06, 2007
First, I'll need to provide some background. I received a speeding ticket back in August on I-40, and I made the cursed mistake of getting it in Putnam County. I'm not sure if the county just needs money or maybe speeding is their greatest pet peeve. But these people don't play. There's no driving school. They don't lower your speed at all. They don't care about much besides you paying your money. Well, they have built in one concession that if you are going over ten miles over the limit but under 15, you can do community service but STILL pay at least the full price of your ticket and keep it off your record. 4 hours of service for each mile over ten over that you were going.
Well, I was rolling about 85 in a 70 (don't let your jaw drop; it's I-40). So yep, I got 20 hours due Jan. 12 with a recent extension until Feb. 16th.
I started calling around when I got back from California the first part of December, and no one would return my calls, or they don't do court-ordered community service, or we need volunteers only from 9 to 5. I tried again the week between Christmas and New Years to no avail. So this week, I'm getting stressed and desperate, and I'm just asking people to give me ideas if they can't help. Oh, and did I mention it has to be at a nonprofit organization and NOT at a church. Ugh. I feel a debate rising there, but I'll trudge on.
So after much prayer and desperate calling, I got in touch with Safehaven Family Shelter and spoke with a nice young woman from Scotland (with the coolest accent). She said she could get me my hours if I would just come in yesterday afternoon to meet her (because I'd be working with kids). And it was so neat. It's one of the few shelters that houses the families together. They each get a large room with many beds in it. They're required to work, give 75% of their salary for the shelter to return to them as a nest egg when they leave, and all the kids have chores around the shelter. I was just working on the computer when some of the kids started trickling in. They are definitely not shy, and they immediately came over the meet me, ask me questions, try to help me, and some just wanted to be touching me. I loved it. Their need for affection was touching and saddening. But I get to hang out with them again today and a few more times.
I'm way excited about this opportunity, regardless of what spawned it. I'll keep you posted...ha, posted. That's funny.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
and I'm learning to manipulate HTML coding! Woohoo! Trust me; I have to be excited because that's about all the good that happened today. I went to my rotation, which wasn't too bad but not mind-blowing either. Then I decided to run over to Bread and Company for lunch just across West End. As I was snaking my way out of my car (the car beside me was close), my door shut behind me...with my bag inside...with my keys and cellphone...and the door was locked. So I didn't immediately panic. I was actually proud of myself for making it into Borders and asking for the phone and a phonebook. The guy was supernice and sympathetic as I called a few people before someone told me a timeframe I was willing to deal with. 30 minutes. So it takes about 45 or more, and the dispatcher girl who will say anything because she knows she'll never have to see you acts annoyed that I don't have a contact number. Um...cellphone in the car...what part of that did you not get? So FINALLY this kid shows up and charges more than should ever be allowed for 2 minutes of work. Seriously, this is like highway robbery. I get back to the office, and it's no big deal. The woman I'm shadowing is supernice and a Beth Moore fan. Plus.
I finally make it home after an hour of crazy traffic, and I check the mailbox. Well, I get one of those little keys that allows you to open a larger parcel box where they put mail that won't fit into our little slot. Well, there's no label on the key. There are five possible boxes for it to open. So I try them all, and I will have you know that it opened not a single one of them! So I left a nice little note for the postal worker to please help me get my package. We'll see how he or she responds.
Then I get a call from a friend needing help. But the help she needs is not help I am able to give her. Situations out of my control such as this one make me mad and make me want to cry because I can do nothing about it. I can and will pray about it. I trust that God is in control, but in the meantime, I'd like to just try violence to beat sense into people. How do you deal with people you love living in deception? Not just deception, but ultimately destruction. What's that coping mechanism? Better yet, how do you talk to them without expressing anger at having to witness their demise?
Things out of my control is obviously God's first lesson for me in 2007. Man, it's a tough one. I tend to pray for humility at the craziest of times. I think He likes answering that one a little too much.