Thursday, March 26, 2009

death of a favorite

(just for the record, that's my pocket peeking out, not unmentionables)

spring in my yard (the result of hard work in the fall)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

sometimes i feel like i'm on such a huge learning curve, yet i'm grateful that i am still teachable. i'm often amazed that god isn't more frustrated with me, and continuously thankful for the grace i don't deserve. like most people, i'm scared of what would make me uncomfortable; that is often the very place where god decides to call me. i'm not in a place to elaborate on these two statements in a way specific to my life...just yet. but i will say that i'm having a good laugh (or maybe a good cry) at the fact that i still haven't picked up on the fact that god calls me away from my comfort. after a bit of resistance i'll step into the uncomfortable, be challenged, encouraged, see a whole new side of god's character, and eventually will begin to feel like i belong in whatever situation that may be. of course at the same time there is usually this "i don't think he would ever ask me to do _______" in the back of my mind. and of course, that "i don't think...." becomes the next uncomfortable thing he's asking me to do.

the discernment and transition stage is the worst. trying to figure out if god is really saying what i think he's saying, and then actually stepping into it. everything so new it's like stepping into a foreign land when it may only be across the street...or sitting right next to you.

while i college, i was assigned to work one year in the security department. for the first several months, i was assigned a student partner. we got to wear security ball caps and roam campus in the golf cart from 8pm to midnight one night a week. we would lock all of the academic buildings and just be certain that everything appeared safe. when the iowa winter began to hit, i was moved inside due to a circulatory disease which doesn't do so well in the cold. if you know iowa winters, you would think that was a blessing, but if you knew the reputation of the head of security you would think differently. john was an infamous name on campus. he was known for being quietly gruff, although many students would have chosen different adjectives for him. he showed little mercy when it came to parking tickets and had very little tolerance for the dumb things that college kids would do. ever the rule follower, i was a bit fearful of him and what would happen if i ever accidentally broke the rules (because i would never intentionally break the rules :) ) so when the winter chill came, i found myself sitting (scared) less than five feet away from him three afternoons a week.

one day while venturing across campus to the security office, i heard this voice say "ask john how you can pray for him". what? yes, i did what every normal person would do and quickly dismissed it. as i got closer to the building where the office was housed, "ask him." no way. there is no way i am going to ask him that. i entered the office and greeted john in the usual friendly, but cool way. "ask him." i shot to my desk and began to widdle away at the stack of parking tickets from the weekend. the further i got into the stack, the more i heard the words, and the more i heard the words, the more fearful i grew. "what if he's not a christian and he jumps down my throat? how will i ever be able to come back to this office?" eventually the room started to spin and my productivity decreased drastically. i kept praying that he would get called out of the office so that i could just be comfortable. but when that didn't happen, i closed my eyes and told the voice that i would open my mouth but that's as far as i could go alone.

i slowly turned in my chair to face john. he saw this which was my cue that there was no going back. i opened my mouth, and from what seemed like someone removed from me, came tender and calm words "i was wondering if i could being praying about something for you?" my heart was pounding in my ears. i watched the expression on john's face go from the gruff security man to a very tender, broken, vulnerable human, and he proceeded to tell me about how he was once a pastor. he shared with me the intimate story of why he was no longer a pastor and continued with the fact that he was trying to discern if he should return. and he just wanted prayer to really hear from god!

it was a highly uncomfortable situation, sitting next to him everyday. this man that was rumored as mr. tough on campus when really he was just doing his job. i prayed for john that day, and i prayed for john every day after that for a month. our greetings were no longer chilly, but covered in smiles and authenticity. i began to look forward to going to work, and when my time as a security worker was over, i found myself stopping by often just to say hi. then one day, several months later, the office wasn't the venue any longer. one sunday morning, i found myself, along with a couple of friends, leading worship for a little congregation that god had brought john to pastor.

even though the process isn't always so fun, i love that god pushes us into tiny little offices to sit next to uncomfortable so that we can get even the smallest glimpse of grace and redemption and relationship and his character. pieces of him that i'm certain i would miss out on if i only lived unyielding to the call from comfort.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

in a funny mood

i'm feeling both lighthearted and lightheaded today. i'm not sure of the cause of either, but the following are some effects:

1. realizing two hours after putting pants on that the reason they are so uncomfortable is that they are on backwards! (in my defense...they were sweatpants)

2. allowing my students to bend the rules a little more than normal while playing floor hockey (btw - i think one of my students cracked the knuckle on her thumb today..she took it like a champ!)

3. taking time to laugh at videos like this: (i love these guys by the way...i highly recommend taking the time to watch ALL of their videos...i've been following them for about 3 years now)

Sunday, March 01, 2009

blogging failure

do you ever find yourself in the middle of speaking, but unable to recall just what the point was you had so eloquently planned to make? the words are there just circling through the back of your head, dipping down towards your tongue in hopes of making a connection, but you just can't seem grab them as they come along.

this seems to be happening to me a lot over the last few days. the first signs manifested during a conversation with a new friend. i was internally embarrassed as i was unsure about what impression my stuttering and inability to form coherent sentences would leave on the one sitting across the table from me. last night, it continued in conversation during a fundraiser for my school. good thing donors don't give based on my ability to process quickly enough for conversation.

earlier today, i had a blog post all established in my mind. perfectly formed sentences arranged in a manner to make a point; all lost in the cycle of my brain. somewhere between forming the piece in my mind and actually sitting down to write, it just left. no stuttering. no incoherent sentences. just gone.

i sat looking at the blank screen for about an hour in hopes that it would dip close enough to my tongue so i could snatch it up. obviously it didn't. so instead, i blog about the failure to blog. hmm.

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