Thursday, December 31, 2009

Funny email

I get some funny ones from my stepmom or aunt, and here was a great ending for one today:

The Senility Prayer

Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and te eyesight to tell the difference.

Oh, this was funny to me. Thought I'd share.

- Posted on the go...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas 2009

This Christmas has taken me by storm. I've been anticipating my trip home to see family since November, and I'm sad to say that it's overshadowed what this season means. As I'm sitting on my last flight, eagerly anticipating running into the arms of my dad and Lecia (dangit, I'm tearing up now), I decided to stop and ponder this Miracle we celebrate.

My first step was to repent of putting family and what made me comfortable above Him and His immeasurable Gift to the world through His Son. Stop and let this simmer: THE SAVIOR HAS COME! The One foretold for hundreds of years by the OT prophets is now here! Immanuel, God with us! Can you imagine how those who knew must have felt? All of this time, since the beginning of Creation has been pointing to this One!

I prayed God would help me understand what this meant to them and what it means to me. GOD IS WITH US. The God Who hid Himself in the Holy of Holies, the God Who veiled Himself so that Moses might not die from His glory, is now in human form! A baby born in a manger! How amazing His plan is. How LONG He prepared the way for His coming. How long He promised Israel salvation through Him and now to all who would believe!

Forgive me, Father, for making light of this...this INCREDIBLE thing that You have done! This intricate Story that has been woven throughout Creation is the Source of HOPE. It is THE path to salvation! Through Him; it all starts with the babe in a manger.

Forgive me for minimalizing, for institutionalizing, memorizing, and reciting. Forgive me for not pausing, meditating, being transformed by this amazing plan You have authored and orchestrated since the Beginning. You are the Author and the Origin of love and Truth and all that is good.

Jesus's birth that we celebrate represents HOPE to all who believe. Father, I ask that You would make that hope clear! I ask that You would raise it up like a banner through Your Body to shine into the darkness! I ask that You would hollow us out, whittle us down, mold us until we are simple vessels for You. My life could have no greater purpose! There is no greater aspiration than to be poured out by and for You. Make it so in me, Lord, make it so.

- Posted on the go...

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Prov. 3:5-6

Oh, how I love this passage. I really do. And I believe it. I believe we have a simple and direct promise hidden there...most of the time.

Most of the time I buy this. Most of the time I will bank my hopes and dreams on this. But not always. This was made painfully clear to me by a friend this week. And wow, am I thankful. And I'm embarassed. I should be.

For some reason, I have always been a keen observer of relationships between girls and guys. Even before I even had any experience to speak from, I could read the situations relatively well for my friends in order to offer valid and applicable advice. My aptitude for observation and drawing relationships of behavior (like a true science mind) bode well for my study. I learned a lot, and I think my true motive was ultimately self-preservation. In high school, it was my number one goal to not be "that girl", the girl that looked stupid for going back to the egotistical guy that had cheated on her and lied about it time and time again. Logically, I knew high school relationships weren't likely to be life-long, so why were these girls so open to giving second chances? Life's too short for that. And I couldn't believe self-respect would look like that.

Anyway, I'll spare you the long path of revised observations I've traveled since then. Maybe there'll be podcasts to come on each of those chapters. ;) There are a couple of pieces or theories that I've carried with me all this way that are now a source of strife. Those are what I want to get out here (and hopefully out of my knapsack on this journey).

One of them comes from about 10-14 years of age. I remember thinking that if I wasn't married by 26, I was a total failure. I figured I better hang up all hope at that point. The plan was to have all my kids (and I want about 5) cranked out by 32. We'll see if I even get started by then. And here recently, I've noticed myself literally experiencing toned-down versions of the stages of grief. I literally have to put that dream to rest. It has to die. Put best by my friend and spiritual mentor Rob Weideman "You have to put your dreams to death. They have to die. Only then can God make something beautiful from the ashes." (I think I paraphrased that slightly, because my memory got blurry with both of us tearing up during this the middle of a coffee shop.) About a month ago was the sadness phase, and a few weeks ago the anger phase set in. I could feel myself being hardened to romance, love, etc. I wanted Taylor Swift banned from the radio. I got nauseous during New Moon and wanted to correct the delusional Twilight characters. I think I even tried to be too realistic to my young high school friend and in turn almost dashed her hopes and dreams of every dude loving with the intensity of homeboy from the Notebook. (P.S. I have issues with that move as well.) So I've been praying for God to bring hope. I need renewal. He's the Author and Giver of all things that are good (James 1:17). I just keep praying for a good story.

Another part is that I was super-limited on how I thought this whole thing could go down. I'm still working on being more open-minded. But the most convicting part about all this came last night when I had a minor meltdown over a super-insignificant deal. And my faithful friend for years and years Casey asked me the right questions, the hard ones that left me without excuse. He pointed out the irony of my request: I want something to spring up organically with me in control and having figured out the situation the whole way through. Yeah, I know. Hilarious, right? But legit. That's what I want. I realized that the reason I spend so much time thinking and analyzing this area of my life is that it's the one I trust God the least with. BOOM. There was the gunshot. That was when my heart hit the floor. I don't trust Him. I am who Heb. 11:6 is talking about: "Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him." Wow.

I claim this in every other area. It's ridiculous how hypocritical I am about this. If God told me tomorrow to pick up and truck it to Africa, I think with some prayer and affirmation, I would GO. I truly believe that. I recently had a situation that tested my faith, and God changed my heart. I'm learning to trust Him with that as well. But THIS. This life desire and scientific pursuit? It's mind-blowing how much free time I would have and how much emotion wouldn't be wasted. What a great distraction from the Enemy. He's dang good at his job.

So there. I said it. I've confessed, and I'm repenting. I will learn to claim Heb. 11:6 AND Prov. 3:5-6 in all areas regarding my heart. Thanks for "listening".

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Thank You for the Contrast

Recent weeks have been full of blah. Not that there haven't been good things happen or fun experiences, but an undercurrent of discontent washes out most of that. As an idealist and a hyper-analyst, I become burdeningly aware of how askew the world (and my life) is from God's best. Add that to a sense of mourning for my former dreams and expectations for what my life would look like at this point and it gets pretty dreary.

But tonight it clicked. Tonight and this weekend have been unexpectedly great. And I wouldn't know how great if I didn't have the contrast of the previous weeks. In our tiny little human perspectives, we require so much staging for us to see what God wants us to see. Tonight I'm thankful for the valley. It makes the peaks immensely more victorious.

I will be here as long as He has plans for His glory to be revealed through my life, and I eagerly await the day I get to leave all this for eternity with Him. But until then, I will rejoice in the Hope that does not disappoint. I will praise the One from Whom all goodness flows. For from Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen. (Rom. 11:36)

- Posted on the go...