Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Delayed Dreams

God loves to "pace our dreams" but we think He's "delaying our dreams"
and in doing so we misinterpret what is a gift, as a punishment.

My biggest challenge each day is how long I can delay taking Lucy out for a walk when I get home.  Usually I just want to come home, chill, AND THEN get around to doing all the "stuff" that needs to get done.  But, alas, my sweet girl will have NONE of that.  In her puppy dog world, me walking through the door signals a WALK followed by dinner and then... oh joy oh joy... a T.R.E.A.T. (You can't say that word in my house.. at all.  Even in public I find myself spelling it out.)

Tuesday, of course, was no exception.  EXCEPT I had neglected to bring my running shoes to work with me, so I wanted to grab my shoes and hit the gym before doing all that other "stuff."  There was no way Lucy was letting that happen.

Ain't no way.

Ain't no how.

Getting T.R.E.A.T.S. is the highlight of Lucy's day. So my thinking was that if give her a treat now, that I could go to the gym without taking her out.  I give Lucy her 2 Ol' Roy Peanut Butter biscuits and she took them and hightailed it to the front door - biscuits in mouth.  No amount of reasoning with her was going to change that fact that we were going for a walk NOW (she is a dog, after all). And those treats were coming with her (Lucy's also been trained that if she leaves any treat on the floor, it gets picked up.  She's been known to carry a rawhide bone around for days.  My girl is one smart cookie.)

Surely she'd drop the treat in the yard before we reach the sidewalk and take our usual route.


Lucy took her entire walk with her treats in her mouth.  (I SO wish I had gotten a picture of her - she looked rather silly.)  To Lucy, those were her nightly treats - all she'd get for the night.  There was no way she was giving them up.  Little did she know, that if she had just gone ahead and eaten them right away and let me go to the gym, that when I returned, we would have gone about our regular routine and she would have gotten more treats.

Later while I was working out, I thought about Jon Acuff's quote on delayed dreams. And I thought about how much I'm like Lucy.  God gives me little snippets of what He's doing to do.  Instead of letting Him work in His time, I get all bent out of shape because I think He's just dragging His feet - delaying my dreams. 

I don't necessarily think that Lucy thought she was being punished by having to walk around with treats in her mouth.  I do know that I think God is punishing me by pacing my dreams.  Instead of enjoying what God is showing me or giving to me now, I hold on to it, dwelling on it, because I'm sure it's all there is.  Instead of trusting that there is more - more than I could possibly think or imagine - I'm confident this is as good as it gets.

I miss the gift of delayed dreams by being short-sighted. 

I miss savoring my T.R.E.A.T.S. now.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Pick A Topic, Any Topic

There are about a million and five things I want to talk about, but my mind cannot seem to focus on just one.  I even wrote something about one of them and **POOF** it went buh-bye.  That is good, because I wasn't happy with what I wrote.

I want to write a funny, light-hearted post because I think I've been WAY too serious lately.

Yeah, not happening.

So maybe I'll talk about what happened yesterday at yet ANOTHER church I've been going to recently.  I most likely will NOT be going back, but I'm afraid I'm being too narrow-minded (trust me, what happened is REALLY controversial). 

Nah - can't organize those thoughts.

How about the fact that I'm STILL struggling with wondering whether or not God is listening to me?  Can you believe that?  STILL.  As I sat there pouring my heart out to Him about it, questioning whether or not it even mattered what I said, He did something VERY specific to show me He was listening.

Nope - no organization there.

So instead, today I wanna do two things.  I wanna link y'all over to (in)courage and ENCOURAGE you to read Sarah Markley's post on hope.    Sarah has, hands down, become my favorite blogger.  I anxiously look forward to her new blog post each day.  After reading her entry over at (in)courage, why not hop on over to her blog - it'll bless your socks right on off.

And finally, this:
"The Lord himself will fight for you.  Just stay calm."
Exodus 14:14 (NLT)

Friday, September 25, 2009

What A Difference A Day Makes


The situation hasn't changed.

The problems haven't changed.

And yet today, I feel totally different.

God didn't change.

His promises haven't changed.

So what happened?  It's me.  It's my heart.  I choose to trust.  I choose to take refuge.  I choose to rest in the knowledge that HE is in control.  I choose to let myself be surrounded by Him.

I choose to let Him do what He is good at, instead of relying on myself.





He chooses to protect, heal, comfort and provide.

I choose to live this day for Him and not for me.  I choose to be thankful for what I have, not what I want.

I choose God.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dial 1-800-SAY-WHAT?

Last night I needed to call Air Tran to cancel my flight to Pittsburgh for this weekend.  So, being the technologically advanced girl that I am (NOT), I looked up the phone number on my computer (800-Air-Tran), grabbed my fancy, smancy, phone, and stopped...

I have a Qwerty keyboard phone.

I have no little letters over corresponding numbers.


Now I realize this sounds silly and stupid, but I seriously could not dial that number!  I have no landline in my house (and therefore no other phone) and unless I planned on writing out all the numbers with their 3 little letters, remembering that the 1 doesn't have any and Q & Z don't get a numbers (which just isn't fair if you ask me!) I was just flat out stuck.

And can you imagine me calling someone?  "Hey, Amanda, can you tell me what the number is for 800-Air-Tran?"  Yeah, THAT sounds stupid!

My inability to make one stupid phone call because of the lack of a "T" over my "8" just added to my feelings of inadequacy, stupidity, and loserness last night.  So I did what any girl would do when faced with not knowing what number the "I" is (4) - I cried, big boo hoo, whoa is me tears.  (Because searching the internet for a solution or iTunes for an app just didn't occur to me until this morning.)

Isn't it funny the things Satan uses to beat us down?  He got me good yesterday, and admittedly, a bit this morning too.  As I struggle to work through the stuff I need to work through, I was comforted by something I read today:

"My existence was not random, nor was it an accident.  God knew who He was creating, and He designed me for a specific work."
Crazy Love, pg. 59

Then, as if that wasn't enough, I read the journal of a friend from college who is going through chemotherapy.  Here is a sweet soul who is going through something that, praise God, I have not had to deal with.  Yet this is what she wrote put me smack dab in my place, and gently reminded me to not look at the circumstance, but to look at Christ.


Then she wrote, "He counts the number of stars; He gives names to them all (Psalm 147:4).  If the God of our universe (and it's bigger than we can imagine) knows the name of every single star we see in the sky (and those we can't see) calls me His child and knows the very number of hairs on my head (Matt 10:30) - how can I not trust Him with my life and my future?!"

Double duh.

Thank you, Jeanette.

Go away Satan.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Who's Your Daddy?

Unlike when I was in Belize, I am taking a seriously slow time to go through the book Crazy Love.  So much so, that after several weeks, I've finally started chapter 3 - "Crazy Love."  This chapter is about God's CRAZY LOVE for us and starts by talking about our earthly fathers and that sometimes that skews our view of God's love.

Since I knew I didn't have the most IDEAL family situation, I didn't want to admit, or think, or believe that whatever I felt about God or about how God loved me had anything to do with growing up Wassam.  Turns out, I think maybe it did (catch that - I'm STILL not totally admitting it, am I?).

In case the 5 folks who read this don't know (yup - I've grown from 3 to 5!) my parents divorced when I was 3.  My dad tried for a few years to be a dad, but eventually gave up.  I don't doubt for one moment that my dad loved me (and never have).  He pretty much only came into my life when he had money to pay some child support (meaning he hadn't gambled it all away) and when he was sober.  I could go for years without hearing from my dad.

I knew my daddy loved me, but TRUST was what was missing.  I learned to not ask my dad for anything - not because he didn't want to get it for me, he really did - he just couldn't, or as I sometimes thought, he just didn't hear me. When I'd call my daddy and ask him to come see me or whatever, most often he was either too broke or too drunk.

Turns out, I view God much the same way. It has taken me a very long time to admit that.  Slowly I am trying to change my thoughts that God isn't listening to me because He can't or doesn't want to.  I am trying desperately to grasp the concept that God my Father ALWAYS listens, ALWAYS hears, and ALWAYS answers.

God is never too anything to not hear me.  God isn't ignoring me. God isn't avoiding answering my prayers.

God isn't my daddy, He's my Father.

My earthly daddy loved me as best he could, being the sinful, human that he was.  Near the end of his life, he got to know my Father in a sweet, wonderful way.  My daddy walked away from the things that came between he and me, and walked toward a relationship with the One who loved me the way he never could.

My heavenly Father loves me in ways that I will never, ever fully comprehend and in ways that I'm just now starting to understand.  He is never too anything not to listen to me.  His silence (which I talked about here) has everything to with His CRAZY love for me. My response to Him is to trust.



Even the silences.

Friday, September 18, 2009

"Since I Have My Life Before Me."

I'll live my life to the fullest.  I'll be happy.  I'll brighten up. I will be more joyful than I have ever been. I will be kind to others.  I will loosen up. I will tell others about Christ.  I will go on adventures and change the world.  I will be bold and not change who I really am.  I will have no troubles but instead help others with their troubles.

You see, I'll be one of those people who live to be history makers at a young age.  Oh, I'll have moments, good and bad, but I will wipe away the bad and only remember the good.  In fact that's all I remember, just good moments, nothing in between, just living my life to the fullest.  I'll be one of those people who go somewhere with a mission, an awesome plan, a world-changing plan, and nothing will hold me back.  I'll set an example for others, I will pray for direction.

I have my life before me.  I will give others the joy I have and God will give me more joy.  I will do everything God tells me to do.  I will follow the footsteps of God.  I will do my best!!!

The above was not reprinted with permission.  But it's the story, the thing that I read that changed EVERYTHING for me.  It was written by Brooke Bronkowski when she was twelve years old.


I'm... well I'm not twelve.  And I have no idea how much of my life I have ahead of me.  But more than anything else, I want to live the way Brooke desired to live. 

I want to be happy.

I want to tell others about Christ.

I want to go somewhere with a mission, an awesome plan, a world-changing plan.

I. Won't. Be. Held. Back.

A few years later, Brooke was killed in a car accident.  Brooke lived her brief 14-years exactly the way she wanted.  Brooke did her best.

I pray, with all my heart, that I will too.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mama Always Told Me

There are several things that my ma taught me that, to this day, are staples of being a mature adult:

1.  Always say "Please" and "Thank you."
2.  Cover your mouth when you cough.
3.  Never wear white after Labor Day.
4.  Always give up your seat on the bus for someone older than you.
5.  Never interrupt an elder/authority figure when they are speaking.

Representative Joe Wilson, whether he was correct or incorrect on his assessment of President Obama and his health care plan, was wrong for interrupting an authority figure.  My ma taught me that there can be a time and place to speak your mind.  She also told me it is never necessary to be rude to get your point across.  And, in all honesty, it shouldn't really matter whether President Obama is lying or not, the fact of the matter is that based SOLELY on the grounds of human decency and manners, he was wrong for yelling out like that.

Now, to his credit, Rep. Wilson DID call and personally apologize to President Obama (just like my ma would make me do), and, by all appearances, was genuninely sorry FOR INTERRUPTING.  If I got in trouble for interrupting a teacher, I had to go and apologize to the teacher, I did not have to stand in front of the entire school and apologize to them.  Retribution had been made to the offended party.  The entire school, while they may have been outraged that I interrupted and disagreed with what I said, were not the ones who I disrespected.  The offense was between me and the teacher.

But it appears, that we "mature" adults need to take everything to the next level.  Yesterday morning I heard a comment made by someone, whom up until that moment I actually admired, that literally made me ill.
"Former President Jimmy Carter said Tuesday that racial politics played a role in South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson's outburst during President Obama's speech to Congress last week..."


I mean, COME ON!

Even Rep Wilson's wife thought the interruption was wrong, but racial? 


I am not about to even HINT that there have not been some racially motivated comments made to and against President Obama.  There have been.  And the people who have made them are WRONG and STUPID and just flat out immature.  BUT to even insinuate that what Rep Wilson did was racially motivated?


At least RNC Chair Michael Steele (who, if you don't know, is African-American) said that former President Carter if flat out wrong.  And I agree (as well as every person I've talked to about this).  And it turns out that as of last night, so does the White House.

But I'm sure that there are folks out there who agree with former President Carter.  Which, I suppose, is their right.  But I have a couple of questions for those people:

  • Was Kanye West's interruption of Taylor Swift's speech racially motivated??  
  • Does Serena Williams secretly harbor some hatred toward all people Asian, hence her tirade on the line judge?

People make stupid choices.  Sometimes people act out of anger and frustration.  But not every choice or comment is racially motivated.

"Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool - how much worse lying lips to a ruler!"
Proverbs 17:7

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

'Nuff Said

We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer.
People may be pure in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their motives.
Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.
The Lord has made everything for his own purposes, even the wicked for a day of disaster.
The Lord detests the proud; they will surely be punished.
Unfailing love and faithfulness make atonement for sin. By fearing the Lord, people avoid evil.
When people’s lives please the Lord, even their enemies are at peace with them.
Better to have little, with godliness, than to be rich and dishonest.
We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.
 Proverbs 16:1-9 (NLT)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Nobody Puts Baby In A Corner

Ok, it's another confession day...

I have the movie Dirty Dancing memorized.  Line for line with every ounce of emotion that they used. 




When I watch the movie on TV and they've cut a scene to save time, I take it as a personal offense.   I have watched that movie so many times that I can even tell you what everyone was wearing in any particular scene. 

So this is a sad day (no I'm not cowered in a corner wailing, just sad).  And it's a good time to remember some of my most favorite lines from this movie.  What are yours?  (And did anyone but me ever wondered what happened to Baby & Johnny after the dance??)

"I carried a watermelon." 

"Me? I'm scared of everything. I'm scared of what I saw, I'm scared of what I did, of who I am, and most of all I'm scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I'm with you."

(And my high school friend, Felicia, put one on my Facebook page that I loved too - it's the one where Baby confronts her dad after he had helped Penny.  What a great line about equality.)

RIP Patrick Swayze.  

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Cookbook, Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino and God

Let me recap what's been going on:

1.  I went to Belize
2.  I read a book
3.  God changed my life
Ok, that pretty much sums it all up.

Have a nice day.

I'M KIDDING!!!  I mean that does sum it up, but that change?  Yeah, it's still scaring me.  And it makes me wonder, "What in the hey, whoa, YEAH is God doing??"   There are some days when I don't think He's moving fast enough and others when I wanna shout STOP!!  But He's God, He's in charge and I'm just along for the ride.

One of the realities of what I think God's doing (in case you missed it, I talked about it here) is the very, VERY real possibility that I might have to raise support.  Yikes!  No let me rephrase - YIKES!!!! I mean who in the heck am I kidding??  What in the world am I thinking?? 


So I kinda, sorta, freaked out Friday night, Saturday morning as I dwelled on the whole subject.  Satan, that rascally devil, had quite the heyday with my mind.  Drat him!  So by mid-morning Saturday I was discouraged and admitted to God, AGAIN, that I can't do this, that I'm scared and that I need Him to help me. (FYI - I pray that nearly every day, nope every hour these days.)

Now what happened over the next 2 days may seem insignificant to you, but to me, it confirmed LOUD and CLEAR that God was going to take care of and provide for me in ways I couldn't even imagine. 

On Saturday morning I was out and about and during one of my stops a woman (whom I don't even know, FYI) came up to me, handed me a cookbook that I had looked at before, wanted but had opted NOT to spend $25 on it, and told me that she received this book as a gift, had one already and asked if I would like to have it.  Excuse me?  Who does that??  TO A TOTAL STRANGER???

Then yesterday I was meeting a friend for coffee and chat.  Now the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice frappuccinos are out... and though I am a LOYAL Storyville drinker, a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice frapp is, just, well... YUMMY, and it signifies fall and they're yummy and I just like 'em (did I mention they're yummy?)!  I have been craving one since the came out (Tuesday, I believe), but thankfully there's no Starbucks in my sleepy little hollow.  My friend, however, wanted to meet at a Starbucks that's about mid-way between our houses. 

Oh the temptation.

On my way to meet my friend I asked God for the strength to NOT to waste my money (I know that sounds silly, but I REALLY like these things).  When I walked in my friend announced that she had gotten a gift card for her birthday and it was her treat.  I stood there, trying to protest, telling her I didn't really want anything and she said, "Are you kidding me?  The Pumpkin Spice frappacinos are out and they are YUMMY!  Let's each get one, ok??"

Oh yeah, it was yummy. 

On my way home later I thought about God showing me how He knows my wants and needs (even the frivolous ones) and that He's in charge of them all.  He reminded me through a cookbook from a stranger and a yummy drink from a friend how much He loves me and will provide for me.

(Did anyone besides me catch the humor of the picture of the frappuccinos being near "I Gave Up Two Mochas For Africa" logo?  Nice, huh?)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Nine Eleven

I know I'm not alone when I think back on eight years ago today.  I can clearly remember every single thing about those few moments after the first attack.  I was sitting in my office at home watching Matt & Katie,  unable to comprehend what was happening when the second plane hit, FREAKING OUT, and convincing myself that none of this was happening.  It couldn't be happening.  This was America for heavens sake!

I am blessed that the one person I knew who was there at the moment of impact was low enough in the second tower to leave moments before the building collapsed.  He walked out of the building, out of the city, and kept walking for hours all while the world crashed around him.

My brush with paralyzing fear came from my brother who lives near Pittsburgh. During the time when it was being reported that a plane was headed toward Pittsburgh my brother was locked in a bank vault.  After the second plane hit the bank manager had everyone in the bank move into the vault.  They stayed there until the airspace was declared clear. 

Because of how a vault is built, no one had cell phone service.  For what seemed like an eternity I dialed, redialed and redialed my brother's phone. Most of the time I got the dreaded, "All circuits are busy" and when I did get through it would ring

and ring

and ring.

I stayed on my landline with the person I had been talking to when it all started for hours.  Neither of us were willing to hang up and be alone with our thoughts and fears.  I used my cell phone to continue to call my brother.  My TV continued to flash images of the beast that was destroying my safe, cocooned world.  I very nearly couldn't function from the fear that gripped my heart.  FINALLY someone reported that the plane headed for Pittsburgh went down in a place I'd never heard of and will now never forget.  The "relief" I felt immediately afterward seemed out of place and insensitive.  But somewhere near Pittsburgh my brother was alright.  For a few moments my world was alright.

But only for a few moments.

I am fortunate in that my life has changed very little since 9/11.  But so many out there have paid and are paying a great price.  To those who lost loved ones that terrible day, I can't even begin to tell you how sorry I am.  Know that one day those responsible will pay dearly for their deeds - if not in this life, in the next.

Those of you who lost loved ones as a result of defending my freedom, again, words will never adequately describe my gratitude.

And for those of you who are making sure that my life continues not to change, who are the good guys and not the bad...

Thank you.

I love you.

God bless.

This is our generations Pearl Harbor, JFK and Martin Luther King.  This is the day none of us will ever forget.  Each of us was directly or indirectly affected.  Each of us has a story.  What's yours?

(I was inspired to write this post based on some of the amazing stories I read over at (in)courage.  Check them out - they'll inspire you too.)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Runs With Scissors

It's probably no mistake that this morning I read one of my favorite bloggers, Jon Acuff over at Stuff Christians Like, before I did any other reading, praying and journaling.  I thoroughly enjoy his humor and take on a variety of topics.  Today's entry was on being brave.  Something I'm totally, TOTALLY, not.

At all.

Not one iota.

Especially right now.  Especially today.  Especially at this moment.

This THING that God is calling me to flat out, 100%, terrifies me. 

To the point that I'd rather ignore it all, live my rather boring life, doing my rather boring thing, and stay put, than take that very first step toward all of THIS.

This THING that is huge and radical and scary! 


But, as Jon's blog reminded me, a 5-year-old shows more bravery on their 1st day of school than I am now.  So what if I take a step toward this and I fail?  What if I don't fail?  What if I miss out on God using me to do something BIG!  Would I rather live with regrets of never having tried or would I rather be known as the kid who runs with scissors?  At least that kid is running, instead of this kid who wants to sit right where they are.


So I am choosing today to live like a 5-year-old.  I am choosing to step into that big giant school with kids who are bigger and older and wiser.  I am choosing to run with scissors toward whatever and wherever God wants me.

(Just so ya know I do think that actually RUNNING with scissors is WRONG and dangerous and all that stuff.  I don't recommend ANYONE actually running with scissors. K?)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

30 Days

It has officially been 30 days since I got back from Belize.  My laundry's done (ok that happened within 24 hours actually), the pictures are posted (ALSO within 24 hours), souvenirs and thank yous.... ok not so much done - and I was on such a roll!  BUT I'm finally also at the point of being able to talk and hopefully move on the whole thing that has literally been keeping me up at night.

I had taken the opportunity to hang out at the beach this weekend with my "family."  It was a near perfect time of relaxing, laughing, and talking.  Most importantly getting to talk to the people whose opinions matter to me the most.  But before I had a chance to do that, God needed to show me just one more time that this time is about Him and what He's doing. He did that on Sunday at a church service that was held in the "resort" where we were staying. The pastor there has been going through Philippians and this particular sermon was on the first part of Philippians 3:


(I LITERALLY meant the first part!)

The guy teaching is one of those alliteration preachers - which I must confess, I like. And because the folks who attended the Sunday morning gathering tend to change from week to week, he's also one of those guys who can succintly recap several weeks of sermons.  Bonus! 

Philippians, Chapter 1, he told us, is about our purpose.  My purpose, your purpose, ANY believers purpose, is to glorify God in all we say and do.  Everything else will flow from that.  EVERYTHING.  Period. 

Philippians 2 is about our passion. What is that thing that God has placed in our hearts that knocks our socks off?  The thing that keeps us awake at night.  The one thing that makes us feel like THIS is what I was meant to do?!

Finally - Chapter 3. Pursuit - what are we pursuing?  How are we pursuing it?  To what degree does God want us to pursue it?  Where is our heart when it comes to pursuing it?  Is it all about US or is it about Him?  Are we worried about whether or not this pursuit is beneficial for us?

"My service for God today has nothing to do with my satisfaction for tomorrow."
Jimmy Morse

My purpose?  To glorify God. Period. 

My passion?  Short-term missions.  It's been that for awhile now, but I lost sight of it for many years.  I love, am energized, charged and fully and totally stoked about short-term missions.  Not just going (which I LOVE), but being involved in people's lives as they go.  Teaching them.  Encouraging them.  Training them.  Watching them catch the vision.  There is no greater pleasure in my life to be involved in someone's life as they experience their very first missions trip.  It makes me downright giddy at times.

My pursuit?  How do I do my passion full-time so that I am glorifying God by it?  What, where and how do I do what I think God is calling me to do?  I know God's going to provide the way and the means, but I don't think I'm just supposed to sit idly by waiting for it to happen. 

So that is it.  I'm at a point where I know where God is calling me, I just don't know how.  He does and though it honestly does scare me just a tad, it excites me, too.  I think it's going to call for some radical changes, but I think I'm finally at a point in my life where I'm ready.

Now what?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm His

I have to send a box to Nebraska tomorrow.  The stuff I'm sending is going to go inside someone's luggage to be taken to Belize next week.  My dilemma is trying to fit as much stuff as possible into a rather smallish box so that the person taking it won't be overwhelmed.  Last night I realized that what I have to send will no way fit inside the box I'm trying to fit it in.

Ain't no way. Ain't no how.

I think, no scratch that, I know that I do the same with God.  I try, because it's easy, it's safe and it's comfortable, to put God in a box.  If I can contain God, then all the crazy, wild, and yes radical things that He does, is doing and is going to do can be ignored and left behind.  Right?

I am trying to put God...


in a box.  The Creator of the heavens and the earth, GOD, inside a box. The One who made the galaxies and caterpillars, Coke Light and chicken fajita nachos, the color red and laughter... INSIDE A FLIPPIN' BOX PEOPLE!!

The same God who is holy, eternal, all-knowing, all-powerful, fair and just.  Just writing all that out is intimidating.  Yet I think I can take God and place Him in a box. 

Surely God wouldn't call me to do THAT

Surely God wouldn't call me to go THERE

Surely God wouldn't call me to love THEM!

Surely God wouldn't take my mom before I have a chance to say good-bye.

Surely God wouldn't expect me to be single much longer.

Yeah He would.  All of that and so much, MUCH more.  Why?  Because He's God. 

Because He is holy.  He can't be compared with anything or anyone.There are no accurate words that can be used to describe Him.  He is holy.  Period. 

Because He is eternal. He exists outside of time.  We don't.  He has no beginning.  No middle.  No end.  Think about that. 

Because He is all-knowing.  He knows the innards of my heart.  I get chills just thinking about that.  There's not a single, solitary thing that I can hide from Him.  Nothing. Nada.  Neither can you.

Because He is all-powerful.  Everything was created for Him.  Not the other way around. Yet I constantly ask Him why He does what He does.  Or, and I love this, I try to tell Him what to do!!  Someone slap me now!

Because He is fair and just.  Amen.  Enough said.

I can't even fit iPods, iPhones, Cakesters & Hershey's in a box, but yet I think I can put God in one. 

And yet, the idea of Him outside the box - of what He might do and might ask me to do, scares me.  But I have no choice. 

All that stuff will get packed up, in a slighly bigger box, and shipped off to Nebraska.  And I am realizing and accepting that it is finally time for me to stop trying to put God in a box.  He can't be contained and honestly, I don't want Him to be.  It's time for me to stop being so stinkin' afraid.

He is God, afterall.

(The above ramblings are my thoughts on what I read in Crazy Love.)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Where My Tent Is Pitched Now

Think about the one person on this earth that you love more than ANYONE else.  It could be a parent, a spouse, a child - anyone who you cherish above all else.  Now, imagine that person being nailed to a cross, dying for people who, quite honestly, don't deserve it.

That probably doesn't even begin to touch the surface of how God felt.

That was the question presented to me today in the portion of Crazy Love that I'm camped on right now. Being an "orphan" of sorts (both my parents are deceased) and not being married and not having kids, I honestly had to think for a moment just who that person is that I love the most.  And once I locked in to who, those thoughts, those feelings, well they just weren't all the pleasant.

But yet, God loved me, ME, enough to allow His Son to go through that. 






That is how much, how intense, how MIND BLOWING, how crazy His love is for me.

And yet, I know I take that love for granted.  I know that I walk around not even trying to be thankful for what He's done and I know that I just assume that no matter what I do, He will continue to love me with that same intensity.

And you know what?  He does.  CRAZY!!  Flat out, knock your socks off crazy.

Now that I am aware of all of that what should my response be?  Should I continue in the same lifestyle, the same sinful ways with the same responses and assumptions.  No.  Absolutely not.

If God is going to love me so much to do the one thing that to us humans is totally and completely unimaginable, how can I deny Him my life, totally and completely and utterly sold out for Him?  How can I not, in whatever small and insignificant way not try to live a life, radical, crazy and wholly devoted to Him?

How can you?

(All of these musings were taken from the video, Just Stop & Think on the Crazy Love website.  It's about 15 minutes long, but if you can't read the book, watch the video.  It'll radically change you because it has me.)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

And Now A Word From Our Sponsor

Or, and most accurately, "Alice Is Not Talking About Crazy Love Again"

Today, my friends, I want to tell you the story of my left foot.  Specifically what my poor left foot has been through over the last 22 days. 

It started out like a normal day of walking, riding and sitting for good ol' Lefty.  Adorned in its favorite left shoe from Germany and feeling all clean and polished after a week of cold showers and dirty roads, Lefty had no idea the perils that awaited him.  I'm sure if he did, he would have chosen to stay in Belize.  At least in Belize he hadn't been bruised, battered and torn.  That distinction belonged to Righty, Lefty's bestfriend and at times arch enemy.

Things seemed to moving smoothly along, a bit of shopping just outside of San Ignacio, a van ride up to Belize City, a few hours at the airport and then a flight to Miami.  This is where Lefty's once smooth and spry exterior changed, if not forever, at least long enough to leave an impression.  Due to some strange weather, flights from Belize were cancelled the day before, making flights on that fateful Saturday crazy, overcrowded, and delayed.  And in the case of Lefty's flight, nearly 90 minutes delayed.

This meant that the once ample layover in Miami, enough to go through immigration, pick up all the luggage, head through customs and re-check luggage, was now down to a paltry 30 minutes.  And even in the best of circumstances, a near impossible task.  As a result, Lefty knew that he would be called upon to perform in top capacity.  Running - not just quick walking - from one place to the other, jumping over small children, quick maneuvers and quicker steps.  But Lefty was ready for the challenge.

AND PERFORM LEFTY DID!!  He and Righty worked in tandem, like a finely oiled machine.  And then, oh children the memory even now brings pain to Lefty, while trying to pass off the luggage after flying through customs, I, Lefty's person, dropped, or more accurately SLAMMED what can only be described as a Smart Car-size piece of luggage full of Coke Lights and dirty laundry on top of Lefty.

The pain - OH THE PAIN - brought tears to my eyes and caused me to grab the poor innocent bystander who was trying to pass their luggage off.  But Lefty, visibly turning colors and swelling by the second never let me down. 

This unfortunately was not Lefty's only "accident."  Two weeks later, black, blue, still swollen, STILL painful to touch, Lefty was still performing expertly when I shoved him under a piece of furniture, scrapping off most of the clean, but black & blue exterior.  I VOWED to take better care of Lefty.  I PROMISED no more stupid, childish antics.  And Lefty, ever the trooper, continued as best as his bruised, battered and now slightly bloody self would allow.

Until last night, when the sweetest, most precious little girl named Mercy came into Lefty's life.  I don't think anyone could have predicted the outcome of this sweet relationship.  Just as the evening came to an end, this sweet mite of a little girl TRAMPLED on Lefty.  But Lefty, ever the gentleman (footleman?) remained strong, never letting his pain show so as not to make little Mercy feel bad.

And I, Lefty's person, trying to hold back the tears and avoid limping, walked out the door and away from the heartbreak. 

Today, Lefty sits encased in a simple black flat, valiantly enduring the pain and suffering.  I've promised Lefty that enough is enough and that we will take as long as needed to heal and become whole again.

We now you return to our regularly scheduled program.

(Yeah, this is a stupid post, but I can't focus on much more than the pain in my foot right now.  Sorry!!)