Saturday, December 18, 2010

I am a control freak.

There.  I said it.  It ain't news, and it's not that rare among strong-willed, mildly capable women.  But it is probably one of the two biggest barriers to me loving someone well.  It's also a barrier to me being fully obedient to God, which Jesus actually equates with loving Him, so maybe just one issue at hand here.  But man, what a whopper!  So step 1: Recognition and Acknowledgement.  Check.  Step 2: Figure out where it starts and rip it out by the roots.  Oy.

I thought about my resources and how far I'd have to go back.  So where did I turn?  Well, mom, of course.  Her response?  "Well, honey, you've always been bossy.  Some kids are just like that."  Nice.  That's perfect.  I was Type A (but lacking the usually accompanying organizational skills) from the womb....Perfect.  Well, that route was a short one and perhaps a dead end.

And I still have no idea how to get to the true background or root of it all.  But what I do know is this: my fake sense of control and need for it means I lack faith.  It means I'm unaware that my "control" is actually a fa├žade, and I have absolutely no clue how dependent I am on the sovereign God Who loves me and provides breath for me so that I can 1. be in relationship with Him and 2. reflect His glory. 

So I'm praying for faith, and trying to battle the thoughts of desperation that make me clench things within my fists of my heart with Truth from God's Word.  Basically, all of Matthew 6 where He talks about the lilies of the field and how beautiful they are.  He speaks about how God provides for them but cares infinitely more for us, so why would we not be cared for?  It's a logical progression.  I want to love Him more.  I want to understand more about His love for me.  Then, faith's not that much of a stretch.  Who wouldn't want to let go and lean into an extravagant, radical, completing love like THAT?

Monday, December 06, 2010

I'm warning you...

They're going to come at you via rapid fire.  That's just what I'm feeling tonight.  My friend Natalie always dogs me for not blogging more, and I want to.  There are things that I think and want to share, but I either don't take the time or decide it's not blog-appropriate.  So here's the quick run-through:
  • God is blowing my mind with how He's stretching my faith.  Those of you who really know me know how long I've wanted to be in a relationship.  And now I am.  And there is more fear in my heart about loving well and being loved than there was about being alone.  Oy!  Who saw that one coming?  
  • I want to somehow start a makeup ministry.  I know that sounds weird, but I keep getting opportunities to help my girlfriends get started in celebrating womanhood through cometics and makeup techniques.  I love this stuff!  There has to be a way it can turn into something of eternal value.  Yeah?  Why can't I use one means of influence for another?
  • I am right-brained.  No, for real, I'm talking way right-brained.  I like black and white and staying in the lines so much that my counselor assigned me the homework of doing a watercolor!  She wants me to see the colors blend and mix and make beauty from chaos.  It gives me a furrowed brow even considering STARTING such a task since I have no vision as to where to go or how to get there.  I have no artistic vision or creativity in this type of scenario.  I bought the supplies today.  I'll let you know how that goes.
  • This was the worst one: It takes absolute heart crisis for me to set aside time and energy to truly seek God's face in prayer.  I'm serious.  This week I've been at the edge of sanity a couple of times, and I've never prayed harder or listened more closely in prayer.  I love that I'm learning it, and I love how accessible God seems when I get quiet enough to meet with Him.  Man, why have I not been doing this for decades?!  Seriously?!  
  • I've asked almost every married woman I've encountered in the past week why she picked him.  I'm too old to be naive enough to just fall in love, ride it out, and see what happens.  And what I realize is that it's actually a faith issue, not an age issue.  So I'm growing in that- well, in both, I guess.  
  • I hyperfocus on things that bring me joy...so much so that I fall apart anytime they waiver.  People are imperfect, so when I put that pressure on people, my sin wave (warning: geometry term!) of emotion has some dramatic peaks and troughs.  I would like with all my heart to have my source of joy anchored in the One and only God who is unchanging.  The One who is Immutable.  The One who saw my today before I was even a thought (Psalm 139:16).
I would like to be consistent at resting in the Hands of a loving God who is constantly working in me to make me holy (Phil. 1:6), is working things for good in my life (Rom. 8:28), and who rewards those who earnestly seek Him (Heb. 11:6).  THAT's where I want to live.  

And that's what's been going on.  I realize tonight that maybe I'm not a ministry blogger.  I'm aware that this post and many others are self-indulgent and much like putting my thoughts on a billboard.  But I figure if there are things God is teaching me, maybe it will benefit someone else to hear them.  If not, well, then, you're all responsible for holding me accountable.  I'll become a writer for ministry later in life.  Or maybe I won't.  I'm not running this show.  You'll have to take that up with Him.  ;)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Some musings from tonight...

What if worship was always our priority?  The truth is that it always is; it's just the object of our worship that changes.  So what I mean is: what if we constantly stopped to "Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His Name" (Psalm 29:2) or were consciously still to remember that He is God, and that He WILL be exalted in all the earth (Psalm 46:10)? 

 Don't you think our perspective on ANY situation might change a bit?  I wonder how much worry would be assuaged or never even experienced?  I wonder how much hurt would be healed and how much love and forgiveness would be poured out of our lives if we regularly looked at Who God is, how He works, and who we are in light of those.

Hmm...  I wonder...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


The Gospel: LIVE

If you've ever wondered what it might look like lived out, get to know the Higginbothams. They are a churchplanting couple in downtown Tacoma. Meet Kelli, 25 or so years old, mother of twins less than 1 year old. THIS is the Gospel...

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Untitled

I couldn't begin to think of something to concisely describe or even lead into what I'm about to say...mainly because I don't know what's coming out.  So much has happened...so much.

Lots of great things have...and only a couple of negatives.  The GOOD:  Through increased interaction via KidReach (our church tutoring ministry) and kickball (yep, such a romantic sport), I got to see different pieces - unexpected ones - of a guy I've known for 3 years now, and I concluded that I should try to keep him as mine.  Ok, those of you who know me, you can go ahead and include weeks of overthinking, hyperanalyzing, and massive consultation with various believers I respect and trust.  ;)  Because, well, you know me.

The EVEN BETTER is that through this process of getting know another heart and letting him see mine, God has done some significant healing and eradication of fear and negative expectation.  I'm not placing future expectation on our relationship, I'm just saying that meeting a man who is genuine, humble, emotionally secure, considerate, AND beautiful was quite a nice surprise.  It blew holes in many of my longstanding theories.  And I was happy to let it!

More GOOD: Dad, Lecia, Daron, and Kellen trucked it up here for our last family vacay before Daron and Ryan's wedding (in two weeks!) the first part of June.  We brought Kyle on a beautiful hike over Rattlesnake Ledge before heading to Vancouver to check out the sights.  It was a great time building sweet memories (like ziplining at 60 mph!), and it was probably one of our best vacations as a family so far.

Still more GOOD: Toward the end of June, I was able to head to Florida to the beach with Mom, Lee, Jada, Payten, and Jacob (Jada's boyfriend- now fiancee).  I love the Gulf Coast.  I'm super-white, I burn easy, and yet I can't get enough of just sitting contently in a chair under an umbrella on the beach with my family.  It's the best.  Well, that, and the fact that we go out to eat every night at amazing restaurants, go shopping at one of my favorite outlet malls, and enjoy the warm, balmy night weather down there.

The TOUGH:  Then Kyle moved to Germany for 13 months (at least).  This was his plan from before we started hanging out, so it wasn't a surprise.  But that didn't make it any less hard to see him go.  I just don't date that much...ever.  And I found someone I really want to risk on.  And then I don't get to have him...here, anyway.  Praise the Lord for Skype.  No, I'm serious.  It allows me to not only hear him, but to see his pretty face at the same time.

The CRAPPY:   I came home from work Tuesday of this week, turned my key in the front door, and saw a teenage girl running across my living room toward my back door.  At first, I racked my brain trying to figure out why she would be there, and then it hit me: she shouldn't be.  So I ran around the house to try to catch her.  I saw her run into the alley behind my street, and chased her from about 10 yards behind until I realized there was no chance.  And then the worst hit me: She had my laptop.  I saw the purple flash over her shoulder, and my worst fear was confirmed.  How was I going to Skype with Kyle?  How would we ever make this long-distance thing?  What about my music?  My pictures?  My life?  As I was calling 911, I cased the neighborhood twice in my car, asking everyone I saw if they had seen her.  Twenty-five minutes later, the cops showed up.  Then my pastor did.  Then Kyle's mom called to tell me she was bringing me her laptop to use in the interim.  In the midst of trial, I can clearly see I'm blessed.  The forensics people came out and dusted.  The girl had taken the screen off and climbed in a cracked window at the back of my house...in broad daylight...around 4pm.   No news.  I don't expect to ever get it back.  I'm still trying to figure out what I'm going to do until I can buy a new computer.  My home insurance deductible doesn't make it worth it to file a claim.

The LESSON:  I've never been more aware of the lack of control I have in life.  Part of that is a victory from the counseling I started back at the end of March.  And it was one of the main pieces of advice Dr. Gregory gave me in dealing with Kyle leaving.  Grasping for glimpses of my future is the most desperate attempt to NOT have to trust in God.  And so far, the area I have the least experience in trusting God in is letting another person into the romantic parts of my heart.  I've just been so wounded, regretful, and deflated in my past experiences.

More about CONTROL:  I only get to decide how I react to opportunities.  And they're all opportunities, whether seemingly good or bad.  They're opportunities for God to show me more about Who He is, how He loves me, and what He's created me for.  And even bigger, to show me what His greater picture is about, and THAT has very little to do with me.  It's about perspective, and I want mine to change.

I turned 28 recently, and with every new year of life, I hit a process of evaluation: what have I built, what am I missing, what should I aspire to in the next few years of life.  It can be a strenuous evaluation.  I will be the first (and certainly not the last) to tell you that I'm not the most accurate at self-evaluation.  And here's where I get to grow.  It's not in my control.  My OWN life process of growth and becoming more like Christ (Phil. 1:6) is NOT UP TO ME.  Do I have a responsibility to pursue Christ and die to self and take up my cross daily?  For sure.  But how God allows that to materialize in my life is not of my choosing.  So I'm asked to REST and TRUST.  Geesh.  That lesson doesn't get easier, it just changes shape.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

He makes All Things New

Today I spoke with a lady who used to abuse IV drugs. I normally avoid interacting with patients at work for a few reasons: 1. You never know what you're in for. 2. I don't have much patience for the general public, especially those that don't see things the way I do. I know it sounds close-minded; I'm just being honest. Hang out at Walmart around Christmas; tell me how you feel then.

Despite my slight apprehension, I went in open-minded, ready to help address her pain management. I went in to meet a tired-looking lady who had lived a lot of life in not as many years. She described being in a state of underlying pain constantly but because of her past, she didn't want to ask for more meds. I could see in her face and hear in her voice an honest insight into her past failures. I also saw an expectation to presently suffer because of it, almost as a punishment for it.

It made me sad, and I couldn't help but draw the parallel to myself, how I tend to expect myself to keep getting it wrong. I negate Christ's power of forgiveness and redemption and put more emphasis on MY wrongdoing. How sad that must make His heart. Are His mercies truly new and big enough every time or not?

What I wanted to tell that lady was that she didn't have to live under the shadow of her past. There is new Life in Him. He makes beauty out of ashes. We have HOPE in a God Who changes hearts. I have to believe that before I can give it away. Do you?


- Posted on the go...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Least of These...

Recently I've had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know some churchplanters in downtown Tacoma.  They're a young couple around my age who brought another lady about the same age with them when they moved down from Snoqualmie to work with the inner city population.  Now they all live in the heart of one of the most dangerous areas of Tac-town along with a young high school girl and their newborn twins.  Their "church" began with feeding hot dogs to the people who played ball at the park on Friday afternoons.  They've spent months cultivating relationships, witnessing, and building community.

I've had the pleasure to share a meal with them a couple of times, and hearing their stories about the needs they see and are trying to meet is overwhelming...every time.  Bobby, Kelli, and Becca all come from the same background I do: small Christian college that teaches Southern Baptist church planting strategy.  And we've been blessed to see and learn how God has moved in that way.  But what I keep hearing Bobby say is that there's no book for the task he's been given.  I, myself, as I look back over my years of being in church and hearing of hundreds of mission opportunities and organizations, have no personal frame of reference for his ministry.  How does one go about trying to help rehabilitate a 40-year-old homeless man who's mind and body have been ravaged by years of drug use and who has no ability to read or write?  What does discipleship look like in this setting? 

In church planting, after integrating within and mapping out a people group, you hope to envision what a church among those people would look like.  Then you identify leaders and train them up to make it happen.  Who are the leaders?  What do they look like?  Bobby says the church he's envisioned for those people has changed shape in his mind and heart about 5 times since he's started.  He's clearly a man with big faith that expects and waits on God to move and speak.  It's a blessing to know them and get to see their ministry.

Now what about me?  I'm left with that question.  There are needs in my neighborhood: some physical, some emotional, all of them spiritual.  When I stop to think about it, I'm immediately overwhelmed and paralyzed.  But I know God is bigger than those needs.  He is.

Sunday, one of the thing's Jon talked about was after the feeding of the 5,000 when the people realized Jesus could seriously meet needs.  In John 6 they wanted to make Him king because clearly, if He could meet that one, He could probably take care of all of their needs.  So as One Who held answers, they asked, "What do we do to do the works of God?"  His response was this: "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent."  


I was shocked!  THAT was my rate-limiting step?!  They were asking my question: so what do I DO?  His answer was: BELIEVE in ME.  He asks me (and you) to believe He IS Who He says He is.  He's the Almighty God of all that is.  He is I AM.  He knows the needs.  They're probably even greater than we know.  He wants them met more than we can imagine.  He plans to use us to meet them.  So we must believe and listen.   There's a tangible and an intangible response to this lesson.  The tangible is the looking for and the saying "yes" when you are given an opportunity.  The intangible is the praying, the trusting, and the asking of God to make our hearts and eyes like His.  He's doing it in me, slowly but surely.  I dare you to join me.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sabbatical...kind of




I didn't plan on it. I just kept not-posting. I wasn't super-motivated by anything where I felt I needed to share. One thing I've picked up over the past couple of months is that if I have someone I trust that is available day-to-day, my extrovertive outpour is content to relay little life happenings to them. I don't need to tweet, blog, or facebook as much. Living alone has pushed me towards a yearning for community that can render me slightly electronically obnoxious. And I know that. But a ENTP's gotta go somewhere with it, so you'll have to learn to deal. I'm choosing to allow myself grace in that space right now. I'll check back in on that one later.

Since I last posted, both Natalie and Jen, two of my oldest and dearest friends have come to visit. Nat brought her fun and hilarious husband Brad and their beautiful 2-year-old daughter Dakota. I only got to see them one night, but it was great having them around. Nat's pregnant with their second, so it may be a bit before they get to travel like that again from Memphis.

Jen is a friend that was in my group of freshmen when I was an orientation counselor at Union my junior year. That was my last year at UU, but we somehow managed to forge a serious bond that's kept on until now. She's seen me through so much. It amazes me we're still friends when I think about some of what we've overcome together. I was so blessed to spend time with her, gush about life and theories, and know I was safe to be myself without fear of conditional acceptance.

I've been and continue to be BLESSED. This return post ended up quite the cheesy dedication, but if you're faulting me for gratitude, I'm gonna say that's your own problem. Read Jonathan Acuff if you need a blogger with more entertainment factor. ;) There have been quite a few lessons learned in my silence (limited to my blog, of course-my silence). I'll throw out some of them soon.

This was for you, Nat. As you requested, sister...

- Posted on the go...

Friday, March 05, 2010

Isaiah 41:17-20

I'm realizing that God's heart for the poor and needy goes so much farther than JUST meeting their need and bringing them out of the brokenness. He's gracious alone in His act of just hearing us. I mean, let's get serious. Who is man, that He is mindful of us? (Psalm 8). If you need a little reminder to put this in perspective, read Isaiah 40 before going further.

But His grace to us abounds in that He reveals Himself to us! He shows us what is TRULY good. Having our physical or temporal needs met is valuable, yes. But how much greater a gift is knowing and being known by the LIVING GOD?!

The extent He went to in order to bridge the chasm our sin causes is the testament of this great love. Weak illustration: would you ever be willing to die so that you could be in relationship with that person that cut you off on traffic, or that coworker that's a jerk, or that random stranger that believes something different than you do? Well, He was. And He did. And that enemy was me...and you.

And He just keeps loving us. How amazing IS this grace?! As Sara Groves said in her song "Add to the Beauty", it's an invitation to be beautiful. Are you in?


- Posted on the go...

Friday, February 26, 2010

Guard Your Heart

It was a fabulous discussion tonight among my peers as I sat around a table with them in our local (and trusty favorite) coffeeshop for our usual Thursday night meeting. It was an intimate group of five, much smaller than our usual 8-13, but the participation was no less energetic than what has become our norm. Interestingly the topic discussion centered around forgiveness and what that should look like lived out after saying the phrase. This led to a delineation of "healthy boundaries", which inadvertantly veered us towards guy/girl relationships, and you can see where this is headed...

I won't bore you (or maybe fire you up) with one of my usual sermonettes on the topic. In fact, I honestly just wanted to share a beautiful description my friend Jean the Firefighter (as he's affectionately known by the group) enlightened me with tonight. It wasn't that the pieces of truth he was relaying were new; it was the overall integration of them into a verbal flow diagram that wowed me.

Now bear with me as I try to retell this... I don't have that dude's massive wingspan and pertinent hand gestures to paint the picture for you. He talked about how two people getting to know each other should take time and have certain boundaries for intimacy regarding emotional, spiritual, and physical purity. As these two learn more and decide to keep walking together, the boundaries slightly change in order to allow for a growing together of the individuals over time and within healthy contexts (because there's little room for the physical boundaries to move outside of marriage). If the two are guarded and wisely "not awakening love until it so desires" as the Song of Songs states, then they are more apt to see and heed red flags in the relationship. I Peter 4:8 says that "love covers over a multitude of sins". Usually that's great, but we've all seen this backfire, right? We've all seen the girl who stays with a fool because "she's in love; she can't help it.". Well, there were some decisions that got her there...or maybe no decisions where some were needed. Maybe she just "went with her heart". I won't slip too far into Bitter betty about the "emotions" surrounding romance, but I challenge you to read Jeremiah 17:9.

Christ loves perfectly, and He calls us to love well also. But there are wise ways to love, and Solomon warns not to awaken love (of a romantic sense) prematurely multiple times in that book. He knew we'd need to be reminded.

So take Prov. 4:23 to heart. Don't use it as a shield against vulnerability, but as a map on how to step in getting to know others. Love of any kind is a risk, but our hope and security is safe in Him alone. So love big and love well!

Here's Jean further expounding upon these points:

"A couple of foundational things we talked about to help understand the reasons/purposes for these things:

1. We are created to experience the fullness of life that God has for us to its greatest extent within the bounds of rules/laws. They aren't just do's and don'ts, but have our best interests in mind so we can experience all that God has for us. So it would be illogical to assume that this would not also apply to relationships.

2. The purpose of that strong intimacy/love within the bounds of marriage. God established the marriage covenant to be lifelong between one man and one woman. So the strong physical/emotional/spiritual intimacy between husband and wife serve to protect the marriage and keep it strong by enabling them to forget about petty little things they might not like about each other. This is a good thing that God designed. We screw it up when we don't do it according to His plan, we enter into that deep intimacy too early and overlook huge things that could decide whether or not you should spend your life with that person.

Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
- God knows this, He made it that way.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
- God knows this too, we made it that way through our sinful nature.

Wisdom is to learn how God designed the world and us to be and live within that framework so we can experience Him to the fullest and have life!"

See? Understand why I love spending this time expanding my mind/heart about the things of God with my peers each week? ;)
- Posted on the go...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dog Training

That's kinda how I feel in my walk sometimes. It became evident to me this morning that God tends to use discontentment like a leash in my life. I get easily distracted by shiny or new or fun, and I fail to respond to my Master. I no longer listen for His commands or words of affirmation. Then I'm wide open for attack from the Enemy. That guy doesn't even have to get me to sin; he just DISTRACTS me from Who God is and all the implications of Truth on my life. And then I'm just kinda restless...like today.

Regardless of the end result of an overall poopoo mood (I know you're tempted to reuse that.), I'm thankful that He doesn't let me get too far. Even though it's frustrating, embarassing at times, and it ALWAYS makes me feel foolish to realize I needed it- I'm thankful. He's gracious to love me intensely, jealously, and perfectly. His jealousy for my affection saves me being a lover of ashes for very long.


I can find that no where else. Eat that, Liar!


- Posted on the go...

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Wow...

That's all I can say after hearing this.  Eugene Cho, pastor of Quest Church up in Seattle honkin' rocked my face off with this sermon entitled "The Theology of Singlehood".  I feel convicted and empowered.  So snuggled up on your couch with your laptop, a pen, and some paper and soak it up.  You won't be sorry.


And just in time for Valentine's Day!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Oh, Romans...

How I love thee! Maybe it's the thinker in me, but that book honkin' rocks my face off. It's chock full of the reasoning mechanism behind God's plan of salvation for mankind. Being the science mind and basing most of my job on natural laws of science, for God to give Paul this insight into the natural workings of man's heart and His plan to redeem them is a delight to digest!

And as heady as the material can be, it's so simple! I can't get past Rom. 4:20-22. Much of Romans mentions Abraham and how his faith was credited to him as righteousness. But ask the question WHAT is "saving faith"?

Is it different than believing the sun will come out tommorow? Or that the Bible is God's Word? Or that the earth is round?

Check verse 21 and brace yourself: "fully convinced that God was able to do what He had promised." Wow. That's it? But what would that look like? How would that change us?

Would we still be fearful? Worriers? Disgruntled? Impatient? Man, the ramifications of THAT kind of faith are honkin' limitless. Let's try it. Who's with me?

I'm tearing up. I think my cup must be small- or maybe it's that He's THAT big- because the overflow from Him sharing Truth to my heart is abundant recently. Thank You, Lord.




- Posted on the go...

Friday, January 22, 2010


Snowboarding Day 2

It was a really good day today, at least the first half of it.  God woke me up before my alarm, and the sun was out all day.  I was able to get some things done at the house before I headed over to Snoqualmie for my second attempt at snowboarding.  Armed with a board and boots (x2, actually) that I'd borrowed from friends for test-driving, I made the beautiful drive up for some afternoon boarding.

Got there, got my gear, got my bindings adjusted, and things in some ways were better and in other ways worse than I expected. 
  • I've completely shanked heading down heel-edge, which was my more comfortable stance on Day 1.  The one time today I tried it was disastrous.  So...that skill is currently under construction.
  • I think I actually prefer riding goofy.  I felt way more comfortable and in control with my right foot downhill.  It appears that I ride a snowboard like I shoot pool: as a lefty. 
  • Slush can be good...or bad.  Easier on the backside, but can be tricky when you're trying to carve.  After the hill's been ridden for a while, the slush gets super-uneven, so it can sneak up on you at times and make you catch an edge you weren't planning for.  (Or maybe it's just me.)
  • I noticed that I tend to head down the mountain with a smirk on my face...even when I've fallen.  It may even turn to a slight out-stuck (can I say that?) tongue when recovering from a fall.  But either way, it's just fun.  And my face shows it.  (Shocker, I know)
  • Like many other activities in my life, I tend to talk to myself while I'm doing this...because I'm the only one I know there.  I'm not sure and don't really care whether anyone else noticed.
  • I've decided I'm a natural.  Yep, it's just what I've decided.  And sometimes I actually believe it...just waiting for my skillz to show it.  ;)
  • The lift is the bain of my existence.  It was a constant battle.  
  • Times I made it off the lift without busting my tail or my hands: 2
  • Times I cracked my tailbone (I think) = times I got the breath knocked out of me = times I tried by heel edge = 1.
  • The main thing I'm learning in this process: HUMILITY
I'm only partially kidding.  This whole process puts me in a place where I'm new, I'm inexperienced, and I'm by myself.  I'm not a fan of being new at something.  Most sports I didn't quickly have a knack for I didn't stick with.  That's why you never saw me owning a basketball court.  Part of me is glad I go up by myself.  I really don't like people to see me not having it together, so falling and fumbling around is less humiliating if I'm not likely to see my audience again. 

However, today I left with wierd vision changes.  After touching base over the phone with one of our ER docs, I decided it was probably just snow blindness as I didn't wear my goggles most of the day.  However, symptoms of headache and nausea became increasingly worse until I made it home and into a lying down position.  I started battling the hypochondriac in me as I tried to make sure I wasn't decompensating: hypotension, numbness/tingling in my extremities, and odd word placement in my thoughts.  I figured worse case scenario was that I had a head bleed and was losing blood volume.  I know, way more dramatic than necessary...which is why I decided NOT to visit my ER friends for an MRI.  I think my friend nailed it when he said I know too much for my own good...just adds material for my usual hyperanalysis.  

But barring disaster in the near future, I still plan on getting good.  Now my objective is to make it through my ER shifts this weekend without having to sit on a doughnut cushion.   ;)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

People Are Delicious

Before you get freaked out or report me for cannibalistic tendencies, let me explain.

I get the opportunity to sit around a table every week with 8-10 of my peers and discuss life, faith, and our personal journeys. And these people are amazing...in so many way and for so many different reasons. I love seeing and witnessing the deposit of Himself God has placed in those around me. They're beautiful!

And it just keeps getting better. We keep getting new faces with new stories He's been writing. As an observer and amateur social analyst, I have a field day with these people. They emit humor (very clever humor, I might add); they spout wisdom and encouragement; and they call me friend! How delicious it is to soak it all up. I don't even mind that the humor is often at my expense (and sometimes self-inflicted).

They each deserve a post. Each person has their own specific flavor incorporating their personality, their outlook, their passion, their career, their experience, and their communication style. You can see how blessedly diverse this group can be. You can also see how this group of parts coming together to make a whole wafts a beautiful Aroma through our trusty Origin 23 coffeeshop every Thursday night.

"But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing."
- 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 -
- Posted on the go -

Saturday, January 16, 2010

His Name

I'm reading through Isaiah 37 where Hezekiah has made a plea to the Lord due to the threat of King Sennacherib of Assyria.  He prayed hard to the God he knew could deliver him.  So Isaiah brings God's response, and it gets my heart fired up.  It starts in verse 22 and goes through verse 35. 

Verse 23 is the initial kicker for me.  God mocks Sennacherib by asking basically who the feez homeboy thinks he's messing with.  He answers His own question by calling Himself "THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL".  Wow.  I see in Zondervan's NIV concordance that this Name for God is used many times in Isaiah, a couple of times in Jeremiah and the Psalms.  (I might have missed an instance in my quick skim, but I think that's it.)  All of Isaiah is about God's love relationship with Israel: various threats from nearby kingdoms, His constant desire that they would turn to trust Him instead of the works of their hands or weak alliances, and His radical pursuit of their hearts.  He does this through blessing and cursing, bringing attacks and defending them against others,  and telling them of future destruction and salvation through Isaiah.  I can't imagine that he was a very popular dude.

But wow, when Sennacherib sends his henchman, the Rabshekah, to declare his future victory over Israel, I picture a quasi-WWF scene where the obnoxious ignorant dude grabs the mic and talks a bunch of smack about how bad he'll put a hurtin' on those folks, making sure to mock all that they trust in and see as important.  And he's not doing so bad until he lumps the Holy One of Israel into that heap of things he's making light of.  Um, who has that ever gone well for?  I'm sure they taught history back then, but this kid needs brushing up...for serious.  He must've really been convincing, though, because Hezekiah and HIS folks are shaken up.  They're in sackcloth and ashes mode immediately.  And Hezekiah does what he knows works: he takes it to the sovereign God of the universe, the Holy One of Israel. 

And God, in His usual format, does NOT mince words.  He points out that He's always been in control, regardless of who Assyria has conquered.  He's still been writing that script (verses 26-28).  Then in verse 29, He speaks of how he will put His reigns on them.  He will put His hook in their nose and make them go where He wants.  Can you imagine?  How humiliating?!  He goes in until verse 35 explaining in detail exactly how He will bring that about. 

And then He does.  One angel goes out and mows down 185,000 of those Assyrian dudes.  He does NOT mess.  But what kills me is that even after this and after displays of God's power/strength/provision/protection in my own life, the Israelites still doubted.  They still turned at times to trust something else.  And so do I.  How tragic.  This God Who has written this beautiful love story to a people He made to KNOW HIM about redemption, salvation, and eternal communion with Him, the Source of all that is GOOD, loves and knows ME.  Read that sentence again.  Write it on my heart, Lord, the Holy One of Israel.

Monday, January 11, 2010

My Story

I'm seeing more of it. I had mentioned during a previous post that my life at this cross-section was not exactly what I had projected at various timepoints throughout my development: not at 6, not at 16, not at 23, you see where I'm going with this. My choice was to step back, and re-evaluate based on the premise that God is the perfect Author. He has all my days written in His book before one of them comes to pass (Psalm 139:16). I've been needing (for a while now) to get on track with what He's writing. So I am. And it's good stuff.

One of the things I've been asking Him to show me is my eternal impact. I loved my college years because I was constantly surrounded by peers trucking down the same path I was: thought processes based on Kingdom work, new doctrinal insights imparted from a Christian author or speaker, and an overall urgency that people know Jesus. Any one day could be filled with multiple conversations that would rock my heart, soul, and mind to the core about Who God was. It was a rich and sweet time, to say the least. But now I'm a 40-hr/week kinda girl. And I go to church. Don't get me wrong: It's not exactly that simple, but from the outside looking in, one might perceive it as such. I'm definitely plugged in at my church. I love that place. I wouldn't be able to be just a spectator. In fact, I've been given some amazing opportunities to learn, be loved, give, and grow at Discovery.

But I want more. That can't be it. Doesn't Jesus have plenty to say about how easy it is to love those who love us back? Don't get me wrong: Community is HARD...and MESSY, but ALWAYS worth it. If you don't think so, you haven't stuck with it long enough to see the beauty redeemed from ashes. That was a side bar, so back to my original plight: I want to know that what I do Monday through Friday still has eternal impact.

I've been trying to look and listen. Don't snicker, I am aware it's not the most immediate action in my nature. And at work last week, one of my coworkers walked into my office. I happened (yeah, right, like there's room for coincidence with a sovereign God like ours) to be alone in there because my student had to use another computer since the second one in my office was broken. My friend asked me to pray for her about a job opportunity, for direction concerning it. Much to her surprise, I asked if I could just pray with her right there. So we did. The next day she reported that God had already given her an answer. So I was pumped!

Then this weekend I was working down in the ER, which I love with my whole heart. So much of that has to do with the staff down there. I just love those people. There's such a comraderie, and for some reason, they've let me into their clan. I was having a chat about teenagers with a coworker, and we got into a discussion on parenting. We talked a little about why kids are the way they are these days and the changing dynamic in the family units. And out of nowhere, she got a little teary-eyed, so of course, I followed suit...at the computers...at the nurses station. I became immediately aware of my opportunities and that if I weren't listening, looking, and connected to Him, I would miss them.

Now I'm more expectant. I've seen that He is able to overcome the slightly Type A, sometimes disgruntled, impatient pharmacist, and USE ME. And what does it require? Guess. I've said it on here a milllion times, and I will continue to proclaim it: A YES! That's all He asks for. He's faithful to do the rest. Please check out Eph. 2:10. Actually, start in verse 8. Ask yourself this: how much of this is up to me? And what is my response to be? The answers are NONE and BELIEVE; and WALK in His ways. They're laid out already. Just walk in them.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

SNOWBOARDING
Chapter 1

After years of attempts with little improvement, I said goodbye to skis today. I had gotten better at various intervals (by Day 3 in Teluride circa spring break 03 or so or the first half of a day on the mountain), but it STILL felt like every trip down could be my last. I feel like that should not be the sentament with which you approach a leisure activity. So figuring that I'm decent in terms of coordination and most sports (at least average, maybe), I concluded that snowboarding might be my gig.

I'm not one to waste time when I want something, and I want the most bang for my buck. So I invested in private lessons to begin my snowboarding adventure. GREAT idea. Seriously, I'm so glad I did. My homie AJ did a bombin' job of showing me the ropes and making me feel like I was catching on quickly. He even laughed at my jokes without charging me extra. We even did an extra run on the lift after my time was up. I only almost killed myself once, getting off the lift of course. Twisted my ankle bad and heard pops, but I made it down fine... and for 3 more times after that. ;)

I went up a little nervous: about going by myself, about killing myself on the board, about being really bad at it and that frustrating me. I'm not the most patient person (Shocker, I know), and so being new (and bad) at a sport can frustrate me quickly. But I never got angry today. And I left hopeful and pumped about heading back up. That never happened with skiing. The rest of my thoughts I'm going to throw into some bullets. It's gonna be random fire, so consider yourself warned.
  • I bought knee pads today...to prevent recurrence of the beasthammond bruises that currently reside atop my kneecaps. I need one for my sacrum, but that might look awkward in my boarding pants. ;)
  • I'm glad I went up by myself. Falling and flailing around in the snow on that board was way more comfortable in front of my instructor AJ (who's trained and used to seeing such sadness) than any of my current friends, even when I almost took that kid out sliding nearly directly into him.
  • I can do this. I mean, I'm excited and expectant to eventually be good at it. It's a good feeling.
  • I haven't recently prayed for humility (because that bought be a broken leg once), but there was some inflicted by today's activities.
  • Driving up there and seeing the mountains reminded me of so much: why I love living here, how much beauty is in such close range, and how just seeing that scenery is peaceful.
  • As I was driving home, I started thinking how if God can orchestrate all the nutrients, weather conditions, etc. to sustain the life of each of those trees atop those mountains, it's highly likely (and completely true!) that He is more than capable of handling my meager existence. I loved it, feeling small but seen. Read more in Matthew 6.
Overall, it was just a rich day between me and God. I think AJ thought I was kidding, but the sun came out at one point, and I informed him that I had prayed for that. He then asked me to pray for snow, which I did silently, and guess honkin' what? It totally snowed - even a few of the good fat flakes - during my lesson. Absolutely no coincidence. I worshipped on my drive home. I didn't even have any trouble seeing the road through the tears; it was great. I'm planning on heading back up on Monday. Until my next snowboarding adventure...

Sunday, January 03, 2010

2010

So I wussed out and couldn't think of a better title...or didn't really want to take the time to...do it. I'm gonna attribute the awkward ending of that sentence to a conversation I had with my small group about grammar. I confessed then that my biggest struggle, and it's a consious one, is ending sentences with prepositions. I just want to! Geesh.

But my first blog of 2010 is not going to be an earth-shattering one. I can't say that I've even been emotionally invested in the fact that it's a new year. Woops. I said it (or typed it). But I have been assessing my life and thinking about positive changes I want to see. They're not new. I wanted the same things in November and December of 2009, and like I discussed with my small group as well today, I have yet to make any effort towards incorporating these changes into my life. I keep waiting on better but doing nothing about it. And yep, you guessed it, that's a fruitless and disappointing place.

But this weekend I've been a little more desperate. I've wanted to see God do something more than last week or last year. I need to see the eternal impact my life is and is not making. I need to be drawn near to God's heart so I can know and walk in His way for me. That will take specific steps on my part: mainly being in the Word and in prayer. The community part I love and regularly take part in; the setting aside of time and meditation on things of eternal value outside of myself is not as frequent, sadly.

And I know He'll meet me there. He already has. Tonight I took a nap after small group dreading the onset of Sunday night sadness when I woke up. For some reason the end of the weekend, the looming start to the week, is a lonely place for me. But when I awoke, I looked around at how cozy my little house looked. I didn't feel alone. I felt Him near. I knew He was El Roi, the God Who sees, in that moment.

I know I'm not alone. I know He's at work in my life. I'm praying my emotional fortitude will catch up to my head knowledge of Truth. And I'm welcoming 2010 with hopeful anticipation.


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