Monday, June 22, 2009

In Which She Tells Embarrassing Stories from Vacation

Well a week off never seems to be enough time to do what you would like to do. Thankfully we headed to ND with little agenda in mind. That really helped when we were so wiped we could barely get off the couch! :O)

Big A and I had a good time traveling with the parents. 17-18 hours together is a long time for anyone but in a car all bets are off. Thankfully we travelled well both coming and going - and I only got really grumpy once… maybe twice? ... Ok maybe three times.

There was fog - lots and lots of fog. There was construction - mile after mile of it.

Mainly we laughed a whole lot (when we weren’t sleeping). One giggling incident at 3 am after getting a little turned around in nowhere, SD stands out. Hey, I get giddy at 3 am.

As for the actual vacation in ND with the family there aren’t enough words. LBB (Little Big Brother) suggested that I do a t-shirt of our favorite vacation sayings. The only problem is that only 6 of us would “get” them.

One thing that marks my family is laughter. Thankfully we can usually only argue until one of us says something funny and then it’s all over. So here are some of my favorite vacation moments. We’ll get to the spiritual highlights later. These are the other memorable ones.

Allie Rose (on seeing a little boy fall off his bike under the bleachers) “Hey buddy… are you ok? HEY… BUDDY… are you ok? I found out later she knew the little boy when he came up to us and said “my name is Mason… remember… Mason.”

Allie Rose as a bride - she has the whole getup. She needed an announcer and we decided that only daddy could announce her wedding. Upon Jeff’s pronouncement of “Let’s get ready to MARRYYYYYYY,” she announced to us all that it was time to leave on her honeymoon - to Texas

Jeremiah decided on the last day that he wasn’t ready for us to leave prompting him to walk into rooms where I was and say things like “I’m going to miss you for my WHOLE life.”

Jonathan is a hoot. You know how parents always wish you will have a child just like yourself? Well my brother has spawned a clone of himself. It is really a challenge to not crack up while listening to him.

T-ball is priceless entertainment. The pictures do not do justice to the duos of kids on each base playing in the dirt, talking and holding hands (these are the opposing teams). Allie skips to each base or runs on tip-toe.

We also got to see Jonathan and Jeremiah get hits and score runs in the pee-wee games. The younger kids were fun to watch (no sitting on the base and playing in the dirt for them.

When running downstairs to proclaim her innocence, a good lesson for my niece to learn will be to not start out like this “Whatever it is he says that I did, I didn’t do it” Every adult in the room had their hands over their faces trying not to die laughing as she proceeded to tell exactly what Jeremiah was going to say she did and recount again that she did not do it. Kinda hard to buy the story, but funny!

Finally no words can describe the sweetness of having almost all of the people I love under one roof finally. We got to hold the kids a lot, which always makes me mindful that they will not always want to sit in Aunt Gina’s lap and just cuddle. How time flies!?!

Friday, June 12, 2009

In Which We Take a Break!

Well friends... I am off to Sunny North Dakota. Unless something really fascinating happens while I am gone I will be taking a blog-break.
Would appreciate prayers for safe travel.

We will be driving straight through the night. SO if you're in Western MO or Iowa or along that path wave all day and I might see you. :O)


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

In Which One Thing Really Does Lead to Another

Well it's almost midnight. I came home after work exhausted. But I knew I needed some unplugged time. So I got the old journal/Bible and a new book I am trying to read. Book required watching a bit of video - enter laptop.... video will not play.

So I sit in silence for a while writing, praying, thinking and crying.

That seems to be my pattern so far for the last two weeks. I think I have cried more in that time than I have in the last year (and I'm a crier people... no one cries alone in my presence!).

Why the tears? I read somewhere that tears are cleansing. I mean that in literal terms. Tears wash out impurities from your body. Have you ever cried tears that literally burn? That is your body, doing its job.

I also mean it figuratively. Sometimes we just have to let things go emotionally. I'm the queen of trying to hold things in. I guess I've always thought that eventually there would be time for a meltdown. The time just never actually came. I hate crying in front of anyone. It seems weak (yeah I don't know when weak became a bad thing either). It means I am "out of control," not something I am ever fond of fyi!

Back to the tears, because remember - one thing really does lead to another tonight.

I've been in this flaky emotional state for a couple of weeks. Seriously when I came home at lunch today and cried the ENTIRE HOUR - I figured I had used up the reservoir. I was oh... so.. wrong.

At about 6, right before I decided I needed to unplug, I lost it yet again. Yep - good times!

So how does this lead to something else. I hit my moment of clarity about 4 hours later. It was something I started to get earlier and that revelation (if it's not ok, it's not the end) needed to lead to the second verse.

We're not home yet. We're not done yet. You still breathing? Yep, me too. Guess what that means.
We're not done yet because we're not home yet. Which means God's not done yet either! Now how exiting is that?

It ain't over, till it's over. And the fact that you're reading this means it ain't over.

Tomorrow when I wake up and take that first morning breath I will remind myself again that God is still working out His plan. What plan? You got me - that's His business.

My business:
Get up
Get moving
Tell everyone I can what He is doing, has done, can do, wants to do (get the picture)
Come home

Monday, June 08, 2009

In Which She Talks to the “In-Betweeners”

I spent a lot of time yesterday thinking about my life. Pastor’s sermon was a challenge to live for eternity. It hit me between the eyes (Pastor does that a LOT and I am so thankful for his diligence to God’s word). I was challenged to make some changes in what I do and what I think/say about what I do.

Then I also started thinking about stages of life. In our connection group my friend Joel mentioned something about God being focused on our journey in life, while we are focused on our destination. God wants to help us “be” where we are and who we need to be. Often we just want to get where we are going already. And could you hurry that up please God?

Am I the only one who keeps falling back into destination thinking?

My mind knows firmly that God is in control. He is working on me, through me, and around me for His glory and purposes. I am looking in me, around me, at me, and wishing He would get on with it already.

Again yesterday and this morning I am struck by the reminder to be the girl who is all about the journey.

We all have destinations in mind. We are all in between stages. Have you ever thought about it that way? All of us are “in-betweeners.” Even if you just had something come to pass you soon realize that it is just that - “past.” Our human minds automatically hit the “next” button and we start waiting again. You graduate from college and you are suddenly in the waiting for something like graduate school, marriage, or a job. You get married and you are in the waiting pool, even if not immediately for kids, a house, or something else. We’re all there!

Recently I was in the middle of a conversation that put a big spotlight right on my “in-betweener” status. My reaction even surprised me. See I actually had been happily a journey girl. I had not been focusing on being an in-betweener. It took all of about 2 seconds for me to snap back! How frustrating is that?! :O)

Since this morning has me back firmly in journey mode (hmmm… I’ve had to create words for this little post haven’t I? Hopefully you’re still with me), I wanted to share a couple of observations.

When you focus on the thing you want more than on the Giver you are always going to be miserable.

Think right now about what you want then give… it… up! See above re: misery.

No matter where you are in life you can help support another in-betweener. As different as we are we need to realize that we are more alike than different. Satan wants to categorize us. Christ wants to break those boundaries so we can learn and journey together.

Now get on out there and start talking! So glad we are on this journey together.


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

In Which She Dwells, but in a good way

So this is an odd blog and a long blog - that’s your warning up front.

It’s been a difficult few weeks for me. I’ve been a long-time on again/off again migraine sufferer. The last month has seen them coming up at least once a week, with the last one hanging in for (current count as of 6/2/09) 8 days! 8 days of dizziness, head pounding, eyes twitching and general grumpy madness. Honestly I don’t say anything to complain… just to explain! If you see me, and I don’t see you, that’s probably why. If you call me on the phone and I seem “not there” there’s a good bet I’m not.

But I digress.

Spiritually this last month has been challenging. It’s hard to read with a pounding head… hard to sing (my favorite “me and God” time)… and hard to focus. To say the last month has been dry for me just doesn’t seem to cut it. I hadn’t even really realized it until I opened my journal this morning and my last entry was 5/13. Almost a month break is practically unheard of for me in journal terms. So why did I wake up this morning and grab the journal? It was a dream.

Before you start rolling your eyes (all three of you who read) let me state for the record that I am not a person who believes every dream means something. Sure some of them do. Sure sometimes your subconscious needs to work things out and chooses your dreaming to do the work. Sometimes I firmly believe that if you aren’t still enough when you are awake, or He just chooses to, God will come in and speak.

That would be what happened to me early this morning. Most of the dream, even the setting, I’ll leave between me and God because I know that is what needs to happen. But part of what I learned I just felt like sharing. I think it is because I know, from your comments, prayer requests, and messages; that many of you are struggling right now.

It was a disturbing dream in many ways. In the midst of it though, God gave me a song and buddy I belted it out right then and there. I don’t remember it, maybe I will later. I don’t even remember more than two words of it. But the two words were worth the distress of the dream.

Wonderful counselor

When I woke up there were a few things clear to me. I hadn’t slept much (getting used to that) but I had to stay up and process. So I grabbed my Bible and journal from beside me and got to work. I think I’m a pretty good listener. I’m a problem solver at heart and a counselor. So I love helping other people work through things. I enjoy God giving me the right word, at the right time to help lift other people. It is a joy to me to do that. However too often I don’t go for that same help. I wall myself off. Where does the “healer” go when they need to be healed? Wonderful Counselor!

The first place I opened my Bible to was Psalm 91. Pastor Floyd did a Sunday night series a while back on that passage and I still had the notes to re-read. FYI - the dwelling in the secret place, and pastor had both been in my dream!?!

Where are you dwelling? Lately I’ve been dwelling in my problem. I’m in pain and that doesn’t seem to be letting up. Who knows, it may not let up for a while. But where do I need to dwell? I need to dwell in the secret place. This morning when I woke up to read, I just kept reading. It was so fresh to me, maybe because things have been so “dry.” But everything jumped off the page and pointed back to the dream. Wild!

Circumstances may not change. But I will dwell and I am determined to let that change me! God gave me a song and remember it or not my heart will be singing it. It’s back to basics for me. It’s all about digging in and not letting go until God breaks my hip and gives me the blessing (see Jacob in the OT if that is gibberish for you). I’ll try to let you in on the journey. If I don’t, feel free to ask.

On and up friends!