Friday, December 14, 2007

Messy entry (unedited)

Note: This will be a minimally edited post (unspelled-checked, etc). I have 50 plus others yet to be posted because, well, they weren't perfect enough...This is a BIG step for me. I purposely won't spell check it to rebel against my perfectionism so sorry if it hurts some eyes, not that I have many readers. Note to self: it's just a blog entry, MY GOSH!

Sometimes I wonder if it is just virtually impossible to lead an organized life AND be loving person (especially when you have little ones to tend to). To keep up with today's demands is much like a juggling act, it demands so much time, energy and attention (where are our license plate receipts? who knows and who cares, (except I got a ticket for being late renewing my plates) I think it would take so much time organizing and compiling all my auto papers that I'd be so frustrated once I got to the license bureau and was told I had the wrong papers anyway. Does anyone ever have the right papers? To do so, in my opinion, would mean you wasted a little more time than I did (including my going to some other office to get the right copies, that we had lost). Granted, you probably didn't spend as much money as me, but hey, time is money. So the question is, what is there left to give to others once we achieve total organization? (I wouldn't know cause I'm so far off). Of course there are degrees of organized as there are degrees of chaos... and each person's view of which is which varies. The single organized person probably can not comprehend the mom's relative chaos. And the organized mom with two kids could easily judge the "messy" college student. I guess it all boils down to what is important to you... and whether or not you judge people by externals including yourself.
I could definately have less mess, but only just a little less. What I seem to need is more time (and more sleep). Maybe less mess would give me more time, but I know that complete organization (at least while I have a three year old) is an evil ideal to place on myself. Well, it's just an evil ideal for me anyway (considering my temperament...) It's just a plain evil ideal period.
Once upon a time (before I really knew adult responsibilities in this modern-blink-and-have-it-done-society and I wasn't married WITH children), I was orderly, but I was also more of a control-freak too. ( God has been chipping away at that) ...Maybe my problem is that I equate organization with control-freakness (in myself) and I've rebelled against myself.
Still, the demands of today are nuts. Who has time to have it all together and be available for people in any way? Sometimes I think-- only relationally constipated control-freaks or people with a lot of money and maid/s is the answer. But I can see this is pretty judgemental... just slightly (i've just known too many of those types). Who isn't jaded and judgemental in some way? I wish I could say I wasn't. But i seek to do what is right, what is most important for me.
I'm tempted to "should" myself and think "I probably should be cleaning something right now instead of blogging." But I know I'd be miserable doing anyhting out of mere guilt. My over-active mind needs me to write....But for now I'm done.
Peace to all-- organized or not.
Motto for the perfectionist only-- Seize the day, there's always going to be crap to clean up (but don't be a complete slob to overcompensate for the perfectionism) Be a slob because you are free to be one but you are also free to clean up. Hey, I'm free. Christ has set me free. Okay, I'm done. Now you've seen how crazy I am ( all you two readers!) Good night. I need to get help. No more notes to self. I can't stop...! Help.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

No pain, no gain...

When I was a new Christian I remember reading this verse-- "That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:10)." Honestly, it freaked me out. I told God I basically didn't want to suffer much more. My youth had been pretty hard and I thought "everything should all be uphill from here..."
But now I've come to see that that it's a very good thing to see and feel my neediness, my brokenness-- it's my ticket to grace. (The sermon at our fellowship this past Sunday was about this too-- how we're all needy, really). I've always known this way down deep, and when I forget, God has a way of re-teaching me.
This brokenness is what continually brings me to my knees, so that He can be my strength. It shows me I can not be self-sufficient. And so I live a life of faith, not perfectly, but devoted to One love. He does remold my dreams time and again; and they are lovely dreams when I can see them. But the life of faith is not seen with human eyes.
The proud shake their heads at the needy and broken, but so what. They don't get it yet and are missing out, afraid of what they don't understand. They don't see their need at all. Don't we tend to judge what we don't understand? We fear what we don't understand and we judge by appearances. We can all look great and act like we've got it together and even say that we do...but what is going on inside, really? That's what God sees. Why do we feel the need to hide who we really are? I don't feel that need, never have been too good at pretending anyway. I am who I am-- flawed but loved, a sinner saved and continually saved. Maybe I could use more wisdom about whom I share my deeper struggles with, but I am not going to hide who I am.
So, when it comes to pain (grief, hardships, struggles, persecution) what I CAN say is that she has been my friend. Maybe not a "fun" friend, but the one that's held the most wisdom. Pain is a welcome friend if that's what it takes. Many of us run from grief and difficulties, but only through these can we grow and truly learn. Ultimately, though, we are to follow the Spirit's leading (I'm not saying be a masochist and look for pain). If we follow Christ, pain will find us-- we'll grieve for and with others, we'll feel the sting of living in a world ruled by Satan (the prince of the air)... How can we not feel pain? How can we not weep? God weeps for all the callous hearts that just won't learn, after every thing He's done and shown. I'm sure God weeps-- The Spirit intercedes with moans and cries too deep for words....(Rom 8:22)
On the other side of pain is a deep and abiding joy, I know it. Pain
comes and unravels us and then Joy surprises us.

"Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy." (Psalm 126:5)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Bed of nails

Reflections on my friend's blog "Our problem with pain" and the song by Over the Rhine that he shared at

I've been sleeping on a "bed of nails" groping for the light and seeing myself as I really am, needy and broken with shattered dreams
A sinner, groping for the Light


Love covers over a multitude of sins.


The least of us has something to give

even in the darkness--

the act of just laying ourselves at His feet
Hands thrown up in the air. It's more than enough
come what may

Dream weaver, weave me some new dreams
and make me new again


Here's some beautiful words (by William Gadsby)

Poor sinner, dejected with fear,
Unbosom thy mind to the Lamb;
No wrath on His brow He does wear,
Nor will He poor mourners condemn;
His arm of omnipotent grace
Is able and willing to save;
A sweet and a permanent peace
He’ll freely and faithfully give.

fot the rest go to

Friday, September 14, 2007

Some thoughts on humility

We've all got areas where we could stand to grow up. Areas where we're ahead of the game, and areas where we're behind in our character, healing, and spiritual development. No one is better than anyone, we all need each other in one way or another. The only way we can grow as a body is in giving one another grace to our not so lovely parts that are within each and every one of us. Lets not look down our noses on anybody else. Pray for your brother's weakness, he may be praying for yours...

Sunday, March 25, 2007

a beautiful day

Today was a beautiful day. I sat at a park and read some, thought some, and just sat. The trees sang with blooms. The grass danced with little flowers. The breeze carried some of my cares away. But not all of them...
Jesus said that in this world we would have tribulation, but to be of good cheer and not let our hearts be troubled. Only through God can we not let our hearts be troubled. Through His Spirit in us, for those of us who believe. Sometimes it's a process, just like the seasons. Sometimes the trees are bare and skeleton-like... and then spring comes and surprises us. We can't control it. We wait for spring. It comes at the right time, though it seems to tarry. The seasons change, but there will always be Spring

Friday, March 16, 2007

We are too busy

On my last blog I had been thinking about slowing down... how God blesses me when I do... Like when I go for a walk and just listen... that's where that "quote" came from. I don't think I'm Aristotle or anything.
I've really been thinking everyone is too busy. Why are we so busy? I thinks there’s a lot of reasons...
I have chronic fatigue syndrome which leaves me unable to be pointlessly busy for the most part. This can be a blessing in disguise...I know there’s a good kind of busyness and productiveness of course, but I’m talking about our restless need to always be doing something in order not to really think or feel, in order to perhaps escape our problems and pain or just life's common disappointments. It never works. It doesn’t.

What about all these “busy” people I see at Bread Co. They have their suits, their laptops and are by themselves; some of their faces despondent. Is busyness a cover for loneliness? Are crowds shuffling around together in loneliness? Have we lost our ability to connect? We’re all guarded, we’ve got a schedule to keep, no room for much
but do, do, do. We can barely respond to emergencies, because they’re not in our schedule or our programs. We probably don't even know what constitutes an emergency.
I know I'm talking in general terms here, so I'll be specific. I think we Americans are very selfish people. We worship comfort and entertainment. We have our plans for fun, and God forbid something or someone interfere with that, say, like a hurting friend or neighbor. God forbid we should include people in our "fun plans" that don't look, dress, or think like us, or that we don't know too well. We're just so shallow. I hope I can really fall out of this stupid box. We think we are righteous cause we've "scheduled" in time to help others. Well, what about the needs that don't fall within our schedule or our neat little agenda? There's plenty of those. They get totally overlooked or ignored. People get overlooked and forgotten.
Do I think goals are bad? No. Is planning bad? No. But are we pursuing our own goals to the exclusion of being a good neighbor, or of really caring for other people, which is what life is all about. Of course we can’t do that without God.
Yesterday, I heard on the radio some interesting statistics. Americans are the most bible illiterate we've ever been. Most Americans don't even know one of the ten commandments (and this includes church goers) and here's a funny/ sad thing--the most quoted "bible" verse is "God helps those who help themselves" which isn't even in the bible. Most people think this is one of the 10 commandments. If people live by this, no wonder everyone watches out for #1. We all do it. It's sick, but everyone else is doing it, so we think it's normal.
Without being still sometimes, we can’t even hear God. Our very busyness now may be the very thing that’s killing our soul or keeping it dead, though we might be too numb with comforts to notice, until it's too late? Hopefully not. I'm wakin' up. God help me. God help us.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Keep your eyes open

Keep your eyes open. Don't look too hard for what isn't there, but don't rush along missing what is. Something may speak to you. Something may surprise you. You don't have to stumble along. Keep your eyes open. Don't accept everything at face value. Things are always deeper than the surface. See the beauty

Monday, February 5, 2007

Everything changes

Okay, this morning, God spoke to me through a paper towel (this is domestic life on the edge!). Now, before you question my sanity let me just say that it was one of those lovely paper towels with a quote written on it... This one said " Everything in life we really accept, undergoes a change".... I read it right as I was taking a bite out of my potato pancake. Wow, I thought, that's pretty deep. It's not something I've ever heard put that way. EVERYTHING in LIFE we REALLY ACCEPT UNDERGOES A CHANGE. Maybe I'm dense, but this was a revelatory moment. Think of it. Nothing in this life is unchanging. Nothing. Not a thing. Everything gets either old, broken, better, worse, moves, dies, is born, is lost, is forgotten, grows, is rebuilt or torn down. Positive and negative changes, but constant changes all the time. The hardest one to deal with is probably death and the fact we're all headed there. (This is probably why much science is striving to do every thing it can to prolong life or control it (from freezing bodies to human cloning)
But back to the quote, it also translated THIS way to me-- "ANYONE in life YOU TRULY ACCEPT (including YOURSELF) undergoes a change."
It's so true on so many levels. We age, grow, learn, fall down, get lost, get back up, get "religious" or get nonreligious, have faith or lose it.
But who's character never changes, who's? Who doesn't age or get moody. Who never stumbles or blows it? Who is ALWAYS good?
And what about the constant small changes-- bad weather, bad moods, getting sick, awful traffic, flight changes, plans changed.
Not all change is bad of course, but even the good changes can't last forever... Those sweet moments in life come and go. We have to let them go. I can't cradle my little daughter in my arms forever. We have to let people go too. Children grow up. Friends move or we move, or people just move on.... I've moved well over 10 times (lived in 6 different states and another continent for 12 years.)
This got me thinking... is there anything unchanging? Anything I can totally and absolutely count on never changing? And I realized that there isn't a single any thing but God alone. He remains the same-- He always has been, always will be who He is-- always GOOD. Always a ROCK. (I also realized that some of the sickest people around are those who reject any change at all costs... that's another blog topic though).
Only He could be the anchor for me in this often tumultuous, ever changing life.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Knowing and being known

No one can really know or understand us quite as well as God can and does. No one can love us more completely, deeply or wisely. No one. I want to rest in God's love. It's the only place to really rest. It's the only place where I can breathe deep, rest my head and have peace.
Sometimes I get very frustrated with some people. I think, they just don't get me at all. They don't really know or understand much about me or what I'm talking about. And some people just really don't, just as I don't understand much about physics, for example.
But God understands EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING. This amazes me. He understands all sciences and arts. EVERYTHING. It's mind-blowing. Not only does he know all, but knows me intimately and still loves me. He understands what makes me tick, what makes me mad, and why. He's not too big for me and He's not too small to get it all. He's not too preocuppied with world affairs to hear my prayer. In fact, the bible says He knows how many hairs we each have. That's way more than we care to know. But He's way higher than we are, but very close too. Such a mystery and such a comfort. Jesus brought God close again through His sacrifice.
God came down, in His Son, to show His love.
He is the way to knowing God.