Tuesday, March 31, 2009

when "they" are always the problem...

i've had the opportunity to hear a friend "vent" about his employer lately. i'm sure from his perspective it's been quite challenging. tough decisions get made sometimes, and it can really toss up someone's world. it seems, though, like we can get to a point where we only see the actions of another according to our judgment of them (resentment even?). thus, everything they do must be because he or she is greedy or cold-hearted or against the mission or...

but, all this talk has made me pause to ask a question...i wonder what it has been like for that employer to work with him...? do we ever pause to ask that? yikes, i hate to say it, but i wonder how much our perspective would alter if we pondered beyond our sense of victimization.

hmm...just as an occasional employer, i can say that it isn't a picnic to have to make the tough call. and it makes it a million times harder to do anything right when dealing with a bitter employee.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Red Envelope Day

well, i got my red envelopes ready today. it's 'red envelope day' tomorrow which means that anyone that has pro-life leanings can send an envelope (representing a little one lost to abortion) to the white house to register opinion. and duh...i know that there's pretty much no hope for a legal change at this point, but that'll never stop me from letting women know that there is support out there.

which brings me to a conviction all over again.

the "truth" church needs to become vigilant about becoming the "support" church. too many words have been wasted on "convicting" people when serious help could have been given to support millions of frightened women who saw no other alternative.

so beyond sending an envelope, we need to become a people that walks with a pregnant teen, a rape victim, a single mom...

seems like 'love' to me...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

God's Nurture

every area of my life pie has been spinning lately. "stress" has been the understatement of the year. i am certainly aware of god's provision through family and friends that have kindly allowed me to process things through...a god-send! but, as things have continued, i've found myself with less and less rest in my inner being.

i've been running on fumes.

it is interesting...my pride...how i really think that i need to take care of myself, circumstances, and people. somehow i must think i do a better job than god sometimes. at least, i notice that on occasion.

the other evening...after a busy week...i was getting ready to go to the next thing. it was a two-day seminar that was going to be unbelievable, but i was supposed to be facilitating a small group. well, with all my running around lately, i was just so maxed out inside that i was struggling to muster the strength to keep on going...and then to be available to give to someone else if god was speaking something to them??? burnt out! well, in the hours before i had to leave my computer that had my thesis on it (not backed up) had a major fit. LITERALLY RIGHT BEFORE I WAS GOING!! i almost lost my paper in an effort to repair the computer. thankfully, the tech was able to get the problem fixed without losing it.

but it left me completely undone.

so, i decided to tell god the obvious...that i was trying to run my life and work out the stresses in my own strength. the funny thing about god...as he's been showing me how to have a relationship with him...is that he didn't answer back that i was a stupid sinner. he said, "you know what? i made you to be cared for by me. i made you to be nurtured by me. so, it's ok to let me do that." true strength is birthed out of his care.

it was so refreshing to hear because he is so trustworthy. to a point, i've been able to trust others...and god. he's helped me grow so much in that. but every now and then, i still entertain the fear that people will bail on me when i'm already down and remind myself of times that has happened...which of course would also indicate that i hold god in suspect too. but that fear only fuels a self-sufficiency that i was not made for. it robs me of a soft vulnerability that leads to life in him and openness to others. it taints my view of people and even leads me to hold my heart out to users and takers as if they have the answer. (a weird twist).

so i've been taking some moments in the midst of the madness to just sit and let it be true that god is the nurturer of my spirit.

and the truth is...he's the answer to all of it. whatever comes, he will walk with me right through it. what's better than that?

Friday, March 27, 2009


had a break-through today. i'll write more about it later on...gotta go, you know. i got home from a walk with debbie and no sooner had i stepped in the door than my world exploded!! BUT...i had a major realization...one of the ones that resides underneath a lot of surfacey things. so i sat there and just let god do his thing.

a rush and hush of peace followed.

and then i got excited...hehe.

so, i knew there'd be a dancing song on my horizon. went to find a link that dave sent me earlier and found that it's the perfect "bust-a-move" song. commenced flailing.

i have no idea what they are saying other than the english version talks about someone leaving and all the colors going to grey...so it's a beckoning back kind of song. PERFECT!!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Never Ceases to Amaze Me...

i've worked with kids and parents for...oh my gosh...too many years now, and it still never ceases to amaze me.

"what?", you may be asking....;)

well...it's the occasional parents that really think they have the formula for raising kids...the ones that really think they've got it down to a science.

oh dear...i'm thinking god's got a specialty kid in the works for the likes of that. a little serving of humility coming up! :)

hopefully so, anway...otherwise, i feel for the kids that are raised in the midst of that. now that's pressure!!...'cause what does it say about you if you are the kid that doesn't fit the system?? yikes-o-rama!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

An Interesting Question...

i've been realizing something lately...a key distinction, i suppose.

if you've every sinned...haha...or been on the receiving end of someone else's, you know that there are always consequences. those consequences aren't evil necessarily. they're just what happens...what comes naturally as a result of choices. this is often the stuff we hate to admit and/or experience...it reminds us of what happened. if it was our own sin, the consequences can actually make us feel shame. if we were hurt by someone's sin, those consequences can actually remind us of the wound. and if our shame and our wounds aren't healed, every time the consequences arise...we can get trapped in a cycle of pain, unforgiveness and bitterness...and never really get out.

so, i've been experiencing some consequences lately...of my own and of others. in the midst of it, i've felt god asking a different sort of question to me...an interesting surprise. he's been saying, "are you willing to bear the consequences of those situations?"

it strikes me that forgiveness, while truly being a pardoning and a parting from resentment, has another element. it includes agreeing to bear the consequences of a situation, and when those consequences arise, we let them be just that...what naturally happened as a result of sin. they don't need to mean more, and we don't need to let those consequences re-open old wounds and access things that we've let go.

the wonderful thing...if we let consequences not represent more than they are, the moments that do hurt, that do remind us of what happened, become opportunities to share our hearts with god. what's better than that?

so the question on my horizon is whether or not i'm willing to really bear the consequences. regardless of my decision, the consequences don't go away, but my answer and subsequent choices will drastically affect my life in the midst of them.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

My Mom's a Spice Cake...

i had dinner with my parental units tonight...hehe...mom and dad. i so love these people. they are so different, but really work together so well. they will be married 40 years this summer!!!...and they are still madly in love. so amazing!

well, my mom is...a total spice cake! i love when she gets all firey about things. she gets this 'tell it like it is' look about her. looooook out...in a good way (unless joy has been misbehaving and probably has it coming). ;)

one of my favorite reactions of her's is when she really celebrates something or is proud of something. she holds her hands up in her cute little fists (with her amazingly sharp, long fingernails), closes her eyes, tilts her head just so, and says "yes!". that, occassionally followed by her distinctive "woooo-hooo!"

mom's rule!

As Worship...

i got to hang out with jen last night. she's a great heart-friend of mine. (god has given me some wonderful times with friends lately and has spoken right through them to my crazy life.) so we were talking about our respective challenges and joys, and she said something that has really caused me to pause and reflect.

she said that she would pray that i would really be able to get a heart of worship in midst of the things that i'm facing.

stunned me a little...which caught my attention...and me think that i needed to think about that some more. :)

it's "christian-ese" to say that we have a "heart of worship" or that we are doing things "as unto worship". i wonder if we say it more than we really mean it, however.

i wonder if i say it more than i really mean it...

jen reminded me that brother lawrence ("the practice of the presence of god"...good book) wrote about how monumentally his attitude changed about menial tasks like washing dishes when he did them with a heart of worship...and actually asked for that heart.

it was a big heart "duh" moment for me.

it's my heart to please god...not out of a fear of hell...but out of a desire to delight him (i've felt that before and it was the best experience of my life!!). i've found such freedom in musical worship at church and beyond because i so want to praise him and honor him, but to keep that worship bound to musical notes???...i could make everything in my life as an offering of worship.

i think i shall think on this some more...and perhaps actually do it...or "be" it (better)...when the thinking gets old!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Demon Squirrel

so the demon-possessed squirrel is back. i swear...i thought i got rid of it last year. although, i should have known that he was a "survivor" when i pretty much served him meals of poison and he just kept beefing up. today, he showed up to stare at me and chew on my house some more. OH...and he was sniffing a package that came to my door...probably thinking of eating a gps unit. jerk.

so...my new plan?? dial-a-nephew. "hi, this is auntie sarah. do you have a gun or know someone who does? then come on over..."

no such thing as a "cute" squirrel to me. no, no...this dude is just a big frickin' mouse.

The Fire

i'm sitting in my quiet house right now. it was the most insane day at work, and i just needed some stillness.

my clothes smell so bad, my hair has a film on it, and my skin is just nasty feeling.

i was sitting in my science class today...7th-8th grade fun and/or madness...when jody ran in saying that there was a fire in the multi-purpose room and that mark couldn't get it out. so i bolted from my chair, telling my kids to sit tight, and ran in with her.

it was CRAZY!

somehow the oven was on fire and kept lighting back up after each blast of the extinguishers. someone yelled out that it might be electrical, so we ran to the wall of a zillion circuits. of course, in stressful moments like this, finding the specific breaker was next to impossible, so finally we just pulled the 'main' because it was taking too much time. at that moment the smoke finally hit the sensors, and the alarms went off. so i bolted back to my class and got them moving outside (in an orderly fashion ideally). teachers took over supervision (thank god), so we went back to running around like maniacs.

mark finally got it out, but the smoke was unbelievable! it was thick, it was full of nasty junk, and it had to be toxic. it burned the fridge next to it and some of the wall and cabinets above.

the fire dept FINALLY showed up! mark hauled the stove outside. big blowers were brought in. clean-up began (and continues).

jody and mark were amazing, btw!!! what a blessing!

so...another event for the book someday...'my experiences at ccs'. i'm not sure how many more "that'll never happen" events are left to survive on my list. oh...well, i guess a meteor hasn't struck the building, so there are still more things to wait for. hehe!

thank god for walking with us through that one. no one was hurt...other than faculty lungs. ;)

Monday, March 16, 2009

"Ummm, ya! Of course it would feel that way..."

i'm amazed sometimes at the ways that god takes care of me. if you've read any of my previous blogs, you know that it's a busy and stressful season for me. some of it is purely circumstantial, and some is tough stuff that i wish i didn't have on my plate.

it's been tricky because i've just felt myself sinking deeper and deeper under the weight of it...

i was so overwhelmed last week that i actually had a knock-down/drag-out with god...haha...more like i was ranting all over tarnation and he sat quietly while i had my tantrum. why it is that i sometimes feel like i can open a can on him is beyond me...even so, he sits and listens...and then i feel bad for being so bratty...and then we get down to business.

right now we are getting down to business...i'm definitely still wrestling with things, but he's moving.

i had a wonderful dream the other morning before i woke up. i could see myself sleeping in my bed. in the dream, i was not having a restful sleep because my mind and heart were busy with struggle...but i was being guarded and kept safe. i turned to look at who was there, and it was a older, burly man. a figure resembling aslan in a man's body...a kind of seasoned warrior with years of experience and wise strength in every crease and wrinkle. he was there...and he was watching.

that followed by conversations with two of my sisters. the first one on a walk that included lovely reminders of nieces and other wonders that helped to broaden the perspective. the second with "feeling validation"...an 'umm, ya! of course it would feel that way...'

i'm in a season with my " we're heading through" god. i'm not particularly enjoying the journey, but his reminders of his watchful care and gifts of loving people are pure gold along the way.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Getting the fever for spring...

it was so beautiful today!!! i couldn't take being inside, held prisoner by thesis woes. i decided to grab my sunglasses, hit the dairy queen in nb and then do some exploring at my favorite local state park. i made the perfect driving cd for the occasion too. good times.

well, i got to the park and all the trails were snowed over...waaaah!!!...but...there were numerous puddles with my name on it. i'm telling you...my car and i can work wonders when it comes to speed and mini lakes on the roads etc. although, i would recommend remembering to put up your windows for the big ones...umm, 'nuf said there. hehe.

so...don't forget to play...you need it!

The "They're, There, Their" and "Your, You're" Issue...

they're...use in places where you mean to say "they are".

there...use in places where you are identifying a location..."over there".

their...use in places where you are wanting to assign belonging..."their dog".

your...use in places where, again, you are wanting to assign belonging..."your dog".

you're...use in places where you mean to say "you are".

i'm no grammatical expert, but i find myself so frustrated at trying to understand what some of my teeny-boppers are saying...and texters too! i guess it's because those words have specific meanings for me...or maybe our culture is just becoming "communication challenged"...hehe.

"Everything is amazing, no one is happy"...

ah yes...hit the nail on the head...

(oh...probably not for the g-rated crowd...) :)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Niece Time...

sometimes there's nothing more refreshing than "life according to little people". :)

i was able to spend time with my nieces yesterday while their parents were away. as always, it was such a good time...a very busy time, hehe...but an awesome opportunity.

momentary hick-up in a bit lip...little 'a' took a spill and happened to have her lip between her teeth in the tumble. :( the good news??...the girl LOVES ice. bleeding and swelling quickly subsided due to her addiction issue. one thing i should probably tell my sis though...we burned through a ton of bandaids...not because of any real wounds however. post-lip, it just helped to know that there were resources available for all her ouchies...real or fake. ;) she's a quick healer, btw, when it comes to fake wounds. turns out a bandaid secured for even 3 seconds makes a wound "all done". amazing...

little 'c' is an absolute delight. she's able to have whole conversations, revealing so much about her view of things. she's also really up for weird fun. turns out that she's amazing at funny faces every 3 seconds...she's definitely perfected the piggy face (a personal fav of mine). oh! she told me about suffering too. she was remembering some scary things...car accident, mommy's hurt arm, and she said that "sometimes things happen and then things get better...you just have to wait". smarty pants.

best part of all though...hugs, kisses and snuggles. can't...go...wrong.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Inside Out...

my kids sang this in chapel this week. it was new to me, but the message was so wonderful. so much of 'religion' seeks to change us from the outside in, which works if you are 4 years old or using spiritual disciplines to reveal something deep inside, but the core of god's heart is to touch us in the deepest parts of ourselves, filling us...and overflowing from the inside out. it's his wonderful whirling love in the core of who we are...messy-beautiful overflow onto any and every thing and person in our lives.

my favorite part...as with most songs for me...is when they take it up a notch and things become more desperate. it's just more real-life...and true. for those that don't like waiting, it's somewhere in the middle and on...

"and the cry of my heart..." wow, beautiful.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What's Your Mirror Right Now?

here's the thing...i am more and more convinced that much of what happens in our lives...relationships, interactions, challenges, conflicts, all the things we have to have our opinions about...can actually serve as a mirror for ourselves. but all too often we do anything to make our internal angst about everyone else or everything else. we never stop to ask ourselves, "what does this say about me?"

i've got some of that going on right now...and i'm so glad that there's a part of me that's willing to ask that question. why?...because while there are true injustices and challenges in our lives, any and all situations can be stepping stones to more learning and growth.

how sad that we often decide to stay in victim mode, maintaining our complaining and criticizing...what a depressing way to live...and what an irritating person to be around!!!

i wish i could muster the guts to offer that out...hehe. the people who have to be critical about everything...i'd just love to say, "have you ever wondered what your feelings on the matter actually say about you?"...just a thought...hehe.

i'd get killed if i did...but considering that my unwillness to do so might actually say something about fears that i walk in, maybe i should!!! oh dear....

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Declaration...

advance about a minute...long intro...

and then jump around...hehe.

Life Changing Movie #4


i would imagine there's the potential to tick off a lot of people...but i have to say that sometimes it's good to be a little uncomfortable. sorry, it just is. why?...so the heart can get bigger, go deeper...so that we can evaluate how much we really do represent the heart of jesus to those around us...and if we even really know how his heart beats...

what did i get out of this movie?? in a day where much of "christianity" felt (and still feels) impressed to be behavior moderators as defenders of truth (before even asking what god may want in a particular situation), i felt a profound invitation...and now conviction...to live a different life. i understand it today as a call to live a life marked by intimacy with god (still imperfectly, i know. work in progress.)...a life that asks first that we might all consider getting to know (or falling in love with) the greatest romancer of all in jesus...and live a life that values and defends the truest things about who we are...that we all might someday embrace our deeper identities as found in him.

sure, some might say that i'm whacked in the head...or that it's just my conviction...maybe so...but for this gal??..."a person is a person is a person is a person..."

and that's where i want all of my interactions to begin...


it drives me nuts when god takes a moment to push my buttons. i know he's good, so i try to hold on to that when he throws me a zinger. it's a hard journey that i know he wants to walk with me...and always his masterpiece idea for my life looks so much better than my own. it's just trusting that...ooo, tough sometimes.

i think we all have things we keep in our back pockets (hopefully, less and less all the time). odd little (or big) reminders of past circumstances, hurts, not-so-accurate messages from our life stories, etc. we keep them as cards we can pull out for a strange sort of comfort or security sometimes...methods of validation when we need to be our own answer.

for me, it's old offenses. all the "never got an apology for that", "never got a 'thank you' for that", "was totally crossed by that one", "don't forget how it works with the 'old boys' club"...old stuff. icky, icky bitter junk.

the good thing...i totally hate it...and just want to vomit it out.

and i know it gets better and better all the time as he forms me...but i can't wait for the day where the 'old stuff' really has no bearing on just loving and living. walking in love...being forgiven and being forgiving...like he did and does all the time.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Another Jr High "Boy" Story...

yet another tale about the unique experiences with a class of junior high boys...

today, we were practicing our typing skills in computer class. one of my students finished his lesson and was allowed to go check his grades on-line. i noticed after a bit that he wasn't on the school's grade site...he was looking at something else entirely.

baby names.


a junior high boy looking up baby names.

i asked him about it, and he replied that he was thinking of "adaggio" or "alfonso" as names for his kids because names are important. he said that it seemed like something he should be thinking about ahead of time.

uhhhh...i have nothing to say...totally speechless. hehe.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Doc Holliday

one of my favorite 'western' characters of all time...doc holliday (played by val kilmer). for those that aren't into the saloon scene and/or gun-slinging violence in movies, it's probably not for you...but this character is awesome. he's a great blend of adventure, drama and comedy. i really enjoy the loyal friendship between doc and wyatt too...a theme that weaves throughout.

Something "Little"...:)

ohhhhh! my sweet friend sarah sent me this today. i LOVE it soooo much!!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

My Little Adventure Today...

i'm afflicted with something wonderful...hehe. i love, love, love the little things...and the little adventures we can take any day.

today, i decided that i wanted to tour the new 'county market' in the town over. i wanted to see every part of the store and any fun little quirks that came with it. so after bible study, rachel and i headed over. we met up with michelle too...and commenced the tour.

it was wonderful! and rachel was very tolerant of my adventures. she even went up and down every stinking aisle...although we did a speed-walk through the pet food and diaper ones...no real needs there. :)


i was able to find something "new" for the day. i love to try new things no matter how small. today's were the kumquat and the ugly fruit.

look at this cute little thing...it's like a mini-orange except you can eat the rind too.
first bite...
the most sour thing next to a lemon that i've ever tasted...hahahaha! but i tried it!
the "ugly" fruit...how cruel!! totally a beauty talk off this one...good gracious! a thick peel on this fruit...really cool texture though. hard to tell...and then...WOW! a wonderful taste. just goes to show you that 'ugly' is a whole lot of crap. hehe!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Climb...

k, i'm not a "miley" fan...hehe...but this song is just wonderful. all the things we make our journies about...the greener passages, the past even...but it's about the way and the walk. so, in a temporary moment of "miley", here's one with some good things to remember.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I think she knows...

probably one of the biggest lights of my life at work is my friend jody. i won't put her picture up because she'll get really mad at me and then i won't hear the end of it. ;) but if you need a picture, just email me and i'll send one...she'll never know. hehe.

today was really insane. add another dose of drama, and it went from bad to worse. (see blog below). i can usually plow through and then let loose a bit with the time is right...but "the time" won't be until i get home later tonight...busy life lately.

but i think there's something about jody that just lets her know that i'm about to blow...

she dialed my office at lunch today and said, "let's go!". that's code for "meet me at my car, so we can go grab some lunch.". :)

so i did...and got to have a 15-minute "peace" session in her car.


she's the kind of friend that just knows these things.

love ya, jody!

Came to my Rescue...

i have so much on my plate lately...it's unreal. i started feeling it a bit more last night...and a huge smack today...i'm just plain overwhelmed. work is pure drama. thesis is a massive weight. other responsibilities are tipping the scales. some key situations are really irritating. man, i need god-life, god-strength, and god-joy today. so, here's a song that i'm playing over and over today to at minimum set my boat sailing in a good direction.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Negotiator...

apparently, i'm a negotiator. per my usual, i read through descriptions on personalities and think that i might be any of them...and then, just once and a while, i come across a description or test that basically shows the 'shoe that fits' so perfectly. hilarious. so this is from an article on dating personalities. when i read the 'negotiator'...especially the part on 'if you are a negotiator'...uhhh, nail on head.


Monday, March 2, 2009

In This Life...

just been thinking a little...this one's for my "sunrise and sunset", hottie god.

Amazing Devo Today...

Driven into the Darker Regions of the Soul 02/28/2009 (on-line devo that i get)

I hope you’re getting the picture by now. If a man does not find those things for which his heart is made, if he is never even invited to live for them from his deep heart, he will look for them in some other way. Why is pornography the number one snare for men? He longs for the beauty, but without his fierce and passionate heart he cannot find her or win her or keep her. Though he is powerfully drawn to the woman, he does not know how to fight for her or even that he is to fight for her. Rather, he finds her mostly a mystery that he knows he cannot solve and so at a soul level he keeps his distance. And privately, secretly, he turns to the imitation. What makes pornography so addictive is that more than anything else in a lost man’s life, it makes himfeel like a man without ever requiring a thing of him. The less a guy feels like a real man in the presence of a real woman, the more vulnerable he is to porn.

And so a man’s heart, driven into the darker regions of the soul, denied the very things he most deeply desires, comes out in darker places. Now, a man’s struggles, his wounds and addictions, are a bit more involved than that, but those are the core reasons. As the poet George Herbert warned, “He begins to die, that quits his desires.” And you know what? We all know it. Every man knows that something’s happened, something’s gone wrong . . . we just don’t know what it is.

(Wild at Heart , 44)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

That'll Do Pig...

this song keeps going through my head, so i thought i'd post it for you. i just love this farmer...and his pig...hehe. 'babe'...gave my family the classic put-up that continues to be misunderstood by any who don't know it..."that'll do pig".

anyway, this little piggy just got some bad news so he's stopped thriving...has lost his hope and will to live. so, mr. farmer does what he can to help nurture him back to health. soooooooo adorable.

Life Changing Movie #3

'my big fat greek wedding'...i know it may seem a little ridiculous...but this movie affirmed in a BIG WAY the fact that women can step out of the life as a 'wallflower' into a life of real existence.

the core question of the feminine heart...am i lovely? (a.k.a. do you see me?)...was designed to be answered first and foremost by our heavenly father in his special, intimate ways and ideally affirmed by others in our lives. and as we step into really valuing who he says we are...our beauty, our identity just starts to come out, and it's followed by an authentic life...not a need-meeting life, not a wound-filling life.

and it is possible to really be 'seen' by people...even by a man. one of my deepest dreams for someday. :)

here's a clip from the movie...one of my favs. the sound is out of sync but if you can handle it, it's a beautiful clip...sigh.

Strange Predicament...

ok...here's the thing...i know it sounds strange and even harsh, but i don't mean it that way. it's a true and serious predicament for me. one that i have a hard time understanding...and thus, resolving.

it seems that i'm "likeable" to men who struggle with mental illnesses of all varieties and by men who are freshly beginning their recovery from addiction.

i don't know why...but it appears that i am a form of flypaper.

but how do you tell someone who a) doesn't necessarily have a good grip on reality and/or b) who isn't really looking for a relationship as much as a new addictable or lonliness bandaid that there's just no way that i am interested???

i don't want to like cause an "episode" or a "relapse" with a rejection.

and to be honest..."no" hasn't always been effective in the first place.

i have a feeling it is simply due to a "warm body" mentality...so i somehow need to figure out how to be classicly unavailable while still being able to be a "nice" girl.

dang it all...