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Can You Hear Me Now?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cold As Ice...

I'm working for a large ice company and the woman I am working with...and will supervise is absolutely the 'coldest' person I have ever met.

I am praying for her...I think she is actually the antithesis of anything Jesus. I'm also trying to be Jesus with skin on...but man oh man is it challenging.

Friday, October 15, 2010

I Feel the Earth Move...

or not. We had an earthquake this week outside Norman, OK. It was felt as far away as Northern Kansas and Dallas, Texas...I felt nothing.

We talked briefly about it in Bible Study and it reminded of the parable of building your house on a firm foundation. When my world is rocking, more than likely I should evaluate the foundation.

I hope your world is on solid ground this weekend!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Trading Down?

I read this on a friend's facebook page: Genesis 25:33 The Message (MSG)
Jacob said, “First, swear to me.” And he did it. On oath Esau traded away his rights as the firstborn."

I used to be one of those people who would read this passage and dumb was Esau! Really he traded his BIRTHRIGHT blessing away...for a bowl of stinkin' soup?

Then my friend asked the question: "What have you traded of eternal importance for a momentary pleasure???" and I had to stop and realize I have been Esau at some very pivotal moments in my life.

I hope I remember the next time I want an immediate choose well.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Break Is Over

...No, not just my blogging break. I've been blogging again fairly regularly (well for the last week or so) and I intend on continuing on this written journey. I'm talking about my three month jobless state.

I was laid off on July 6, 2010, and have been unemployed since then. I have had the incredible opportunity to completely revamp my resume (with the outsourcing group hired to help with the transition) and also my cover letter. I couldn't get over how much things had changed in such a short time.

I start my new job next Monday (pending background, credit checks and drug testing). I don't anticipate any holdups, I haven't even had a poppy seed muffin or anything. I will be working in a manufacturing environment (totally new to me) and I will be accounting/office manager. The people I've met with have been wonderful and I am SO excited to work with them. The bonus is the totally casual atmosphere.

I had the opportunity to interview with other companies and even turned down a job which was surreal during this economy. The whole 'break' I had the feeling of peace that God was finding my perfect job and true to His word...I think He did.

I'm looking forward to writing more once I've started.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Un-Altered At the Altar

I was reading a facebook status the other day and it had something about picking up a garment that had been altered and the person 'hoped it fit'. Immediately the Holy Spirit put a thought in my head...these clothing alterations are not much different than what Jesus did for us.

We are a mess when we approach the cross...the Altar of God. God wants this mess and His very Spirit is going to alter us in a way we never thought a matter of fact, we are altered at the altar as soon as we ask.

Sometimes these alterations don't 'feel' right. It feels like the sleeves are too tight or the buttonholes too small. But what I've found is happening is these alterations are conflicting with my flesh. What's reassuring and what I've experienced is God continues to alter and alter me until one day I will comfortably walk in His perfect version of me.

I guess in a sense...I'm in the midst of being altared!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Not My View

During my work 'transition' period...I've been watching way too much t.v. I love Ellen, but in OKC, The View comes on immediately after and I remember when this show first started and it wasn't about the stars or the was about the viewers and getting a viewpoint that covered the whole gamut. Now, to me, it's become a train wreck that I can't turn away from but I find myself so incredibly frustrated by the time they start getting into their 'hot topics' segment.

I just cannot relate to any of these women. They are either so far right I can't feel myself breathe from the constricting conservative viewpoints or they are so far left I wonder who they COULD represent...other than themselves. I can tolerate Whoopi Goldberg, but I seriously doubt any of these privileged women can really relate to the working class people they are speaking to.

I've got to learn to just turn off the television...which I am going to do now and get my day started!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Summer is over...

Hard to believe it's fall already. I've been out of work for three months this week and have been on four interviews, turned down one job, and hoping today is the day! I'm interviewing with a large ice company today for an accounting office manager position and I've really enjoyed speaking to and emailing the recruiter. I think the company culture sounds most like what I would like to align with.

I'm trying so hard not to 'settle' because I'm a firm believe that God has this all in His hand and God told me not to go back to medical (because He and I both know how UNHAPPY I was working for ego's all day long), and He also told me what salary to that's limited not only my search but my ability to accept just a job to get by. I do recall the last time I lost a job to lay-offs I moved and met my wonderful husband, so I'm thinking there must be even something greater in the horizon. I've also TOTALLY enjoyed lunch with friends and spending time with the hubs (who is home-schooling his Master's degree, while still getting paid his salary). We have every day together. It really is quite wonderful!

But alas, the money will eventually run out, and in a few more weeks I'm going to be pressed if I am not working. I have also learned to appreciate my hubs wonderful cooking ability as he was the one that handled this task when I was working because he gets home earlier. I'll take dish duty over cooking any day.

Okay, so update is I haven't disappeared completely. I've just become a bit of a Facebook girl and conversing with friends from school and others' I had lost touch with. I am going to try to return to my first love of blogging and writing. I think it may be a gift I was sacrificing and risked losing...and so while the thoughts may or may not lead me I will write...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It's Official...

I carry my stress in my back. Ever since I have been enduring this Sciatica pain I have been searching and searching for something to reduce the pain. I’ve tried OTC meds, visits to afterhours clinics, pain pills, light massage, heating pad, just about everything. Then I finally broke down and decided to try a Chiropractor.

I had never been to a Chiropractor before, but having worked in the medical field, was always quite leery. However, lately, many people I know have mentioned finding relief from ongoing chronic pain type problems through a Chiropractor. I took a referral from someone I trust, and someone who is not one of those Vegan, ‘organic foods’ only, Yoga practicing people, that I tend to associate Chiropractors with. This person is sort of like me. She works hard, tends to internalize stress, normal, everyday sort of woman who struggles with some back pain.

Anyway, the office got me in quickly. I was scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Monday, and I went in with high expectations, but a bit tentative in the techniques. It started off ‘normal’ enough. They took my B/P, weight, height, general vitals and then I was advised the Doctor would be in shortly. The doctor I saw was a young women (probably in her 30’s), very sweet and knowledgeable about ‘spine’ related injuries.

We started discussing the onset and my half-marathon and then she began an exam. The exam part was a bit painful as she really felt deep within my back to find the tension in my spine. She assessed that I did indeed have a LOT of tension in my back all the way from my neck down. I could’ve told her that without touching. Then she asked about my pain and did a brief strength exam before sending me across the hall for some ‘work’.

I went across the hall, put on their ‘gown’ and lay down on the ‘table’. This young women with darling shoes (I could only see her shoes so I think it’s important they think enough to wear cute shoes), began explaining a little about what was going to happen. I received an electric stimulation type massage, then a light hand massage, then she began a deep tissue massage that when I mentioned it hurt, she said, it should. She worked and worked for what seemed forever…and then she did more electric stimulation, and left me like that for 15 minutes more.

After all that the doctor came back in and proceeded to put me in a position on my side, then climbed up on my leg (no joke) and pressed down on my back to ‘stretch’ the back. Uh, YES, IT’S STRETCHING ALL RIGHT! I thought I was going to scream, but she was off quickly and I did tell her it hurt quite a bit. She informed me that when I come back, next week, the other doctor would be doing much more of that, so it’s best to prepare for it and get it started stretching.

OH MY! Should I schedule for a follow-up? Against my pain sensors I did go ahead and schedule a follow-up for next week. I crawled into my car…in intense pain, called the hubs to let him know I was through and to express some pain related sentiments, went home to my beloved pain medication, then back to work.

After several hours I did feel some relief and while I am dreading this long road of pain to recovery, I will be glad when the morning tears are done and I can awake and arise without pain.

The doctor also informed me that likely my injury occurred because after the marathon I really backed off my intense training, from doing 10-15 miles a week to doing 5-7 miles a week. She said this is a common injury for new ‘athletes’ that just stop working out as much as they did for an event training. The body needs to be weaned off this program just like it had to be trained up to that point.

…so if you’re planning on doing a marathon…even WALKING one, you better brace yourself for the after affects if you think you’re going to stop right afterwards!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Still Here...

I'm not completely gone...just focused on the last few weeks of work, job searching, sciatic pain and ongoing church stuff. Nothing really too new except anyone who knows a good way to deal with sciatica please, please let me know. I've never known such ongoing, intense, never-ending, faith compromising, sickening my life! It's really doing a number on my spirit and physical being.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

What's Next?

We found out at work on Tuesday morning that they are closing our department. As of July 6th I will be unemployed. It's a bit of a bummer, but I'm going to use this opportunity to seek out a job God is already preparing for me.

I've enjoyed all 3 years at this job and while there were some challenges, overall it was an excellent, God-filled experience. I learned that at my age, the stuff that used to 'bug' when I was a young supervisor...doesn't bother me so much now. I also learned that I have a desire to build teams...effective teams and the best way to excellent service is to invest time and resources in your staff.

I'm not too nervous about it, though with the current state of the country I probably should at least be a bit concerned. I'm honestly not.

It seems 2010 has much in store for it so far. Between the marathon and the job change and what God is putting on my heart with regards to church...who knows what the back end of this year will look like. As long as it reflects God's direction, I'm good!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Encourage One Another...

I’ve always been a BIG believer in encouragement and what it can do to the human spirit. I’ve seen firsthand what DIScouragement does and how long it takes to recover from it.

Last weekend was the marathon. It was the experience of a lifetime…and I was just a ‘walker’. I can’t imagine how much more the runners were feeling. Let me try to set the scene…

My walking-buddy and I arrived a little ‘late’ at 6:00. We wanted to get there earlier but between a buddy that got her times crossed and downtown traffic of all the participants making their way to the start…it was 6:15 by the time we got anywhere near the starting point. There were already thousands of people there under a fabulous dawn-lit sky. The sun rises just behind the memorial site and it’s as though God Himself is kissing the memorial good morning with the rays of His sunshine.

The participants all began to make their way to the back of the line to take our places, but at around this point the 168 second of silence took place and we all just stood solemnly as we remembered those we were walking to honor and to remember. We remembered that day, not so many years ago, and we remembered why we were here and what we were walking for…who we were walking in remembrance of.

The race started at 6:25 as they released the ‘wheeled’ participants, then the guns went off and the fastest of the racers started off and about 15 minutes later my buddy and I were finally crossing the starting line. The sky was a bit overcast at first with those early morning clouds. By the time we got to mile one, where the first crowd waited to cheer us on, the clouds had cleared and a pristine blue sky blanketed our trail. I couldn’t help but feel the joy that was bubbling off these early morning cheerleaders and was thankful they were there at mile one to push us on our way.

The next thing I knew we were walking up Lincoln Avenue and I could see the Capital building ahead. As we made our way to the Capital complex my buddy pointed out the 168 trees that were planted along that campus several years ago to commemorate those lives lost in the bombing. They’re growing now, big and strong, reminding us to push on and live our lives with purpose and meaning.

We walked through a beautiful downtown neighborhood where neighbors were out in full force to cheer and champion our cause. There was a yard with 168 pinwheels stuck into the ground and neighbors handing out little candy bars and water and pretzels to push us towards our goal.

As we made the next turn, heading back south towards our goal at mile 8, there was a huge group from one of the larger local oil companies that were so enthusiastic I got goose bumps. It was so exciting to see so many people supporting this marathon and each of the participants that had come out to complete this journey. The final 5 miles were just lined with people cheering and handing out sustenance to those of us who were beginning to see the physical effects of the journey.

By the time we were within 1 mile of our finish, I was feeling really drained…not my spirit, but my physical body was just about done. I had only been drinking water at the stops, no power-aide and my body was in need of electrolytes. At one of the final ‘watering stops’ I grabbed some power-aide (YUCK, never have liked that stuff) took a few swigs and continued on.

When we made the final turn, and I could see the finish line and all the people along the street, I felt so much pride in the accomplishment…and so much awe for the support…and so many tears for those we were remembering, it was a moment I’ll never forget.

I crossed the finish line and made my way through the medal distribution and grabbed some snacks and water and made my way to my husband and our ‘supporters’ and then I thought I would just pass out.

I realized later as I thought about this day, that without the encouragement we received I honestly probably wouldn’t have made it to the finish line. Our bodies are amazing on their own, but add to that the chemicals produced in our brain when our bodies are ready to give up…and we have so much more to give.

Thank you God for creating us with intention and with meaning. Thank you for giving us abilities and for making us stronger through encouragement. Help us each to remember that words have the power of life and death…not matter how big or small.

Hebrews 3:13 (one of my personal favorites)
"But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin."

…and there goes the first thing from my Bucket List.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Little Things

This weekend is my half-marathon that I’ve been training for since that ice-cold day in January. I’ve walked a total of about 275 miles and just 13.1 to go. I am excited but also anxious about the HUGE crowds. This is the biggest Marathon we have in our humble state. The weather is supposed to be mild and a bit breezy so it should be a fabulous walk.

One of the recommendations is that you wear a small back pack with water, chapstick, your phone, a jacket, etc. in case you need any of that. On our last 9.5 mile walk I went ahead and carried it to see how it would be. I had a light-weight all weather backpack that, even when filled with these items, was still feather light.

Something happened during the walk. That light weight back pack became heavier and heavier and more uncomfortable until I just wanted to drop it and walk without it. It probably doesn’t even weigh five pounds…filled up.

I hadn’t given it much thought other than thinking I am not going to carry it this Sunday. There are water stops and I can shove chapstick into one pocket and my phone into the other. I thought again about the times I take my ‘burdens’ to the cross and try to leave them there…and I realized even the things that seem so tiny, too insignificant to even approach God with…eventually even these tiny things weigh us down tremendously as we try to carry them ourselves.

WOW…those tiny, light weight ‘things’, whatever they are, they matter to Him too. He wants us to give Him EVERY burden. I think I get it.

…And there is one of the little things this training has taught me.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Less For More

I can’t help but notice everywhere I go, whether it be the gas pumps, grocery store, even the bagel shop, I’m getting LESS for MORE!

The gas pump has been an ongoing mystery to me ever since the year the prices jumped and jumped almost to $5.00/gallon before finally settling back down. Now they’ve got them back almost to $3.00/gallon and the way it’s edged up it appears they try to desensitize us by taking us up high and then dropping it down a bit, but not back to the level we were paying only days before.

The grocery store is a whole new world anymore. They have these tiny little 8 oz sodas that are $3.68 for a 6 pack. Yes, you heard me right…$3.68 for a 6 pack. That’s 48 oz of soda for almost $4.00. I guess that helps diminish the frustration of gasoline prices, or movie theater sodas. Just about everything that is packaged is coming in a ‘smaller’ more ‘conveniently sized box’ (translation: smaller and cheaper made). The funny thing is the prices don’t reflect these new reduced sizes. It’s almost like they think consumers won’t notice. Uhm…we do notice.

I went to Panera today to buy a bagel and a frozen coffee beverage. Frankly, Panera is WAY overpriced anyway, but occasionally I can’t help but fill the craving for an Asiago Cheese Bagel w/cream cheese and a yummy coffee drink. The bagel went from $1.00 to $1.35 within about 2 months and the cream cheese went from $1.00 to like $1.50 or so. This is for a single serving of cream cheese. Add to that my wonderful coffee drink which went from like 12 oz to about 8 oz…the price is still $3.69. So for just $6.69 I got a bagel with cream cheese and a coffee drink. You’d think they would at least shrink the straw a bit, but NO they give you this straw that will basically suck the entire drink up through it in 3 swallows.

Uhm…Panera, clue in. If you’re going to shrink the cup, shrink the straw so we are less likely to notice.

So during this time of less for more, let’s embrace the one thing good that comes from this phenomenon…the more I see this principle, the less I indulge and the less I consume, the more I appreciate the things that get overlooked in a better market…like family, friends and the value of a homemade meal and a game night.

Monday, April 05, 2010

If I Were...

I had read this at Praise Junky recently and finally decided to 'borrow it' today for some fun. I haven't done a Meme in like forever.

If I were a month, I’d be May. (Starting to really warm up and I love the smell of freshly cut grass)
If I were a day of the week, I’d be Thursday.
If I were a time of day, I’d be dusk.
If I were a planet, I’d be the Sun.
If I were a sea animal, I’d be a mermaid.

If I were a direction, I’d be left.
If I were a piece of furniture, I'd be a comfy chair.
If I were a liquid, I’d be vanilla extract.
If I were a gemstone, I’d be peridot.
If I were a tree, I’d be a weeping willow.

If I were a tool, I’d be a jack.
If I were a flower, I’d be freesia.
If I were a kind of weather, I’d be sunny.
If I were a musical instrument, an upright piano.
If I were a color, I’d be lime green.
If I were an emotion, I’d be love.

If I were a fruit, I’d be a strawberry.
If I were a sound, I’d be an ocean wave crashing to the shore.
If I were an element, I’d be water.
If I were a car, I’d be a convertible.
If I were a food, I'd be Mexican.
If I were a place, I’d be a beach.

If I were a material, I’d be t-shirt.
If I were a taste, I’d be spicy.
If I were a scent, I'd be the smell of summer.
If I were an object, I'd be a prism.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

The Price of Passion

I'm home from church today. I haven't really been to church on Easter in years as I would prefer to leave those seats for the people who show up at Christmas and I'm not into the 'show'. God decided this morning to give me a real reason to stay home...tonsillitis. I just had a bout of this in December, but it's back. Four of the people at my work had strep this week and I was obviously exposed to some nasty bug.

So for better or for worse...I'm home. God still chose to bless me. It's one of my favorite things about God. He doesn't have to see your behind in a pew (or folding chair) to bless you. He will bless your socks off with where you are at any moment. This is so important in my own life because I've had some challenges this year and God has still chosen to bless me right through those challenges. I have lost trust in people and realized that's not where my trust should have been to begin with. I had that 'hiccup' with my husband this week and felt forgiveness for him like I didn't think existed. Even my mother mentioned she had never seen me so patient and 'easygoing' about things. Don't tell her, but it's not me, it's God...sshh...keep it on the d.l.

So I'm home on this Resurrection Sunday and was flipping through the channels while my husband got ready for church and came upon the Potter's House. Oh, how I LOVE T.D. Jakes and the way he can preach it and teach it. His message was "The Price of Passion".

He took us through the stories of the Bible that teach us about the price of passion. There were tears streaming down my face as he taught us about the love Hosea had for Gomer. When he compared this love to the greater love Christ had for his Bride, a love so great He chose to die for her...for us, I finally began to feel that depth of love that I struggle so to understand.

The hardest part of Christianity to me is understanding so great a love when it's so elusive on earth. Love seems so conditional on earth. Love seems fleeting. Love doesn't fit the Scripture in I Corinthians 13...on our imperfect and sin-filled earth.

But hearing T.D. Jakes speak about Hosea going to get Gomer from the slave table, to reclaim purchase her pay the price he didn't began to hit me. Then as T.D. Jakes covered this young audience woman up and continue to tell the story, I could honestly feel the love God feels for me and the cost of that love.

In all my Christian walk, since I was 13 years old I haven't felt this explained as well as I did today. So I'm pretty sure as my church and EVERY church on this Continent are celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, I'm understanding a little more about the price of His passion...for me.

I pray Easter is a day of reflection on not only the Resurrection, but the cross and the price of His passion for you!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Missing the Point

I was answering a questionnaire about blogging yesterday which I believe turns out to be a bit of a marketing hoax, but it did get me thinking about some things I’ve left lying dormant in my mind for some time as I coasted along the past few years.

I’ve read a series of books by Brian McLaren, an insightful, if not a bit non-conforming and definitely unconventional type pastor/author. One of his books is about ‘missing the point’ of Christianity ultimately. I have to say this applies not only to Christianity and churches, but also to individuals and even more rampant in an age of technological advances to the point of completely missing the point.

Let me just share some examples…

1. Where I work we have automated process that we are STRONGLY encouraged to use, that sometimes take longer to utilize than our manual processes. We’re still supposed to use them. Hmmm…interesting.

2. Almost ALWAYS, when I see people hanging out together…one or both of them are connected to their blue-tooth, I-Phone or whatever other gadget they have to get lost or distracted in. So ultimately this says to me, I’m not important enough to have your sole attention?

3. At church it often feels like if the media doesn’t run correctly; a mic goes out, or a nursery worker ‘no-shows’ the service cannot continue.

4. I’ve observed pastors’ preach about friendship while they have a security guard ushering them around…during church.

5. I’ve observed pastors’ preach about love and then flip off the middle-east…during service.

Somehow we’re missing the point. I was given a great opportunity this week about this very thing in my own life. Obviously I’m not exempt. I’ve shared often about my battle with road rage and how I’ll be worshipping God in my car and cursing a bad driver (or what I’ve deemed a bad driver) while singing! Thankfully that’s not what God ‘caught’ me at this week.

This week, I found out something my husband didn’t tell me about that happened last year. It’s not something that will hurt our marriage, but it was definitely something that made me stop and question his motive and his integrity. When I realized his motive was his self-protection (from ME), it dawned on me I may be part of the problem. Then God told me (in prayer) I had to forgive him and move on, I realized this is an opportunity. I can either; stay angry and risk further damage, or I can forgive and move on like God asked me to.

Oh it’s hard…but I’m trying. I love my husband so very much and I know he has our very best interest at heart and frankly I haven’t always made the best decisions either…so who am I to decide that his offense is worse than mine. I don’t want to say I forgive someone and just keep bringing it up again and again. I really don’t want to miss the point.

Much of my blogging quest is ‘seeking truth’ both through questioning my own truths and being challenged by others’. And so the quest continues…

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Messages from God

I woke up with a song in my mind and soon on my lips. So I started singing this song, which if you know me at all, you KNOW I am not a ‘singing first thing in the morning’ kind of girl. I am not really a morning person at all and I will often times just nod when asked questions instead of verbalizing anything until I’ve been up for 30 minutes or so.

At first I thought perhaps I had been drugged and was being forced to sing, but soon realized as I tried to recall the lyrics and sing them over and over again…this must be a message from God! Only God would speak to me in a song, through a book, or any other number of random ways He often chooses to speak to me. Mostly so when you try to explain it to another rational human being they give you that look like… ‘are you on some sort of medication, or are you being FORCED to say this?’

So I finish getting ready and hop in my car (hopping anywhere is another very uncharacteristic thing for me), which I wrote off as just SPRING Fever and enjoying the 80+ temps forecasted for today, and as soon as I hit my station button on the radio, guess what song came on…yep, the same one I had been singing. It’s a Johnny Diaz song called “There Could Never Be a More Beautiful You.”

Clearly God wants to say something to me. Other times when these types of messages continue to bombard me, or in this case…replay, I pray and just ask God what it is He wants me to take from this. This morning I prayed and this is what He told me:

“Child I know your past and your future and I love you through it all. I want you to know you are beautiful! I know this because you are the essence of the beauty I placed in you. You ARE beautiful! Speak it! Live it! Soak it up! BE beautiful!”

“But God that seems somewhat prideful.”

“Only if you think YOU did it. I created you in my image so your recognition of the beauty I placed in you, is a form of worship to me. You don’t have to go around touting your beauty or trying to be beautiful compared to others, just live in the beauty that is the you I created.”

So I listened to the song and had my chat with God and some of the junk that had been filling up my spirit cleared out as I worshipped God with my whole self this morning. God…I love Him!

…so have a beautiful, sing-song day as we bask in His incredible creation…yes even the you HE created!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hybernating in Spring

The hubs and I watched movies this weekend with the spring snow-storm that came our way. Here was our line-up and rating:

Post-Grad - D-
Precious - B-
Couples Retreat - D
Up in the Air - A-

Post-Grad was a snooze-fest. We literally started watching Friday evening and became so disenchanted we turned it off around 11pm and opted for some Criminal Minds repeats instead. Finally watched the remainder on Saturday and it was one of the worst films I’ve seen this year. It could have been good, but Michael Keaton was horrible in his ‘incomplete character’ role and even Carol Burnett could do nothing to save the film.

Precious was next and thankfully I had read the book and was semi-prepared for the film. They stayed fairly true to the way the book was written (the essence of the characters’ experiences were not lost). Monique absolutely deserved an award for her role of the Mother and the role of Precious was also excellent. Surprisingly even Mariah Carey was believable in her Social Worker role. The grade I assigned this film was because I felt it did drag in places and it seemed to end fairly abruptly without any transition.

Couples Retreat was also a disappointment. This is one of those films where the best parts of it are seen during the previews. Certainly there were some ‘funny’ moments and it ended well, but it was just a bit slow and sort of depressing through much of the film.

Up in the Air was the final film we watched and thankfully that redeemed the whole experience a bit. It was really a great film. It wasn’t ultra-heavy or deep, but it definitely had moments of excellence and I learned something from the film. It made me think about my ‘back pack’ and all the junk I lug around everywhere I go, both literally and figuratively.

It reminded me of a post I once did about taking my ‘junk’ to the cross and then taking it with me when I left. It reminded me that life is more than what our occupation is. It reminded me that sometimes we forget what our passion was and ‘settle’ and life is supposed to be more than just settling.

Here’s to an ‘unsettled’ Monday! LOL

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring Break?

Yesterday as the snow fell...YES I said snow...I dreamed of those long-gone college days and that time of year when you didn't think you could take one more lecture, pop-quiz or another blue-book exam when all you really wanted to do was step outside into the sunshine and soak up the rays as you dreamed of being done with school altogether! I wanted a SPRING BREAK! I get spring fever bad! I am a summer person and love the sun and heat, heat, heat.

My boss recommended I go to a tanning booth. She said that it would help fulfill this sun-craving I've had. I still haven't done that because frankly I'd feel goofy going in for a one time visit of pseudo-sunshine (via tanning-bulbs), but maybe I should.

El Nino' or El Nina, whichever, has been stomping us for the past year and I'm so over it. I honestly think I'm starting to experience some of that SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and just really need some time outside in the sun.

So today the sun is shining and while there is still snow on the roads (for now), I do intend to step outside, maybe take a walk or even a drive to feel the sun rays on my face and dream of spring breaks gone by.

...Lord, let the sunshine hang out for awhile and let us see the wonder of spring through your creation...pretty please?

Friday, March 19, 2010


Someone at work found this quote that we cannot find the source, but that absolutely spoke to me. As you can see if you read here very much I love words and words that are designed to inspire...even more!

This is helping me over a hump right now that I'm not quite ready to share about, but that is chipping away at a wall and some 'soul-scabs' I've had for some time.

"Trust: Belief in & reliance upon the integrity & ability of each other."

I'm struggling a bit with my faith and Anne Lamott helped make it a bit more 'real' for me and also made me realize that I am not alone in my quest for wisdom and TRUTH. The idea of trust has been warped for a bit and while I know it's within me to trust, I also know I have to be careful in whom I put that precious trust.

Monday, March 08, 2010


I heard this quote last week at the end of an episode of Criminal Minds. They have quotes at the beginning and/or end of each episode and this one really spoke to me. It’s a section of a poem by Emily Dickinson.

“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all.”

By the end of last week I was ready for a reprieve and found it in this quote. Then after hearing this, serendipitously I also resumed reading a book I had ‘put away’ some time ago as I just couldn’t get into it. Now I can totally get ‘into it’ and it is food for this ravaged soul.

I am reading Anne Lamott’s “Plan B Further Thoughts on Faith”. If you haven’t read any of Anne Lamott’s books you have no idea what you’re missing. She writes with such raw honesty and it has helped me to know that where I am is just that…where I am right now. No excuses or apologies, I am exactly where God has me right now.

That said I am HOPEFUL that the ‘thing with feathers perched in my soul…’ is alive and kicking and ready to tackle whatever comes our way.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

A WIld Ride

It's been one heckuva a week. Some UPS and some ditch digging DOWNS. Here it is in a nutshell...

Started the beginning of a nasty (but quick) cold on Sunday.
One of my long-term friends 'breaks up with me' stating she doesn't really know me at all.

Hubs left Monday for a business trip.
Stayed home sick with this quick-cold and heartbreak on Monday.

Tuesday work was BUSY (they saved the work for my return).
Employee I supervise goes a little ballistic about no raise/bonus for the year due to performance.
Found out I was getting a nice bonus/raise for the year.

Wednesday same ballistic employee leaves early threatening to kill self and me.
Employee is contacted by HR and police, now in the hospital.
Another friends tells me she will not 'break up' with me and not to take it personal that other friend did.

Thursday I have security walking me to and from car at work during the day.
Hurray! Husband comes home from business trip and nice dinner together.
Resting and relaxing and thinking about how things went so horribly wrong with employee.
Hoping and praying she is getting rest and relaxation and medication???

Friday is just around the corner and trying to figure out what I'm 'Passionate' about at work so I can use that for team building.


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Emotional Pain that place in the very core of our heart...where we just know what we're going through is going to absolutely destroy us one tear at a time.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Foiled Again

My hairdresser has been 'unavailable' lately and so I found myself going grey much faster and more dramatically than I ever intended. Add to that...lo' and behold my drivers license expires next week.

EMERGENCY HAIR INTERVENTION needed!!! I had talked to a couple of ladies that had used one of our local hair schools with some success and I'm notorious for waiting too long to try to get an appointment with a 'graduate' who actually works in a SALON...and I was desperate so I decided to go to 'said' school and try it out. The issue with these schools is you can't really 'schedule' an appointment with someone you get referred to. You show up, put your name on the list and wait for the 'next available stylist/student'.

So after my 7 mile training walk on Saturday morning, I headed over to the school, put my name on the list and indicated what services I wanted and waited.

While I waited, I watched the stylists that I could see from the lobby. As always I looked at their hair. I don't know why, really. They probably didn't DO their OWN hair. But who has the nerve to ask: "Who did you hair? That's who I want to see today."

So I wait for awhile and just watched and looked around. It seemed everywhere I looked there was foil, foil, and more foil. There was more foil than a Tin Man convention. It was crazy! Plus, these are students so there is A LOT of foil. Both on heads and on the floor.

I get called back (around 11ish) and the first thing the student/stylist asks me is what I want done so I proceed to tell her the most important thing is cover the grey and then just highlight/low light the rest of it. She brings the instructor over to discuss my decision and then goes to 'mix' the potion.

She was a nice young lady and we had a great time visiting and she even turned my chair out towards the center of the room so I could continue to 'people/hair' watch. As she's 'foiling' my hair I asked her what the worst part of school is and she tells me: "Working with grey hair." I think my eyes just grew three times larger. She then proceeded to tell me she is still trying to figure it out. I tried to encourage her by telling her even my 'seasoned' stylist doesn't get them ALL covered, just do the best you can.

She complied. I sat in that chair being 'foiled' for 2 hours at least. At one point I thought I was going to pass out and I literally had to put my foil-covered head between my legs. I recovered after drinking the rest of my lukewarm water and endured the remainder of the foiling. I would wager to guess there were over 75 foils on my head. The most I had ever had was probably 20-25. Granted I have a lot of hair (and this student/stylist didn't hesitate to let me know that). I think I was assisting with the local radio stations' increased frequency that day.

About 2 additional hours later (yes 4 total) I had my hair colored, cut, dried, straightened, textured and $38.50 later I'm out the door. Yep, that's right...only $38.50 (plus tip of course). The tips are all these girls make. My regular stylist charges me between $120-$140, so this is really a steal. Is it the caliber of my regular stylists? Probably not, but for that price I'm willing to be a guinea pig and go in with that mantra: "it's not that bad. Hair grows!"

The other thing the whole process reminded me of was from the recent study of Esther I did when the women spend all those months preparing themselves to be presented to the King and they endure all these beauty treatments. I'll bet they wish they had foil back then. The things we do for beauty!

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Heart of It All

It seemed a fitting title with Hallmark’s big holiday upon us.

I’ve thought a lot about what I wrote about skipping church and read and pondered the comments.

A part of me feels half submerged in a post-modern society. I've read many of the books but on some level it seems as though it's either too inclusive or too ambivalent. Whichever the case, the more I read about postmodernism the more uncertain I become about my role and the role of my church (should I find MY church).

The other half of me feels the pain of the traditional church of my childhood. During that time I was discouraged from asking questions about anything related to church or my beliefs and some of that pain and pride hangs out on my shoulders when I walk through the church doors or when there is hesitation or a strange look at some of the questions I have.

The hardest thing for me is the expectations. I think rather than setting my expectations too high, I go in expecting the worst and then I become detached when I find it. It reminds me of Scripture about setting my mind on the 'good' things and so many lessons I've had on renewing my mind.

I obviously don't have the answers and I obviously need to clear my mind and take the 'no expectations' route but this has proven much more difficult than I could imagine. Especially given my history in this area. I think I can take a certain amount of pain and indifference before I just don't want to 'play' anymore.

There is a quote about how thoughts become words, words become actions, actions become habits, habits become character "When you are all alone, no one is observing you. The thoughts that are taking place in your mind is the blue-print of your character." I am concerned about the church-apathy infecting my character, but even more concerned by the church without legs.

The question at the pulse of MY church is asking: Why does the world continue to reject Christ? What are they seeing in ME that repels them from eternal life? and the question becomes the verb that propels the Church! Could it be the Bible is right...our evangelism is only as strong as what's inside each of us? And they will know we are Christians by our love?

I WANT to love you, but I don't know how.

Happy Valentine's Day: may love be the real reason for the season!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Skipping Church...Again

I skipped church this morning...again. I'm getting to where I only show 2 weeks a month.

I'm not sure what's wrong with me or why I don't want to go...well I know some of it, but it's the same old, same old.

What makes it even harder is we have become closer with our worship leaders and I know it hurts my friend when I'm not there and somehow that isn't even enough to get me through those doors each week.

It's not that I don't LIKE it. It's just the hunger is gone. The desire is gone. The purpose seems lacking.

Add to that, people are leaving church because they are either embarrassed by stuff they are going through or they feel 'judged'. My problem with that is church SHOULD be the one place we can be completely transparent and receive grace and forgiveness offered to us by our Father.

Sometimes I feel like the whole purpose of church (or the churches we've attended) is so skewed towards 'growth' that everything else becomes secondary. Sure there is always the push for help in the children's ministry or assistance in maintaining the building, but in terms of real fellowship and belonging, it just doesn't seem to be working. At first I thought it was because I was always so drawn to 'start-up' churches, but now I think there's more to it. We've been to churches that are well established and it still feels very fragmented, almost fractured.

Then I find myself making excuses. Sort of like when you break up with someone you weren't 'in love with'. See if this sounds familiar.

"It's not you, it's me."

That's what I think I'm saying to church right now. "I like you as a friend, but just not in 'that' way."

Now where do I go from here?

Just wondering...

Monday, February 01, 2010


disclaimer: This is in no way related to Michael Jackson's baby.

At church this weekend the pastor was talking about the beauty of the blanket of snow covering our land right now. He talked about how this snow is to serve as a reminder of how Jesus’ blood purified us making us ‘white as snow’.

Well I can assure you with the exception of the first hours of silent snow falling; NONE of that snow is white. It’s that grey drab dingy snow, nothing pure about it. It’s been walked on, driven on, animals have used it…it’s NOT clean.

Of course as I began to ponder the snow and it’s discoloring God began to speak.

He told me that the blanket becomes dirty and drab because of our own choices. Just like a car pollutes the snow, our lives pollute this blanket we’ve been given.

It doesn’t come across nearly so profound as it did when I heard him whisper it to me on Sunday, but it does remind me today and hopefully in the coming days as we endure the ‘melting phase’ yet again, to take care of that gift from Jesus and to cherish that cleansing and to live my life as a living sacrifice not to the world, but to Him.

Ironically…or not, today’s Scripture on my calendar is: I Corinthians 6:19

"Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who lives in you and was given to you by God. You do not belong to yourself for God bought you with a high price so you must honor God with your body.”

Another one of those reminders that it’s not just the outside, but the inside too! Sounds like it could be a cleansing week for me.

In other news…I read that there is a group of activists strongly opposing waking the groundhog to check for his shadow, as these animals are supposed to hibernate from early November through March.

Apparently Punxsutawney Phil’s handler has stated that this hibernation is not like “Sleeping Beauty”. The animals still get up and eat.

In any event there is some talk about using a computerized model of “Phil” and then some say he hasn’t been that accurate over the past few years anyway, so perhaps he’s not that good an indicator…YOU THINK!

I think I’ll stick to the Farmer’s Almanac who predicted a ‘wetter than normal’ winter for us and lo’ and behold, those Farmers are right on track!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Thing About Writing... you gotta do it!

I have this inner-voice telling me to "Write-Write!" Then the outer person got so distracted by facebook that I've been an absentee writer. Then it seemed others' around me were living MY DREAM and I realized, I've all but forsaken my love of writing. So, in an effort to hone and honor this gift (God's gift to me, not my gift to this page, LOL) and in an effort not to lose it (refer to Parable of the Talents), I will return to my first love. The blog...the written word.

I've struggled with what to share because as I've mentioned my family is walking directly through hell and frankly I'm not in a position to share all that (confidentiality rules and all). So instead I return to short little blurbs as I find my voice once again, the voice my Father gave me. The voice that when I look back has served me well. It has served as a place of refuge and devotion. It has served as a time of reflection and humor. It has served as my journal. Above all it has been a gift from God. I'll just throw out this quote that I found on Quotes on Life, a little site that I love, because again I love words and wisdom and quotes are both!

Here is what I have been pondering a couple of days: "You can't control the outer circumstances of your life but you can control how you react to them. That makes you dominant over circumstances." - Anonymous

How true this is. I'm a living example of this right now. It reminds me of what I learned in a sermon about 'joy' once. Joy is our emotional stability. Joy is not the same as Happiness. We can feel happiness as a response to Joy, but happiness can be cannot.

Am I dominant over my circumstances? Yes, most days I'd answer "Yes." Some days; however, I choose to become a victim instead of an author and I allow my circumstances to dominate me and I lose my joy.

Father help me keep this joy you have given me through you Spirit. Help me understand and live in joy daily. Help me not to fall victim to circumstances, rather to rise above and beyond to this higher path you have me on.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


One of my friends at work asked me if I would be interested in training to do a half-marathon this spring. Oklahoma has a big marathon to commemorate the day the city was forever changed by the deeds of a few very ill men. SO at the end of April each year there is a Memorial Marathon. It's become a fairly large event, at least in these parts.

At first I thought she was joking. Ever since she had her newest baby (last July) we hadn't even walked. She had always been my 'break time' walking buddy and we walked laps 30 minutes each day during breaks.

I said, "I'm not running in a marathon." Then she let me in on the can WALK the marathon...or half marathon in my case. now we're talking. I can walk. I can walk for days!

So we 'joined' a walking club that meets at our large lake each Saturday from Jan 2, 2010 til the race day (no matter HOW cold) and we walk...anywhere from 2-9.5 miles. We are then encouraged to walk during the week at least half each day of what we walk on that Saturday.

The hubs and I were out there that first weekend, it was below freezing, but we walked. We were supposed to go 3 miles, but I could only endure 2. Did I mention it was COLD! We came home and officially registered for the race and $70.00 later (for each one of us), we are NOT giving up til the race is completed.

I've always wondered what those 13.1 stickers are I see on vehicles and now I'm aiming for one of my very own! SO we walk...and walk...and walk.

I have been walking on the Saturday's (5 miles last Saturday) and 2-5 miles each week day. The other part of the goal is to get our miles down to below 15 minutes, so we can complete this 13.1 miles in under 4 hours. So's going okay...we can do probably 17 minute miles, but we're going to work on it.

I've been getting a bit discouraged, because get this, I actually gained 1 pound as of today and that doesn't make me very happy for as devoted as I've been to this exercise and eating right sort of thing. I am convinced my body thinks I'm trying to kill myself and is keeping every calorie I intake as storage for the looming death by exercise and starvation.

The good thing about walking is, as I concentrate on breathing, is I don't think so much about family and therapy and interventions. I don't think about anything but surviving to be honest. And completing this goal of course. You know I tend towards the competitive side and I'm vested financially so I've got to do this thing.

So when you're sleeping in on Saturday morning, think of us marathon trainers at the lake walking...come rain, sun, wind, whatever! Like the postal service only with a better attitude...I hope.

Monday, January 18, 2010


I feel a bit like 'Ordinary' when he got to Sanctuary and the Dream Giver asked him to hand over his dream...

I'm not even sure if I have a dream anymore.

I think it's just all the emotional upheaval from family stuff, counselling and over-analyzing every single word I say or decision I made. But lately I just feel like I want to run away...from family, work, church, friends, frankly...everything. Except the hubs of course.

I am trying to find the words, but they just won't come. So I'll close this tonight with a prayer.

Father, help me find you in the midst of all this turmoil and uncertainty. Help me hunger for you and your desires for me. Help me to find the dream you gave me, so that I can surrender it back to you and allow you to use it...and use me.

In Jesus name...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Returning To My Roots

It's been awhile, once again. I'll confess I've become ensnared in Facebook and have a hard time finding time to 'blog' on top of it. While it's fun to see everyone on Facebook, I do miss the 'exercise' of writing and having an outlet for all God wants me to process...and lately there is A LOT! I've also seen the negative side of Facebook. I won't go into details.

In any event, I'm here and going to try to commit to writing at least once a week and hopefully more often, because I have so much to process.

On top of the snow storm of 2009, our family experienced an intervention that has torn a scab and leaves the whole family bleeding. We have been going to family counseling and if I am completely honest with you I would say...I HATE counseling. I am not crazy about laying it all out there (and I still hold some of it in), but it's a necessary part of the process and for the person going through this intervention I am hoping and praying it will work.

I thought I'd include some of the snow storm pictures...though for my friends in the north it may not seem like much, but for this 1 snow-plow town (exaggeration, but it seems that way after living in Colorado and this not even affecting school) shut us down at Christmas.

Above is the picture in front of our house. There were drifts up to 3 feet tall and cars abandoned all over town for days. The picture below is the 'snow dog' the one with so much hair she loves to roll in it and I guess it cools her nose??? She's about 13, but snow just brings her to life! So I guess that was a good part of that nasty weather. The Farmer's Almanac called it, I should've listened.