Tuesday, March 31, 2009

just because...

It seems like these only happen on Tuesdays or Fridays....and on this particular Tuesday I should probably be packing for the TSHA conference...however I've been thinking about something lately and I wanted to share it with you.

I've been feeling somewhat unattached lately...probably because I've entered a phase in my life where people are beginning to pair off and get engaged and married. I am happy with my current status, I know that I need to develop my relationship with God before I can truly have the best relationship with a partner, and regardless of how incredibly happy I am for my friends (because I truly am happy for them) sometimes I just need a little reminder from God that I'll be there one day too.

Recently I was cleaning out my closet in preparation for "the move" and I discovered a little passage that I had gotten from one of my Phi Lamb sisters during a covenant group last year. She had it on her facebook and I printed it onto an index card. The passage was originally directed at women, but because I realize that not everyone who can read is a girl I'll make it gender friendly :) It is written from God's point of view...so insert His voice (however you hear it) instead of mine when you get to it.

So thanks to Ali for reading this to me back in our creamery covey...I appreciate it greatly.

Blessings to each of you today!

Here is the passage from Ali...and I don't know where she got it from, so hopefully I'm not infringing on any copyrights...

I made you...you are different, you're unique.
With love I formed you in your mother's womb
I fashioned you with great joy.
I remember, with great pleasure, the day I created you.
I love your smile.
I love your ways.
I love to hear you laugh and the silly things you say and do.
You bring me great pleasure. This is how I made you.
I made you pretty and not beautiful, because I knew your heart and knew you would be vain...
I wanted you to search out your heart, and learn that it would be me in you that would make you beautiful...and it would be me in you that would draw friends to you.
I made you in such a way that you would need me...
I made you a little more lonesome than you would like to be...
Only because I need for you to learn and depend on me...
I know your heart.
I know that if I had not made you like this you would go your own chosen way and forget me...your creator.
I have given you many good and happy things...because I love you.
Because I love you, I have seen your broken heart...and the tears you cried alone, I have cried with you, and had a broken heart too.
Many times you have stumbled and fallen alone only because you would not hold my hand.
So many lessons you have learned the hard way because you would not listen to my voice...
So many times I have set back and sadly watched you go your merry way alone.
Only to watch you return to My arms, sad and broken.
And now, you are mine again...I made you, then I bought you...to renew you to what I had planned for you to be.
It has not been easy for you or me.
I want you to be conformed to My image...
This high goal I have set for you because I love you.

Friday, March 27, 2009

...I don't wanna grow up...

Today I feel like I'm suffering from a bit of the ol' peter pan syndrome. That's not completely truthful...it's been the whole week.

Why does time go so fast? Why does growing up seem so icky?

All I seem to hear about these days are the down sides of growing up. Bills, loans, the lagging economy, having to wait till 70 to retire. Where's the fun part of being an adult that we all saw as children? What was it that made us want to be adults at age 5? In a quest to find out...and to show myself the upside of growing older: I've made a list of the top 10 things I have to look forward to in adulthood. We'll do this Letterman style...10-1 so here we go:

10) I get to have a dog! I never got to growing up...and now it's chic to have a pup so snaps for being in style and having a furry friend.
9) Contributing to the world around me. As big as their dreams may be, most 5-year-olds don't see past Saturday morning cartoons. As a full fledged adult I will be able to give back in ways I wasn't able to while growing up.
8) Getting to explore and establish a career.
7) Understanding all the technical jargon for taxes etc...there's nothing that makes you sound smarter than knowing the difference between a 1099 and a W-2.
6) Becoming an aunt! I can't wait to spoil my nephew and then give him back to Jeremy and Joy...it's the ultimate in sibling revenge!
5) Growing closer to my family. It's so much fun to be friends with your siblings...thank goodness that happens best now that we're grown up.
4) Growing closer to God as an individual. Every day I get older and every day I feel like God shows me something new about myself.
3) Getting to put "roots" in one address. Moving every year gets a bit tiring...
2) Having more life experiences. I can't wait to see the "circle of life". death i've seen, life (little Danny boy will arrive soon) I'll soon experience...love, well that's coming too.
1) The thing I'm most looking forward to in my adult life is finding someone to share it with. God's plan is so much bigger than mine and I'm so excited to see what's in store down that road.

Despite all these good things, I know there are those who are suffering with the negative side of adulthood, no post-college job prospects, parents without jobs, massive student loans to pay. You name it, it's happening. So in the hopes of not offending anyone I'll cease my dose of positivity for the day.

Happy weekend to all!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

it's just one of those days...

I woke up feeling great about an hour ago...and for some reason I just had a wave of sadness wash over me. I miss my dad a lot, but the intensity of the feeling is what changes on a day-to-day basis. I don't know who to talk to about this stuff...hence the blog. I mentioned my dad yesterday to a close friend and they visibly stiffened because they didn't know what to say. I don't want to burden anyone with my grief, but I wish I felt more comfortable sharing it in person with the people I care most about. Let me give you the reader's digest version of my dad's story.

Dad had a stage 4 melanoma removed from his back before I was born, about 25 years ago-ish. My older brother was around then, but Matt and I only saw the scar leftover from the surgery. So Dad was careful about the sun, and "cancer-free" for the next 25 years. Then, last march/april Dad was undergoing testing for some "masses" on his kidneys, lymph nodes, and other areas. The diagnosis came back as melanoma in his lymph nodes. Toward the end of April he had surgery to take out the affected nodes and then traveled to Waco for graduation.

Everything seemed okay, dad was chuggin along, his doctors said everything was fine (or so we were told by dad) but then at the end of the summer Dad told me that he was starting two rounds of Chemo. He took the chemo pills so it was pills for a week then off for 3. Dad did a round in Oct. and Nov.

The week before thanksgiving I got a call from my younger brother telling me that Dad was in the hospital with what they thought was pneumonia (he had pressure on his lungs, and couldn't breathe very well.) Matt was flying out to Albany to see dad for the week of thanksgiving so we were all comforted by that.

The thursday before thanksgiving I got the call that it wasn't pneumonia causing my dad to be short of breath, it was the cancer. The cancer had spread to Dad's lungs and kidneys and was basically taking over. The whole family made plans to fly up to Albany the day after thanksgiving to see Dad.

We saw dad the saturday after thanksgiving...and man I had no idea what to expect. The man who I had known as strong and enduring was suddenly weak, and withering away. That weekend with dad was so hard, but I'm so glad that I got to have that. Living half a country away makes it difficult to see family very often. We flew back to texas the tuesday after turkey day and dad died a week later.

I wish I could describe my pain and relate my feelings without feeling like I'm begging for sympathy, I'm not. I just need an outlet and this has provided it.

Through all the pain and tears over my dad I have learned that God is faithful and His plan is so much bigger than mine. I believe that He can use even stinky situations for good, and I can't wait to see what he does with this.

Blessings to you today!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I love Tuesdays!

Tuesday is often the highlight of my week. Why Tuesday you ask? Well I'll tell you...

About 3 years ago...actually almost 4 now (man time flies) I began to eat weekly at a local restaurant called "The Clay Pot." It's vietnamese cuisine, and I am addicted. These weekly meetings with one of my most favorite people quickly became ritual to us. Not only is it 2-for-1 spring rolls on Tuesday, but it was a time for us to sit and relax, talk about life and fellowship as Christians. Stewie is one of my closest friends, she's been there to comfort me in times when few others could but I think the wonderful thing about our friendship has been that it blossomed with weekly, not daily, interaction.

How often do we feel like relationships need daily attention? I think that when our interaction with others is truly rooted in Christ, we need only commune with Him to invest in those we care about.

Sadly, Stew and I graduated, and she went on to colder pastures (Kansas) and I was left alone with the claypot. Fortunately I have been blessed with a new Claypot Tuesday buddy, who is quickly becoming another one of my favorite people.

I love my big/little claypot tuesdays, Meg challenges me and helps me to think about things that I often take for granted. Plus, the staff of the Claypot finally know not to give me a menu when I walk in. Last week, Meg and I were greeted by the waiter with two mugs of tea and two trays of spring rolls and the question "where are y'all sitting?" Life is so good. God is so good.

My favorite way to experience God is to fellowship with those around me and to invest in others. I am sad that my claypot Tuesdays are numbered...when I leave Waco I don't know what I'll find to replace it, or who I'll find to replace these two amazing women...but God knows. And I have to rest in that. So here's to Tuesdays! Hooray for spring rolls, amazing iced tea, and growing friendships!