Monday, July 28, 2008

Mouthfull

Sorry to post 2 times today.....just necessary.

(FACES)
Last night I went to church, as usual for Sunday nights. I usually serve on the greeting team every Sunday but have scaled back to every other Sunday for a while, mostly so that I can enjoy the worship music. Last night, we had communion. I have only ever helped serve communion one other time, and that time, for some reason, we passed the elements down the aisles/pews. That time, it was a task, a process, a motion. Nothing spectacular. Last night was quite different. Instead of passing the elements, we stood at the front, while the people in the congregation stood and walked up to take the bread and the wine. I was holding a plate of the bread wafers. Probably 100 people took a wafer from my tray. Many of them looked me in the eyes, while some did not. It didn't matter. All I saw were faces. Faces, faces, faces. The faces of God. As I stood there, I was choking back tears. I loved every face. Some of those faces were of young 20-somethings with piercings and tattoos. Some faces were distinguished and proper. Some were sweet and tender. Beauty, beauty and more beauty. I had to fight back the urge to tell each person "I love you" as they took a wafer. Wow, can you imagine how Christ feels when He watches us remember him, and take part in His communion? If little ole me was moved to tears and bursts of love, could we even being to imagine His joy? I was so honored to hold that tray last night. I was so honored to be there and to be on that end of the communion line. What a joy to see His face in so many people.


(SPACES)
I went to a funeral today. An amazing woman with a true, genuine, authentic heart for Christ passed on to begin her eternity, outside of our realm. Her body no longer occupies space here on this earth, but her spirit remains and her legacy lives. I didn't know her well enough to tell her story, but I can tell you this. Her name was Melissa Schuler. She was 46. She died of aggressive cancer, and leaves behind her 19 year old son, Thomas, and her husband of 5 years, Lance. From the time she was diagnosed, a little over a year ago, I never saw her do anything but serve. She could have spent her last year being selfish, but she spent it being self-less. She was unbelievable.

Even though we all know what death is, something about it is incredibly wild to try and intellectualize. I have some great friends that I haven't seen in a long time...Tracy in Austin...haven't seen in probably 5 years....but she occupies space, somewhere in TX. She is matter. She is tangible and real. She takes up space, at all times. I haven't seen my dad in 2 years, but likewise, he takes up space. He exists. There are people I have never met, that have impacted me (authors, bloggers, newsmakers)....people I've never seen with my own eyes, but I know they are matter and they occupy a space. Death elminates our space. It's like.....poof. I don't know a smart way to say it, so I'll repeat......"poof". It ends people. It really does. Maybe today, maybe in 60 more years, but it ends here on this earth......and then we either take up residence with the one and only God of the Universe, or not. These living, breathing moments that we occupy space need to matter.

Do you occupy meaningful space or wasted space? (don't answer that, its rhetorical...but THINK about it!)

Small Bites

My friend that some of you have lovingly encouraged, briefly wrote to tell me she is blown over. She is so thankful for your words. She promises to write more soon, and I'll share anything I can.

Several of you have called or emailed me about Shawn's heart. So far, we have not received the formal recommendation from the cardiologist. I am trying to get that this week. I promise to post an update....believe me, it is too much on my mind for me to forget! Thank you all for your prayers and your comments. They are dear to me and my family.

NEWSFLASH**** I applied for my passport this week! Yup. I've never had a passport. And guess what.....I am going on a Mission Trip to the Dominican Republic with my church in the spring, and hopefully again next summer, and hopefully at least 2 times per year from now on. I am so excited. I have done local missions, but have never left the comfort of my home, or left my children for an extended period of time. At some point in the future, I'll post about the mission, including the amount of $$ that I need to raise (hint hint).....so stay tuned!

Friday, July 25, 2008

A WHOLE HEART

Quick update on my last post about my friend. I emailed her all your beautiful comments today, and I will let you know her response when I get it. But mostly, I am overwhelmed by how personally blessed and touched I have been by your loving words of encouragement and hope. You are all so amazing and I feel the power of your words in my life, and I can see through you all that this life we live for Christ holds so much beauty, even in the face of trials and suffering. Joy can prevail! My heart if full!

In other matters of the heart.....my sweet Shawn had an echocardiogram and an EKG yesterday to determine that the hole in his heart has not closed on its own, so the cardiologist is recommending surgery to repair it. We still do not know some of the details, because we have choices. But either way, surgery is eminent. I will certainly post here when the surgery is schedule and the follow ups. It will most likely be September.

As for my heart, I will admit that if I think about it too literally, I do find myself getting upset and feeling anxious over the idea of one of my babies having surgery, especially open heart surgery. So I'm just trying not to think about it too much! I'll post more later when I have time to articulate more of how I feel, and the hidden blessings.

Love today!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Could you encourage my friend?

When I was pregnant with my children, I never opted for the screenings and tests to determine if there might be any abnormalities. Shawn was born with Down syndrome, and we didn't know until he was 1 day old. Never saw it coming! Not in a million years! Devastation and fear socked me in the gut and between the eyes.

Ironically, a friend of mine who lives several states away, was pregnant with her second child. Some concerns were noted during her ultrasounds, and so she opted for the testing, and it was determined that her child, a boy, had Trisomy 21 (aka Down syndrome). She knew his diagnosis when she was just barely 4 months pregnant. She was devastated. It is a long story to describe what they went through. I will try to tell you in the words she used to tell me................... she just didn't think she could do it. Her heart ached. We spent countless hours on the phone for weeks and months trying to work through their choices, and their ultimate choice.

Let me tell you what she didn't do. She did not have an abortion, even though she could have, and many women do. In fact, 95% of women who receive an in utero diagnosis of a baby with Ds, do abort. 95%. My friend, who loves Jesus and who loved that baby, contemplated but chose against abortion. She deeply wanted to WANT her son, but she was so afraid of him. Afraid of the life, the challenges, the fear of loss, the fear of her inadequacy. She thought she wasn't good enough. She and her husband painfully and laborously sought out an adoption family. I cannot even begin to describe the drama that ensued. Their families went nuts....they were outcast, attacked, lashed out against.....it was awful! The things she endured would have literally killed me. And then there was me........I was now the mother of a beautiful bundle with Ds, and I was encouraging my friend and supporting her in her unpopular decision. She couldn't believe, of all people, that I was the one accepting her. It didn't make sense, and maybe it doesn't make sense, but I just love her. And I love that baby that I never met.

Soon, Luke was born. He was premature, small and required to be in the NICU for 5 weeks. He had heart problems, medications, and on and on. My friend and her husband actually brought him home for a few weeks. They tried with all their hearts and for whatever reason, the task was too daunting, too painful, and just too much. They ached and prayed and begged and prayed and grieved and prayed and prayed and prayed. They suffered and were tormented. They gave Luke up for adoption. They personally chose a family that already had a few children with Ds, in the midwest. A large happy, loving, sweet and tender family who longed for another sweet baby with Down syndrome.

Luke is 1 year and 3 months now. His birth mother, my dear friend, is grieving and mourning today as if her wound is fresh, the cut is deep, and the infection has spread. She hurts. She hurts because she thinks she wasn't strong enough. She hurts because she wonders what kind of person she is for giving him away. Could you leave her words of love here? Could you tell her that she is amazing because she did not abort him, when that might have been the easier route that might have saved her reputation and spared her extended family? Could you encourage her and love her because she tried. Could you praise her and show her grace and love because she took the time to seek out a very tender and special family, instead of letting an agency take all of the reponsibility? Could you remind her that God has used her as part of His plan and that Luke is fulfilling a plan and purpose too? Could you lift her up and tell her how amazingly selfless she was for blessing another family with a sweet miracle from God?

She needs to know that I am not the only one who thinks she is sooooooooo cool and incredibly amazing!!! She does not read my blog. I will take your comments and email them to her separately. I purposely have not shared my blog with her because I do not want to rub my little Ds angel in her face. It would hurt her in this fragile state she is in.

Adoption is a beautiful, incredible and selfless decision, on both parts. So many people cannot have children, but long to be parents. Some people have the heart to rescue a child or children who have been abondoned or abused. Some people, like this family, specifically wanted another child with Ds because they have hearts for the Lord, and God himself, desgined them to LOVE, desire and long for another. Without my friend, their dream might never have been fulfilled.

Your comments will be cherished!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Rock'a'Noodle

I am always awake in the mornings when Asher wakes. Joe is usually at work (4am).
But I always pretend to be asleep when Asher comes to my bedroom...because it is fun to see how he is going to choose to wake me up. Lately one of his favorite methods is to get in my face and say "cockadoodledoo". Sometimes loud..and sometimes soft. Sometimes, I respond by saying "rock'a'noodle'loo" just to get a laugh out of him.

This morning I didn't wait for Asher. I just got up and got busy with my morning. When he woke up he came downstairs, climbed in my lap and said "mommy, i really wanted to crawl in bed with you this morning and say rock'a'noodle". Oh, what a cute and sweet boy.

Shawn still sleeps in the crib...but I eagerly anticipate the day he can get out of bed and come to wake me up with his own creative methods. That will be a sweet day indeed.

Friday, July 18, 2008

What makes your heart race?

Right now, numerous people from my church are over in the Dominican Rebublic on a mission trip. My pastor, Pete Wilson, has developed a great friendship with a Haitian pastor in the DR and for a few years now, Crosspoint Community Church (my church) has been dedicated to building a church in the DR and a feeding center, in one of its poorest areas, where most of these families actually live in a "hole" which is more polite than calling it a waste dump. I have not been there. Volunteers from our church go at least 2 times per year, but I think that might be increasing....rumors...you know how that goes? Currently, they are keeping a live blog and the few clips I have seen have really blown me away. They are in 100+ degree heat. They are working for extremely long hours, doing hard labor, with minimal resources (nothing high tech), and they have to eat the same things over and over. They sleep in concrete dorms on bunks with no a/c. It smells.



After they finish the hard labor portion of building the church structure, they will do VBS for the kids....the kids who are lucky to eat one meal a day. The kids who desperately need this feeding center. I have goose bumps as I type.....because about 20 feet from me right at this moment are 2 plump little boys who can eat all day long if they choose. And they have variety.....shall it be yogurt, cheese, meat, pasta, veggie, cupcake, milk, juice, or fresh cold water? Our home is a cool 72 degrees, with amenities like a washer/dryer, dishwasher, bathtubs, showers, clothes, toys, blankets, carpet, tv and computer.



This makes my heart race. I'm truly spoiled, as are my children. Do you ever feel like there is so little that you can do? It feels kinda hopeless.....especially when you can't write a fat check......but I want to dig in and get dirty for the benefit of other, less fortunate people. I want to serve hungry children.



What makes your heart race?

Monday, July 14, 2008

We're Going to Dollywood

Ok, since Nashville has done away with good'ole Opryland, looks like my family is heading out to Dollywood tomorrow, in Pigeon Forge, TN. I spoke with a customer service rep to make sure there really are plenty of things for my tiny tots today....and now I'm super excited. And what's more.....found out the kids get in free....and if we show up tomorrow after 3pm, then we get free tickets for the next day! Oh YES! And the rep also told me that if we'll go to McDonalds in Knox county first and buy a large drink, that Joe and I will save another $10 on our admission! I'm all about this! Yippee!

Hopefully we'll find a halfway decent comfy spot to sleep that isn't too expensive. Let me know if you have any suggestions.

When was the last time you were giddy over a family outing?

Happiness is......

a big hug from a dear friend
the word "mommy" or "momma" falling from the lips of my children
my coffee pot
my husbands goofy sense of humor
my church community
trees
clouds
fresh flowers
wind
horses
water
serving and praying for someone in need
praise music
tears
homemade bread
music

WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY TODAY?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Mask of Fraud

Have you ever caught a glimpse of your life and thought.......this is a Jerry Springer moment? Well, I hope your answer is "No, absolutely not!". Well, me neither.............usually........

Ironicially, I have been spending time peeling back my masks......while someone right in front of me has been totally disguised by a mask of her own....

A person has been in my life he past couple of months that has managed to turn it upside down. It's in the process of flipping back upright....but it might take a minute.

At first I was in shock, and perhaps even a bit of denial. Then I was hurt....deeply. I woke up this morning at 4am to sounds of angry roaring thunder, hostile lightening flashes, and heavy wounded rain beating on the side of my house, as if it were trying to get back at my house for prior wrong doing. Asher woke up screaming. After I got him and put him in bed with me, I lay there listening to the mad stormy dance going on outside of my house, and I realized, now I am just blazing mad and I want to act like this thunderstorm. I want to make an entrance! I want to scare her! I want to be louder than her! I want to wound her back! And I want her to come out soaking soppy wet.

I cannot tell the whole story because first, telling the whole story is not my place...and I'm sure some of it will never come to the light. But this involves a person who has targeted and befriended people all over the country evidently and she has lied lied lied. I don't know how many people have been hurt by her. But her lies have been HUGE. I was not a personal target of hers....but I got introduced in the mix and we became fast friends, and I was asked to be her Realtor, to help her buy a home in Nashville. And let me just say.......this would have been a life changing commission for me. Literally.....life changing..... I have worked so hard to identify the right houses. I have showed her numerous ones. I have inconvenienced many other realtors to obtain info, gain access into these exquisite homes, etc. I have even contacted a contractor to inquire about an expansion. She never had any intention of buying one of these homes. It is doubtful that she even had the means. Yea...this is embarrassing. And so yes, that hurts. No life changing commission coming my way via her......but that isn't the worst....not even close.

She told me her dad died.
She told me her sister is dying.
She told me she personally has cancer and has been undergoing chemotherapy.
She told me so much more....big huge doses of more and more and more...
She has broken down into tears in my presence, numerous times....and I have cried with her.
We have had conversations and written exchanges about faith and Jesus.
I have shared intimate stories of my precious family with her.
She has elaborately lied about doctors appointments, test results, etc....to the point you would almost consider her a master mind.
She has lied about little things too. I don't think she has told one true thing. I bet she doesn't even have dogs.

I was a tiny casualty in this. She has lied to other people about bigger things, and some of the same things. She has misrepresented herself in monumental ways, taken advantage of other sweet spirits, and she has made other life changing promises that she had no intention of following through on.

I was fairly warned on Friday not to do business with her. I spent Saturday with her knowing that she was wearing a mask and knowing that my time and investment in her was a waste. I didn't want it to be true. But it is. In fact, on Saturday morning, I even did my own digging and located a critical phone number and email address of someone who could help us all determine some truth. (Yes, I'm smart like that!!). I had decided that as much as I didn't want this to be a lie, if it was a lie, I wanted her stopped asap. Her phony world was revealed and confronted yesterday. I can only hope and pray that she gets help and that she never has another victim. What I don't know is if she acted out of maliciousness or out of some kind of sickness.

I have written this out for a few reasons. One....is just to get it out of me. I need to release it. I want to forgive her for what she has done to me emotionally, and for what she has done to many of the other people that I care about. I want to invite you, my readers, to share with me any grace giving insights, advice, etc.....because if you speak God's word to me, I am sure I will be better for it.

Thank God that I do not have a spirit of revenge. I want her to be well. I want her to be healed, if this is indeed some sort of sickness in her mind. I want people to rally around her in love. I want her to hear God so clearly that she redeems herself in His sight. My heart is healing even as I type this. I took a break and grabbed my bible and found this....which I fully believe. If someone has harmed you, lied to you or even robbed you of something.....I offer you this verses:

Romans 12: 12-21
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Father, my prayer today is that she will know you are real, that her mind will be healed of her delusions. My prayer is that in light of her exposure, that although a pit may be her immediate destiny, that you will lovingly refine her and work in her to bring glory to you someday, here on this earth. I pray that all the wounds she has inflicted along the way are superficial at worst and that time will soon fade the memory of what many are feeling today, including myself. I want grace to sweep over her and your loving arms to hold her, forgive her, and love her back to who you intended for her to be. I pray you will show me clearly what it is you want for me to learn in this confusing situation, that I too will be refined and that the plan you have for me in this will be used to show others your love and your kingdom. Please heal my heart, renew me, make me clean and new as I go out and present you to my little corner of the world. Please fill me with grace and forgiveness. Thank you for calming my anger as I have written this out and thank you for leaving in my heart, your peace and joy. Praise be to You Father, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Just Horsin'Round

I plan to peel back 2 more masks...as soon as I figure out how to articulate them. All this introspective excavation (how do ya like dem big words?)... made me in need of a little light hearted play time. Imagine that! My friend Pam has horses, one of which I'll be taking care of a little when she goes on vacation in a few weeks. I took some video while at her place a couple of days ago. It is very short. I am just in awe of the beauty of a horse when it is freely running...so I'm happy to have captured some of that here. It's only 1 minute....so enjoy.

Oh, and yes, this horse is lovingly called "Goober"....so you are hearing that correctly. And further.....I am aware that I have an obnoxious laugh. I just cannot change that. : )


video

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Mask #2 and Mask #3

Might as well double up...I think it might be a long week of posting, and dreading the posts. Just trying to be real here......want to be authentic.

Mask #2
Church volunteer:
I serve at church, so I must have a servant spirit....
Ouch...do i really have to go here? The truth is I love to serve when it is convenient for me, when I am gifted in the area I serve in, or (faint whisper in hopes you don't hear this part....)...when it makes me look good. Holy crap I can't believe I just said that!!!
I love to serve. I can even do it anonymously from time to time. I can and sometimes do give sacrificially and feel so close to God when I do (especially anonymously and especially sacrificially). But serving has also served me from time to time, whether at church, for the church, or even outside of church. Sometimes I put on the servant front.....and man that is so not good. If I took that mask off, you'd see sometimes I whine about serving, gripe about how many times Joe gets asked to do meals........urgh.....I can be really nasty (sometimes....not all the time....so don't start hating me!)

Mask #3
Self Confidence
Peel away this mask and you will learn more about me than I ever want you to know. I am confident in my abilities, which is probably why I thrive in the type of career that I have.....but bring it all down to a personal level, and I'm a mess. Relationally, I'm not sure I'll ever see myself as someone who measures up.

There you go....2 more masks peeled away. I'm just looking more and more like a winner everyday. Yep, I'm a winner alright. I've won the heart of Jesus, and thankfully, He is willing to dwell in my heart and be me. And me be Him. That is so cool. He refines me and gets my heart in line with the servant I should be and the servant I most often want to be. And He gives me God confidence when I am low...and there is no better confidence.

Blessings,
Melissa

Monday, July 7, 2008

Mask #1

Today my pastor posted a great and thought-provoking blog. You can read it here. It's all about the masks we wear to hide something about ourselves that we are afraid will either offend someone else, or worse....cause someone to find us as unacceptable. The goal is to be real, genuine, and authentic....especially those of us who desire to have constant fellowship with Christ, have Him dwell within us, and have His light shine through us to those who do not yet know Him.

I know that religion can be a highly controversial topic in this world today. Many many people who are not Christians, don't know what to think about us. There are so many professed Christians who are not really leading by example, and this creates massive confusion to others. I really want to be genuine. I don't want to be hiding behind any masks.....although like most, I do.

What if we started peeling away the mask and revealing the truths of who we are as people? What if I were really upfront about why I love the Lord? And what if I were even willing to share that love with you, not knowing how that will make you feel?

Maybe I'll begin to discover my masks and peel them back for you. Can you handle it?

Let's test this out.....

Mask #1
Marriage woes!
There, I said it. Joe and I have been married almost 7 years and we're dull. He reads my blog, so he'll love this exposure....but then....it's his mask too. The good news is we are dedicated to fighting the funk. We believe that our faith in Christ together is enough validation to know that I'm "the one" and he's " the one", but yuk yuk fooey fooey, we don't live blissfully.
Why would I tell you this? Peeling back this mask can allow you to see me as a real human woman, with real issues and imperfections. But you can know that when the funk is over, all glory be to God for keeping us strong, and desiring to be better.

What do I mean? Joe says things....I roll my eyes. Joe makes a tiny mistake..I point it out. Joe doesn't ask me for help....I don't offer. I have stories to tell and demand his attention. I'm not going to tell you what Joe does that hacks me off.....because that really would be disrespectful....but I just exposed myself.

Do you still like me? It's a tough call.......

Stay tuned....I bettin I'll reveal more masks.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Guest Blogger.....sort of

I received this article today through my myspace page and thought I'd just repost it here. I love it. I wish everyone could just get this........it is so true. Enjoy the read:

www.newsweek.com/id/52570

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Updates and Prayer Request

Hello to all my friends, family, and fellow bloggers. I know there are many many of you who read (thank you), and I learn about more and more of you all the time. In the past 2 weeks, I've been contacted via phone or email by confessed "blog stalkers"! I love that! It doesn't bother me at all that most of you don't leave comments. I can totally relate because there are several blogs that I like to read where I never leave comments. It's all good. I'm just glad that you stop by, ever, and that you feel like you're getting to know me, or know me better. That's kinda what this is all about.

Oh, and I just really like to write out my thoughts. I always have. I have tons of journals that probably need burning. And in honesty, I've recently been asked....why do you write about such personal stuff? Well, to answer that.....it is really because I don't mind sharing. It is sort of therapeutic for me. You don't really have to understand or agree, but you are welcome to read if that is something you choose to do. Believe me, there is plenty (P L E N T Y) that I don't say, because I do not really want to dishonor anyone. And I can keep secrets........unless you have a disease.....don't tell me you have a sickness if you don't want me to tell....cuz that one eats me up inside. Where am I going with all of this? Where was I? Oh.....I wasn't making a point at all.....so .....back to that....

I write because it frees me in a way. And truly, knowing that I might be criticized, scrutinized, judged or even made fun of, just makes me be more true to me. I have 3 goals here on this blog. One is to share the love of a person with Down syndrome, through sharing my stories of sweet Shawn. Another is to just express my joy in motherhood and all the richness and blessings that brings to my spirit. Last and most importantly, I believe that my faith in God through Jesus is not to be kept quiet. I have known for a long time that Christians are to be the light of this world in showing that Jesus is the light in an otherwise dark world. I can't shine if I don't shine.....so since my blog is my blog, and I can write what I want, I'll write about Jesus.....in hopes that someone might someday become so curious and so drawn to Him, and that this online journal might help someone make that decision. So please, continue to come here......openly or in a stalking manner....I don't mind at all. I'm just here.

As for the update and prayer request part in the title.....wanted to let you all know that Shawn is now 18 months old. I cannot believe this little booger has been in my home for 18 months. I remember him tiny, taking little naps on the sofa with no fear of rolling off. I remember studying his face, his body, his crease in his hand, his almond shaped eyes, his short legs and arms, his flat head, his straight hair, and wondering......will he be okay? will he walk? will he speak? will he be happy? will he die young? will he die young? will he die young? I can answer most of these questions now. He will walk....because he is already taking steps and he's doing so well. He is okay everyday. He is happy times a bazillion. He is healthy today and has a life expectancy into his 60's. The prayer request concerns Shawn's heart. We go back to the cardiologist on 7/25 for an echocardiogram. This test, we hope will reveal that the tiny hole (ASD) in Shawn's heart has closed up entirely, or at a minimum, gotten smaller. If the hole is the same size as it was 7 months ago, the cardiologist will have to repair it. Of course, we'd prefer Shawn not have to undergo any surgery. I definitely plan to post the results of Shawn's tests by the end of the day on 7/25......so please remember to check in that day. Also please feel free to leave your prayers in the comments....I will save them for Shawn to see someday, and I know that will bless him greatly.

My only update regarding Asher is that he is simply delicious. He has learned how to give butterfly kisses and eskimo kisses, so we're really making out these days!

Some of you have asked me in emails about Spencer recently. I have only seen him once in the past 5 weeks and it was so wonderful. He and I are good. He, on the other hand, is still needing some encouragement and hope. His car was totalled in the little fender bender he had and is currently without a car. That is probably the primary reason I haven't seen him.....(funny how God can force some distance). School will start the beginning of August and I suspect things will turn around a little then. Spencers' girlfriend, Dana, will be moving to Knoxville for the fall semester and that is likely to kill both of them. They are the best of friends and are not used to spending such time apart....so that will be a major adjustment that I am sure neither of them are looking forward to. I love Dana, and the thought of her departure makes me sad too.

Ok, enough is enough. I just wanted to get this out. I'm wishing all of you (even the stalkers who haven't confessed) blessings, love, peace, hope, joy and chocolate!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

when God gets wild and crazy

I wish I could tell you this story with a clean beginning, middle and end, but that is not possible. I don't know the beginning. I'm living in the "middle" and the end is not in sight.

I have been on an emotional roller coaster recently....in fact I'm even taking a mood enhancer today. It is just a season I must endure, probably and hopefully for some glory and honor to be given to God, but for now, it's just a season that I wish would lighten up on me a bit. I cannot even tell you everything here in this blog, because I would have to hurt some feelings to do that, and I'm not willing to do that.

The bad news is that there is some bad news. I need to get over it right. There are 4 people making me absolutely insane. One of them doesn't love me enough. One of them loves me too much. One of them is arrogant beyond words. And one of them just hurts me without really knowing it. I feel like everywhere I turn, I'm asking for someone to just wreck me in some way. The good news amidst the bad news is that I know that I can learn something. I know that all of these relational matters can improve and I know that when I'm surrounded by things that feel dark and depressing, that I can find my peace in my Father God who created me and that he will be my provision where mere humans fail. I know this. But it doesn't mean that life is a beach and that pain does not exist. I suppose pain will always exist.

Add to this a new friend in my mix who has come to mean so much in such a short period of time. From some angles, you'd think this person has it all....and in some regards, she does. But at the same time, she knows first hand that nothing lasts forever and that people we love will leave. They'll either pack up and move, walk away, or they will die. And unfortunately, she has endured a few too many of these good-byes recently and with some more on the horizon. I've seen her searching for a God that she can trust and I've wanted to help her see Him. Her own ailment has been added to the equation and I have been tormented. (God, how can I help her see you? Will you please give me the words?) God made me brave. He made me say things to her that I didn't want to say. I wasn't alone, (not even by a longshot) as He empowered many people to be on His team for her. I love the way he works. Today she got word from her doctor that her big scary disease might not be so big and might not be so scary after all. He even asked if she has had a prayer team on her behalf. What is amazing to me is that she has had a prayer team, but they didn't know about this. They were praying for her salvation, not for her physical healing. What if God used her physical deterioration to get her attention and used the warriors to get her saved? And what if He is healing her now, just because He knows she'll rock the world for Him? You know what.....I'm speechless. I'm in awe that I could even see only a tiny part of it. And now I am rejoicing that I get to be "stuck" with her.

Ok, so I've been posting all these videos for the past week, probably really just masking that I'm not currently at my best. I am so in prayer and in my bible, studying and trusting and loving God. I am leaning on Him. It's just a season. I'm pretty darn sure God has a plan and that I'll see it in my rearview in due time.