Thursday, August 27, 2009

Things Normal People Would Never Tell You

So today I decided to start blogging some of my “only Gina” stories. Cause I always think that people know these things then realize that you don’t! :O)

We all know I tattle on myself anyways.

My family calls this particular epic the “Water Bottle Incident”

I was traveling from Colorado Springs back to Fayetteville by myself in February a few years back. The month is only important in that it was cold and I had a heavy winter coat on in addition to a purse and a carry-on bag.
The other important thing to note in this story is that I had bought a large liter water bottle in the airport that I was carrying around with me.

Now we also all know that when you are traveling by yourself you have to keep everything with you at all times. You can’t go leaving your bag somewhere when you need to go grab a magazine or something.

You also cannot leave your bags or say your gigantic water bottle somewhere when you have to go to the restroom.

So when nature called and I answered I had to be a little creative.

I get in the little airport stall with the purse, backpack, heavy coat, and water bottle and proceed to start to find space for everything so I can… ya know… do what needs to be done.

Coat off - backpack on the hook - but what to do with the water bottle? There is no shelf for the water bottle. There is however the handy toilet paper dispenser. Sure it’s round but certainly it’ll balance for a bit right?

Wrong - very, very wrong.

More important things that everyone needs to know.

1. When setting something round on top of something round, chances are that it will not stay put for very long even if it looks well balanced.

2. Bottles of liquid very rarely fall straight down.

3. Bottles of liquid, especially plastic ones, tend to explode when hitting tile.

4. Law of Gina says that when said bottle of liquid hits the floor and explodes it won’t do it in a convenient place… like in its own stall.

5. Law of Gina also says that the person next to you in the stall will in fact have pants down… but this will at least save maintenance from mopping the floor later.

Dear Woman Next to me in the St. Louis Airport Bathroom,
While I do not know you I have felt badly for you for years. No words can express my look and gasp of horror on watching an entire liter of water soak you as you innocently sat doing your… shall we say… business that afternoon in February. Sure I should have said something more than “oooh…oooh… sorry.” Certainly, I might have come out of the bathroom earlier than an hour later, but let’s face it, embarrassed doesn’t really cover a moment like that. I did look for you - the lady with the completely wet pants. Cause yeah - you just pulled up and left - how did you manage that anyways? I didn’t even hear the blower going to dry you off?
Sorry - I got distracted. While I cannot make up for your discomfort, you did give my good friend Crystal the perfect idea for a new line at Hallmark the “Sorry - I wet your pants” line. I think it will take off like gangbusters in airports. Seriously this has to have happened to someone else? Well - me and the lady who dropped her gun in the bathroom and shot the woman next to her.
Come to think of it - waters not all that bad huh?
Again - sorry

Betsy Wetsy

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Whole Lot of Nothing

I have nothing to say
I have tried for days to come here and be witty, funny, thoughtful, profound, wordy, or anything.
I am at a loss.

Oooh - but you know what I have had an abundance of this last week or so if we just want to be good and honest about it - is the slightest hint of a pity party.

And in bloggyness - or lack of bloggyness (come on spellchecker - that is too a word!) - that comes off as what I am now going to coin blog-pity or possibly blog-envy.

Wanna guess how that showed up? The reason that I have nothing to blog about is because I have (enter melodramatic sigh here) NOTHING… nothing to blog about. Did you hear me?! I’ve been praying God. What is YOUR DEAL?! HA!

Told ya I was having a blog-pity/blog-envy party. I decided when I was driving to work the other morning that the reason I was having such a difficulty coming up with something brilliant to say was because I had no family here in casa de Gina to write about. I have no cute pictures of little toddling ones around my house to post. There is no other person doing something crazy or funny in the next room every day.

Just little ol’ me here and let’s face it - I’m kinda boring! :O)

Oh - so the pinnacle of my newfound blog-pity hit me the other night on the way past my pitiful pile of dishes in the kitchen. (Can’t you keep up with these - it is just YOU living here) I had one of those just lonely single moments. (Would you get a look at yourself in these unmatched pjs)

What’s ironic about this is this perception that I think some people have of the single life. Now other singles may live this super suave-together “drinking coffee in Central Perk” life - this single lives a “so busy I can’t even keep up with where I am much less actually do my dishes” life. Funny no?

Oh - so back to my blog-pity point.

Isn’t it funny how Satan can creep in with disharmony in the family of believers in the lie of “the grass is greener over there trap?” FYI - no idea why I’m using so many quotation marks!

Single people often look to the married side of the fence with envy. Married people (or so I’m told) fondly remember single days or wish this or that was different with the children or spouse. Why couldn’t I just have this God? Isn’t that just the way things work? So many of you desperately want children… and some of you would love to hand your little darling off for a bit.

Yeah - I do have a point! Life is what it is. God has you where He has you. Let’s face it. He has you where He has you for a reason and/or a season. Nothing lasts forever! If you have a kiddo that is making you nuts you have ahead of you the day when you will leave them in a dorm room or walk them down the aisle. Be thankful that you have them where you have them. If you have a silent house now because the kiddos are gone you can look back on memories of laughing kiddos and look forward to visits with them as adults with their kiddos (and sending them home all hyped up on red dye and sugar!).

If you have a silent house now because you’re single remember that God has given you a season where He wants you all to Himself and rejoice because new days are ahead!

Nothing ever lasts forever even if sometimes it feels like it might. Life is all about seasons.

So blog-pity is done now that I have unloaded it. We’ll just see what we can find in this little corner of the web to say about my actual crazy life that doesn’t contain anyone toddling on my floor or snoring in the next room. It does contain plenty of things to be thankful for… plenty of people that I can blog-tattle on (watch-out Al! just kidding)… and plenty of randomness in my brain.

I’ll try to hit this place more than once every other week.

That’s all for now

-Suzy Sunshine. :O)

Monday, August 17, 2009

In Which She Shuts Up a Bit

I’m not a fan of silence.
Have I mentioned that before?
Yes - I am an extrovert. That means in general I like things to be bubbling - preferably bubbling around me. :O) But I don’t just mean silence in that sense. I am not a fan of silence in life either.

This shows up in two ways that are worth noting.

First - I am all about answers. If we’re in Bible Study together you can count on me to be the person who can only stand the awkward pause so long before needing to chime something in to the mix. Silences are excruciating. There is too much that can be said and should be said. However the older I am getting I am also learning that there are lots of things that should not be said. There are lots of pauses that need to be extended. God and I are working on me listening more in those moments and thinking about what I might need to say less.

Second - I’m all about background noise. This is actually where I was tonight that brought my little blogging brain into the mix. I had things to get done tonight. Ok… not really much outside of a bit of tidying up and some cooking. Oh - and maybe some facebooking (c’mon spellchecker - that is so a word!). While I went about my business I hit my favorite source of background noise- HULU! I very rarely just watch anything so I was doing that and 9 other things.

Noise - lots and lots of noise

Then I hit my blog rounds and found something that stunned me into silence on Kelly’s blog.


Suddenly God had my attention again and I hit silence… actually I hit worship for about 30 minutes in that moment and then have continued in silence. Something about a holy moment that you just don’t want to break you know?

Since you already have a few posts down my conversation about some things in my life that God is working on redeeming. And there is more - there is so much more. I drove home today listening to a song from a new cd that was all about God’s redemption.
Love Story

God’s redemption - stunned into a silent moment.

Why? It is because God doesn’t only speak in screaming moments. He does sometimes. Sometimes He is in the storm speaking. Sometimes He uses calamity. But wouldn’t you much rather hear the whisper? Man I would. It brought to my heart these verses that I have always loved.

1 Kings 19:11-13
The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by." Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"

God wasn’t in the mighty wind or the earthquake. He was in the gentle whisper. Tonight I so wanted to hear that whisper that I shut everything off. It is still off.

Silence - scary - still - quiet - silence

Why scary? Scary because God has so much work left to do here on me in these quiet moments. Scary because I am remembering a prayer this time last year that required brokenness and finally realizing these thousand shattered pieces and my tears of the last few months are the answer to that specific prayer.

God has done so much with my little that I am stunned into silence.

Actually this night deserves a bit more quiet and a bit less bloggy-ness - night y’all.

God is so good!
Silence. :O)

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

In Which She Writes - Because She Cannot Sleep

I have a goal - rest. I am sure I will get around to it sometime. :) Maybe after graduation....
No I fully intended to hit the sack early tonight but I got caught up talking with some friends. So I got home late, wasn't tired, had to catch up on Facebook, or whatever the excuse is.

So now I have decided to come over and blog a bit. When last we spoke, well next to last, I was headed out of town to pray over some of my future details.
I know everyone is dying to know what I discovered so here you go.


Profound isn't it? Really I learned a lot, just not about what I thought I was headed to learn (See previous posting). What I did hear clearly on future wise was that I am where I am right now for a reason. I keep asking a lot of "but what about next year?" questions but we're not getting that far.

Back when I used to write my daily devotionals I had a favorite word picture that I used to use.
It comes from Psalm 119:105
Psalm 119:105 (King James Version)
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Being the detailed person that I am something jumps right out from this to me. The promise is for a lamp at my FEET. God's not promising the whole Coleman camping lighting package. Typically God's guidance doesn't come in the form of a 19 step manual of how to get from point A to point Z. You get the beam - directly on the path in FRONT of you getting you from point A to B.. then C... Then D... sometimes you get D to G. :O)

You're seeing my point right?

My little reminder was that I may not have everything mapped out, a prospect that Gina the controlling, list making freak is not a fan of fyi, but I do have C to D. When D is close to being done (get it... D = Done...) then the beam will head to E. Until then I am going to be content with the Word lighting my feet one shuffle step at a time. One thing is for certain, if I continue to focus on the Word lighting my path and stop trying to see where point "M" fits into the picture then I am a whole lot less likely to stumble.

Here endeth tonight's lesson.

Night all. :O)

Saturday, August 01, 2009

In Which Memory Lane Gets Rocky

Couldn’t wait to share! :O)

As I sit here starting to write this it is 1 am on Saturday morning and I am winding down a pretty incredible weekend. I think when I look back on this weekend one of the words I will use is amusing. Because I came up with a good idea of what I wanted God to speak to… and He had a completely different plan.

Just hours after I started this journey I started out in the car in a pretty down state. Things did not get off to the best of starts (won’t bore you with details but it involved a twisted ankle and a bill I thought was paid that wasn’t). I was determined not to waste a minute though so I started praying and singing as soon as I hit the highway. This would be the moment when I realized God’s plans and mine were about to not “mesh.”

Have you ever had a spot in your heart or memory that is like a nerve? It’s like you can prick it from time and feel that pinch of pain. Every once in a while you do it just to see if it’s still there. But as long as it doesn’t really bother you - you don’t bother it either. On the drive up I had one of those spots lingering in the back of my memory. This is a place down memory lane that I felt was well traveled y’all. Seriously it is a place that I felt like God and I had visited enough that we’ve marked our stone. We came. We saw. He conquered. I had the scars you know… He had the glory. But on the drive up here every time I would touch that memory again the tears would flow.

You know I’d love to tell you I threw the door open right there but I gotta say I was still hoping that we weren’t gonna go there. Oh - how - wrong - I - WAS….

We started off this morning (Friday) dealing through some of my agenda. Check… check… no concrete plans but that gentle guidance that I’ve come to expect. Peace - stillness… wait - there is that whole “not-meshiness” again. Why are we revisiting that God? We’ve been there remember? We did that? Don’t you remember?

I’ll fast forward a bit to let you in on a little secret that I’ve learned… sometimes when you drop things cause you think you and God are done with them… you and God are SO not done with them.

About 15 years ago or so I walked up on a conversation taking place in a Sunday school room. I heard my name being mentioned as I was walking up so I paced up a bit slower and the words that I was about to hear set me up for some major devastation. Since I’m 33… and God and I are just now revisiting and dealing that’ll fill you in on some of the finer points of the conversation. Let’s just say without too many details that people can be seriously cruel to other people. The gist of what I came away with as a mid-teenager was that I was unlovable, that probably no one would ever really love me. Now check that - I filed that away.

Pressing the pause button here - as I blog this there are a couple of things going through my heart:
ONE - I know that some of you are gonna immediately need to hit reply on this. People, I know I am loved but loved was different from being worthy of love in my mind. As I sit here tonight, er, this morning, I actually know that this little gem is a total lie. But I’ve been living with this track in my brain fighting it for YEARS and now that it is identified and shut down I wanted to shout a bit about it.

Hi, my name is Gina, and I am loveable. :O)

TWO - The church I grew up in is a part of me, but mostly not in a good way. There are some great memories of things that God taught me from my time there. But there are frankly a whole lot of more painful ones that God and I got to work past. But that past holds no regret for me. God is good and His plans are so much better than the ones I would have chosen.

I thought a lot about whether to share this or not. If you’ve read this far, and honestly I know lots of you won’t, :O) then the take away message is that a lot of us fall for early lies that color things for us later on. God’s desire is to set us free from that. May not be easy to find yours… but maybe, just maybe if you’re driving along one day you’ll discover it if you’re asking. My advice for that moment is to RUN to His healing and let it go.

I’m all about sharing lessons learned. Once upon a time, probably because of the environment that I grew up in church-wise, I always hid. Hiding is so much easier. No one can criticize you or make fun of you if you don’t ever poke your head up above the crowd. But God has not called us to easy life. God has called us to abundant life. You can’t live that life when you are hiding.
God has not given us a spirit of hiding and fear. He gave us a spirit of self-confidence and love.
Live it y’all. Worth it!