Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Just say "No"

So I am reading this book called "Boundaries" and I am learning more and more how important it is to have boundaries in my life. I think it's crazy how as a child all I ever wanted to be was a grown up and now as a grown up I find there are times I'd much rather be a child. I never really understood why, until I started to read this book.

You see as a child I grew up never wanting to have limits. Actually I grew up believing I had no limits. I wanted to know how to do everything everyone else did and putting up boundaries would mean I couldn't do some things. Thinking back I know how silly that sounds, but it was my mentallity. I believed if I said "no" to something I was admitting I was less or weak. BUT now after reading through this book, I know that "Nos" are just as much as sign of strength as weakness. I am learning that saying "No" is OK and even necessary at times.

This book has truly impacted my life because for so long I have been walking around believing "I" can do anything. But now I know "I" can't do it all nor do I need to try to. Now I know the power of "No." I am learning to say no and leave it at that. No guilt, no shame. But I also know it is a process. You can't just set up boundaries overnight and think that's all that needs to happen. Boundaries need to be followed. So I am starting small with food and exercise boundaries, with the antispation of bigger boundaries. Who knows by saying "no" to some things, I may be able to say "yes" to more things.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Becoming an athlete?

Some of you may be wondering if I finished the race (a half marathon) ... well... I did. But let me tell you it wasn't easy! This was probably one of the hardest, most fullfilling things I have ever done.

I know a lot of folks were a little hesitant of me actually finishing, which may of had something to do with the fact I didn't train. (I know I'm insane.) When I first signed up for this race, I think I was signing up once again to try and prove something to everyone. And once again God used this race as a way to prove to me that I don't have to prove anything to anyone.

I've been a fan of sports my whole life (yes my whole life)and I've always had this desire to compete and I always had this even deeper desire to prove something to everyone. Because of the birth defect I was born it's obvious I would never score the winning shot on a b-ball team or spike the winning point for a volleyball team. I think every athlete has that desire to impact his/her team and make a winning touchdown or shot. Sometimes that desire is what even keeps many from playing. At least it did for me. I always thought if I can't be competitive, why even play. Over the years I participated less and less in sports and became more of a spectator. I became that crazy fanatic person who went ballistic when the ref missed a called or made a wrong one. I became the one who was jumping up and down on the sideline why someone else was crossing the goal line.

But then that got old. And my desire to be in the game never went away. So I thought why not run. I got two legs! As I began to train, I forgot how hard it was to work for something you really want. You see I was so used to being a spectator that I forgot about all the pratice that goes in before the big game. I had become comfortable being a spectator, which meant I never really felt the thrill of winning. And the idea of working for it became less of a thrill. So I trained less and less. And the day of the race kept getting closer and closer. As the race approached I knew I had a decision to make. I could just walk away from the race, say I didn't train and leave it at that. But that would also mean saying "I quit," which isn't something I do. It isn't something athletes do and I'd like to think I'm an athlete in this game of life.

So I did what any athlete would do. I finished the race. Did I run at top speed and blow away the competition? No. In fact, I walked a lot of the race. And I would have walked all day if that's what it would of took to finished (I actually finished in a little under 4 hours, not too bad for not training). I just used the time during the race to start listening to my coach. I began to hear His voice more clearly and run/walk off all the other junk that has been holding me back. Finishing the race felt so amazing. I had this awesome feeling of accomplishment. And most importantly I no longer felt like a spectator. I became an athlete.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


A couple of weeks ago, I traveled with the family down south to Pigeon Forge, Tenn. There was this huge car show. I am not kiding, there were easily more than 100,000 folks there. The last time we went down for this car show (several years ago) my dad backed our van into a pole, because he was too busy starring at some car (it was more than likely a '63 Chevy Impala SS). As soon as we got there this time my mom was constantly telling him to pay attention to the road, but I'm sure he didn't even hear her. He just kept saying, "Look at that one!" "Man, look at that engine!" "Beck, did you see that Chevy?" "There's a GTO, how much is it?" (Knowing there was no way he was buying one.)

I was amazed at how many people showed up to look at these classic cars. The majority of them were probably reliving the "good old days." That's all my folks kept saying: "Remember when I had that GTO?" or "That was just like the Chevy I had, only mine was red." My dad keep saying "Man I wishy I would have kept my Chevy."

It's funny how we never really know what we've got til it's gone. My parents said when they were younger a '63 Chevy was just a car, but now it's a classic. That just blows my mind. How something that was just a mean of transportation is now something you rarely want to drive. Then I began to think about life, my life, what are the things that I am possibly taking advantage of now that I could regret later? What or who is it in my life that I am not enjoying enough now?

I don't ever want to think of my life or the people in it as classics. Just like great friends and family, classics are cool to look at and to be around but expensive to repair and rebuild. Classics are just a more expensive version of what used to be and of what we wish could still be.

(If I did own a classic car, it would be the one in this picture.)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Things have been a little crazy lately (not that they aren't always crazy, just a little more than usual). For the past few weeks I've been through so many emotions. Laughing one moment and sobbing the next. My grandma died the last week of August. She was diagnosed as being in the last stages of Alzheimer's in May. Everytime I start to think about how hard it was for me to let her go, I think of my mom and how hard it had to be for her. My grandmother went from this stubborn, outspoken, loving woman (yes you can be all of these at the same time) to a quiet woman who didn't know anyone. There were days when I am not sure she even knew who she was.

She was lost, or at least that's what people would say. Even when she died people would call, come over and say how sorry they were for our loss. I am curious to know how that saying even got started, because I don't think I lost her. If anything I gained her for etenity. My grandma was not a Christian growing up or even in her adult life. But she gave her life to Christ in a hospital bed a short time before she was diagnosed in May.

Whenever I think of something I've lost, my mind immediately takes me to the last place I was when I had it and then my mind takes me to the fact I will never have it again. Think about it. Think of something you've lost. Growing up I was just a little squirt. I only weighed 17 pounds in kindergarten and 15 of that was probably my head! I was just this cute little bobble-head, kind of like Dora :) My mom used to lose me all the time in the store (well maybe I would get lost from my mom, I had a tendacy to get swallowed by the clothing racks). Anyways my point being as soon as I was out of my mom's sight, I could almost always hear her saying "She was just right here!" Then I would hear her say in shear panic,"What if someone took her?" When we lose something or someone, we instantly think about how they will no longer be around and how we will no longer be able to talk with them, laugh with them, cry with them or just love them.

I don't think of my grandma's death as me losing her, because now when I think of her I know she is happy. I know she knows who she is and all the people who love her. I know she's not sad and lonely. I know she's laughing and smiling constantly. I know she knows exactly where she is. I know she's waiting for me. I know she's not lost.

Monday, August 20, 2007


I love change. I love how things are constantly moving - growing. I think change means growth, but there are times when change doesn't necesssarily mean growth. There are times when change happens because things refuse to grow and the only thing that can happen is something changes.

Think about a plant that hasn't been water. Before it dries up and dies, it changes. It goes from something green and full of life, into something brown and brittle. Before it becomes lifeless, it goes through stages of loss. First it begins to droop, then it becomes brittle and dry. Finally it begins to lose its color and dries up. These stages happen at different paces for different plants.

I think the same can be true for our spiritual lives as well. We all go through various stages in our lives. If we don't continue to grow, we continue to wilt. It's up to us to decide which way we change. It's all a matter of what we are watering our lives with. Just like a plant, we need to be feed by the right thing. If you try to water a plant with soda or OJ, you're going to soon realiize you're not helping the plant. Same goes for our lives, if we don't water our lives with the right things (reading the Bible, growing in the Word, good friends, etc), we will soon find ourselves beginning to wilt.

The choice always seems so simple, but too often we make it so difficult. Water makes plants grow, but it does us no good to know that if we don't apply it. In the same way, knowing what's right for us spiritually isn't enough to make us grow. We have to apply what we know.

Friday, August 10, 2007

An Open Book ...

Have you heard of the phrase "My life is an open book?" I've been thinking about that. What does that really mean?

I used to think it meant you were transparent. Meaning everything you did was always out and in the open, but now I am not so sure. Only beacause if you take a book and open it up, you only see two pages from the entire book. So how can two pages tell you everything about the book? You may be able to pick up on the current chapter that you're open to, but there is really no way to really know what's next, is there?

I think life's the same way. I believe we can choose to open up or be transparent in a particular season (or chapter) in our lives, but there really no way to know what's next. For me the phrase may allude more to the fact that our lives need to be like a book that no matter what season we are in, we remain transparent. Think about there are certain chapters in books that are very fun and easy to read, but then there are some that are so complicated and confusing (maybe like this blog for some ... lol) that you have to read over and over to try and make sense of it. Sometimes our lives can be just as confusing as those chapters.

Just to be as clear as "an open book," I guess what I'm saying is that no matter the season (or chapter) of life you are in do your best to live life in the open. No matter how complex, confusing or hurtful your season is there's probably someone out there waiting to hear (or read) about it.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


My dog has had a spot on his paw for a couple of days now. He keeps licking it. My sister, who is a nurse, got me some bandages and spray to put on it, but the stuff will only work if he keeps it on - which he doesn't. My roommate called me yesterday to say the dog had torn the bandage off and shredded it into pieces. I wrapped his paw several times in one day, only to have him tear it off. So I had to resort to benedrayl. I had to knock him out to get him to leave the wound alone. He had no clue I was giving him pills to keep him from chewing off his bandage, he just knew he would be getting a peanut butter sandwich twice a day!

I began to think about that ... as the person applying the bandage, it was extremely frustrating that he wouldn't just leave the bandage and sore alone. But then I began to think about when I've had to wear a bandage or had a wound. It's not so easy to ignore then. I can kind of understand my dog's need to take the bandage off. About five years ago I had to have three serious surgeries in one year. I am not sure I have experienced as much pain as I did during that time, but the thing that sticks out in my mind the most about that time in my life wasn't just the pain. I also remember how I just wanted to be past it. I remember just wanting to take the annoying contraption, which was screwed into my bone, off. Somehow I thought if the contraption was gone, then the pain would go away. But somehow just like my dog, I often had to resort taking some pills to knock me out in order to forget about the pain.

What about you? Is your pain something you are constantly trying to digging at? Is God trying to heal it but you are too busy trying to tear the bandage off? Are you too busy focusing on your wound to know you're in the healing process? Or does God often have to knock you over the head to get you realize he will bring you through it?

Sunday, August 5, 2007

An American Citizen

When you are born an American citizen, you sometimes tend to forget exactly what that means. There are certain rights and freedoms that are just a part of your life. You know that they came at the cost of many but you don’t always feel inspired to take advantage of them.

Recently I got to witness one of my closest friends take an oath of citizenship. Wow! What a truly amazing experience. It was very powerful and inspiring to hear all the opportunities and rights she instantly received. It kind of made me look at my citizenship differently. Before it was just a right I had, now it’s more of an opportunity for me to seek out. Somehow a right is more of known thing but an opportunity is more of something to you are challenged to take on.

It was awesome to hear a judge express verbal what it really means to be an American. He talked about how America is filled with a diverse group of people and how that’s what makes America unique and full of culture. I love people and not just who they are but who they can be. He talked about how each person has something of value to bring to America. And I began to think of what value I have to offer America. I think too often we wonder what America has to offer us, instead of what do we have to offer America.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Directionally Challenged

Have you ever set out to go somewhere, only to realize you are not so sure where you're headed? It happened to me yesterday. A trip that was supposed to take me a little over an hour ended up taking me what seemed like forever. Before I left, I printed out directions. There were step by step directions to get to my destinations, but as soon as I started out there was a detour. I'll admit I continued to follow the directions, even though there was a sign saying the road was closed ahead. (I know I was just asking to get lost.) I thought just maybe the detour didn't apply to me ( I know that's what I get for thinking.) Needless to say I finally got where I was going after spending a couple of hours just driving, praying Jesus had my wheel ( alittle something for all you Carrie Underwood fans

The point I am trying to make it that in life how often does God give us detour signs and we just choose to ignore them. How often do we choose to look past them, assuming they may apply to thers but not us. I guess now I am going to try to pay alittle more attention to the obvious signs right in front of me.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

101 Things About Me ...

1. I love every shade of the color yellow.
2. I am struggling with this list already.
3. The snooze button is my friend.
4. I love to sleep in.
5. Well maybe I don't love to sleep in as much as I love to get up when I want to not when the clock says to.
6. I think I have the best, smartest dog in the world.
7. I like to think I'm bilingual.
8. My spanish speaking skills need some practice.
9. I love my family.
10. It will take an amazing man to love me as much as my dad does.
11. I wish I was a little bit taller.
12. I wish I was a baller.
13. I know the lyrics to way too many songs from the 80s and 90s.
14. My sister is my best friend. (Thanks for loving me for me!)
15. I want to live in another country at some point in my life.
16. I love the fact that God created us all diferent.
17. I dream of making a difference in this world.
18. I often fear I won't be as affective as God intended me to be.
19. I want to write a book.
20. I am a dreamer ... anything is possible.
21. I struggle with saying "no."
22. I am often too deep ... I think too much.
23. I have never heard of poop being referred to as "doody."
24. I think monkeys are adorable.
25. I have paintings from South America hanging in my house.
26. I stink at cooking.
27. I love to eat and try new foods.
28. I love change.
29. I have been in three car accidents.
30. I totalled my car once driving 10 miles an hour.
31. I love how music can take you to a specific place in time.
32. I have to eat something sweet after a meal.
33. I can't imagine my life without my family - mom, dad, sister, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins - all of you.
34. I am a CRAZY sports fan ... I guess you could say I am a fanatic.
35. I want to go to Lambeau Field in the freezing cold to see a game.
36. I only like baseball if I see it live ... otherwise it's boring.
37. I play a mean 18 holes of golf.
38. My roommate and I watch "Saved By The Bell" reruns every morning.
39. I've been a buckeyes fan since birth ... I watched Archie Griffith play on tv when I was a month old in the hospital.
40. I love being me ... but it gets tiring sometimes.
41. I've never been in love.
42. I dream of meeting my prince charming.
43. I think I am worth being pursued.
44. I am a sucker for a good smelling man ( Axe doesn't count).
45. I think you can tell a lot about a person by their eyes and shoes.
46. I bite my nails.
47. I keep too much inside.
48. I don't like confrontation - but I am learning it doesn't always have to be a bad thing.
49. The only thing better than chipotle tacos are my mom's.
50. I love to write, but I don't do it as much as I'd like ... not sure why.
51. I used to be allergic to diary products as a kid ... whole milk still messes me up sometimes.
52. I am not a big fan of eggs.
53. I love movies that inspire me.
54. I like to cheer for the underdog.
55. I believe in others more than I do myself sometimes.
56. Children melt my heart.
57. I fear I won't make an impact.
58. I don't like it when a guy takes longer to get ready than I do.
59. Ive hiked through the rainforest in Honduras.
60. I love to challenge myself.
61. I don't challenge myself enough.
62. I believe life's about the journey, not the destination.
63. I've always dreamed of being a missionary.
64. I used to doubt God could use me.
65. I know God is even using me now.
66. I love the power words can have.
67. I have a lot of books.
68. I have a bad habit of starting a book and not finishing it.
69. I work best with deadlines.
70. I am a procastinator.
71. I have a hard time letting people know the real me.
72. This list is stretching me.
73. I think scars are proof we are strong.
74. I have scars on my knees from running to do the electric slide.
75. I love to dance.
76. I wear a diamond earing in my left ear that belonged to a great friend who was killed in a car accident when he was 16.
77. I look a lot younger than I really am.
78. I believe the future will be better than I can imagine.
79. I worry too much about the future, instead of just letting it happen.
80. Life isn't about whether or not you make mistakes, but how you move past them.
81. I taught my dog to understand spanish.
82. I hate that my feet are so small.
83. I wear a size 2 in kids.
84. I own way too many pairs of jeans that I don't wear.
85. I keep too many things for too long ... I am a packrat.
86. I like to read in spanish to keep the language fresh in my mind.
87. I subcribe to US weekly, People Espanol and ESPN (the first two I just randomly picked).
88. I want to see as much of the world as possible.
89. I'd love to raise my children in another country ... possibly Africa.
90. I love sushi.
91. I love to take long bubble baths.
92. I don't pamper myself as much as I should.
93. I don't like to talk on the phone a lot ... I am more of a face-to-face person.
94. I want a tattoo.
95. I wish I was as good at motivating myself as I am at motivating others.
96. I love to watch sports, even golf. I miss my ESPN!
97. I want to be remembered as someone who achieved the impossible ... someone who was used by God.
98. I highly dislike the color pink.
99. I don't like to cry in front of people.
100. I want to be a mom.
101. I think words are like art ... only the artist knows their true meaning.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I got two legs

Last night I was watching Wife Swap and felt inspired to blog. One family was a little people couple, while the other was a hardcore physically fit family. I found it very interesting to watch as these two extremely different families interacted. One family was all about focusing on the inner person, while the other was all about focusing on their outer appearance. Watching these two families interact, it became clear to me that we need to have a balance between the two. It's good to focus on the "inner" you, but at the same time it's important to take care of the "outer" you so to speak.

Finding that balance has been a challenge for me. Because I was born with birth defect I have struggled at times to challenge myself physically. It's not that I didn't feel I couldn't do things, but more so the feeling that I was not at a level to compete with others. Growing up I loved to watch any kind of sports game. I would even feel comfortable playing just about sport, yet I have never really competed in any sport. I guess deep down I never really felt I was capable of competing, especially because I want to win. I had an if I am not going to win, why compete attitude.

But I have learned to realize that even though I may not be able to adequately compete with others, that's not really what competition is all about. Sometimes the best competition is with yourself. SO I have decided, yes I was born with a birth defect that makes it difficult for me to be a champion volleyball player or future WNBA superstar but I got two legs that are perfectly capable of running. Yes that's right I am running a half marathon. I may die in the process (OK I may be slightly over exaggerating), but I am going to do it. The only thing that can keep me from finishing is me!

I guess this a challenge to you, too. Nothing worth anything is ever easy to do. I am not saying you need to go and sign up for the marathon, but I am saying go find your marathon. Find whatever it is that you need to compete on a deeper level with yourself. Whether that be a relationship, a work situation, a dream, whatever it is go after it.

Sunday, July 8, 2007


Have you ever been so scared, it scared you? You know the kind of scared that you're not sure what you will do or say. For me fear has always been the opposite. Fear actually keeps me from doing anything, rather than doing the wrong thing. Have you ever experienced the frozen factor of fear? I have experienced this more times than I care to recall. You know the "I'm too scared to do what I know I need to do" kind of fear.
But as I continue to travel through journey called life, I am realizing it's not so much about whether or not you're scared or what your fears are, as it is if you're willing to face them. Release from fear isn't about whether or not you've overcome it, as much as it is if you've faced. So I guess what I'm saying is there are a lot of things I am afraid of and I'm OK with that. I am learning to not worry so much about all my fears as I am about facing them. So here's to your fears. Stop hiding and start facing them!

Live big, Dream big

I recently went home for a few days. It's a pretty big family event. My sister was born on the Fourth of July. As I was driving through certain areas of my hometown, I began to think about how big the town used to feel. Certain buildings and neighborhoods used to seem so much bigger. I remember as a kid driving by some houses thinking they were huge. I also remember going downtown to shop at Reid's, the big department store. Then I began to think about how I look at those places now. Now the neighborhoods aren't so big and the downtown area isn't quite as big as I remember it to be. When I was living in the same small town, surrounded by the same small buildings, people and jobs, my dreams seemed too big for me.

I think sometimes that's they way it is with life. If we choose to live our lives in same season, change wil always seem too big. It will always be something that is too hard to do. When I look back on my life 10 years ago, I can see I was living way too small. Now I am not saying you need to move to a big city to live out your dreams. But I am saying it takes moving, changing, out of your comfort zone, to live as big as your dreams.

I am not even sure if any of that made sense. Just a glimpse into the deep, random thoughts that I get out of simple things like driving through my hometown.

Monday, July 2, 2007

In the Rutt

I have been reading the book, "3 Seconds," which talks about how we go through life doing either "whatever" or "whatever it takes." Which has had me thinking. Am I living a life of "whatever" or am I doing "whatever it takes" to live out this life? I think it's real easy to get in a rutt where ever you are at in life. You just have to be careful that the rutt doesn't become your life. It's easy to look at circumstances in our own lives and compare them to others, which allows us to lose some of the passion and drive that makes us endure through our hard times. I think that simple act of comparing ourselves to others is what keep us in the rutt. It's in the rutt where you begin to stop pursuing "whatever it takes" and begin to settle for "whatever." Have I ever been in a rutt? Sure have. I believe we all have at some point in our lives. It's not so much about whether or not you're in a rutt, as it is about how long you've been there. We have been taught that the "good life" is free of struggle and that things just happen for good without persistance or work. I think that's why when we find ourselves in a rutt, it's just seems like too much work to get out of it. It's easier to deal with the long term annoying pain than to deal with the extreme, agonizing short term pain of getting out. Take it from someone who knows, it's worth it to do "whatever it takes" to get out of the rutt. Our lives weren't meant to be lived out on accident, but instead to be lived out with purpose.

Sunday, July 1, 2007


I have always been a people pleaser. I'll go out of my way to do things for people. I have always struggled with finding that great balance of taking time for me and still helping others. For some reason whenever I do things for myself, it's not as meaningful as when I do them for others. Same is true for being disciplined in my life. If I tell myself, for example, I am going to eat better and exercise, it's really hard for me to stick to it. But if I tell someone else I will eat better and exercise with them, I feel I need to do it for them. What is it about doing something for others that I feel I have to do it? Don't get me wrong, I think you should help others but I am also finding it's just as important to do things for yourself every now and then. Like I said I am learning to appreciate me, as much as I do others. It's a process ...

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Isn't it funny how several different people can look at a piece of artwork and walk away with several perceptions? Think about it. I am sure the artist had a certain person or experience in mind when they created the piece, yet when we look at it we can see a different person or experience. Same goes for book or novel. I am sure there are stories and instances that the author writes about a specific person or experience, but when we read them we instantly think of someone or something we have experienced.

I think our lives are the same way. Others can look at us and think we have it all together, when in reality we are as clueless as they are. Or we can look at others and see a picture-perfect life, not knowing the heartache and pain they hide. Just like a piece of artwork, our master created us with a specific plan and role. Some may spend their entire life searching for that plan and role, while others spend their entire life running from that plan or role. I can honestly say I been both of those types of people. For so long all I wanted was to know my purpose. Especially being born with a birth defect, I often wondered what God had in mind when he created me. What was he thinking? And then there have been times when I foud out where God was leading me, but I took my eyes off of him and began to be lead by fear. Or should I say became frozen by fear. It's not always the best thing to know what God has in store for you. God created each of us for a God-given purpose, which means sometimes our purpose is greater than what we may see as possible. Because it's for God to achieve through us, not us to achieve by ourselves.

It's taken me a lot of years to be able to say that last statement and truly understand what it means. I am sure there are going to be plenty of people who will have a perspective of who I am and how my life should be lived, but I know that there's only one perception that matters. Just like a piece of art, it's not viewer's opinion that matters as much as it is the creator's. Same is true for our lives. It's not the opinion of those who observe it that matters, as much as the opinion of our creator.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Stuck in traffic

Tonight I was stuck in a traffic jam for about 45 minutes. Isn't it funny how when we have to wait in traffic we instantly learn how to complain. I mean I was already tired, my gas was on low fuel, not to mention I was on low cash. It just was not a good time for me to be stuck in traffic. I also think it's crazy how you can a learn a lot about a person by watching hw they react in a traffic jam. You have the lookers. You know who I am talking about the folks who swerve from right to left hoping to caught a glimpse of the delay. Then there are the movers. These are the folks who could stand still if their life depended on it. They are constantly edging clsoer and closer to you think that will make the traffic move. Finally there are the NASCAR wanna bes. These are the folks that think a traffic jam is there one chance to drive like they're at the Bristle track. They are flying down the side of you on the edge of the road stirring up dust or they are spinning dirt trying to turn around in the median. Tonight I was thinking about the differnt types of people that are in this world and how easy it is to get caught up defining them rather than developing them. It is so much easy to say what aperson is or isn't rather than to help be what they can and need to be.

I did it!

My parents bought me a grill about a month ago and it has been sitting in the box ever since. Well until yesterday. I finally got tried of sweeping around this big box in the living room. It was beginning to be more of a table than a grill. So I decided to stop waiting and start building it. It took me about two hours just to get to step three ... lol. And then I put something in wrong and had to take it apart and start over. It finally took me about six hours, my roommate's assistance and a batch of cookies to get it together. (Well at least almost, I still haven't hooked up the tank or cooked on it yet.) But I guess that kinda how life is ... you get where you think you are supposed to be, only to find out that's not right and have to start all over again. But I guess like the grill, there's always a lesson in the process that make the result worth while. Now everytime I cook on the grill I will be reminded of how I did it ... I put it together!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Live in the Now

Isn't it crazy how we can get so caught up trying to figure ours lives out that we forget to live them. Sometimes I feels as though I have wasted so much time searching for answers and direction I didn't need. When I really think about it I know I didn't waste all that time but that it was time God needed to shape and mold me into who I am now. But why is it so easy to get caught up in our futures? Why can't we just be satisfied where we are at? Sometimes it seems like it's easier to live in our past than it is to live in the now.

I recently went home to visit family and friends. While I was there I got to spend some time with my grandma. She has Alzheimers and had to be put in a nursing home a few weeks ago. Everytime I see her, she changes. She remembers less and less about the past and basically has no concept of the future. As horrible as the disease is that she has, one beautiful thing is that can leave this world knowing nothing but love. All the hurts, pains and disappoints she has experienced in the past no longer have an impact on how she will live her life. Her next step is no longer controlled by the fear of her last.

After spending a couple of hours with her, it's hard not to walk away sad. It's so easy to leave her thinking of how aweful it must be to not be able to remember your family and experiences you've shared with them. But after I give her a big hug and see the sincere smile on her face, I know she's only feeling loved. I know she's living in the now.

"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes." Matt. 6:34

Monday, June 18, 2007

How much do you care?

When I think about my childhood, I think about how cool it was to be a child of the 80s. (All you 80s kids know what I am talking about.) I find it hard to believe that teens today have not experienced leg warmers, socks with dress shoes, parachute pants, MC Hammer pants, big hair, perms and mullets (yes I had one). They will never get to experience wearing tight rolled jeans with boat shoes or penny loafer without socks. They never had the cabbage patch craze or collect garbage pail kids trading cards. I think 80s had some pretty amazing toys. There were so many awesome dolls and stuffed animals. There was the Strawberry Shortcake crew, Rainbow Brite, and Jem. One f my favorites though was the Care Bears. I had the yellow one, I think it was called “Sunshine.”

When I look back and think about that stuffed animal, I think it’s kinda funny how they were called “Care Bears.” Because I don’t recall caring any more or less just by having the animal. I don’t recall caring any more or less about my family or friends. I think it’s kinda funny too how often we throw that word around and don’t really follow through with what it truly means. I am reading a book called “3 Seconds” by Les Parrott. In it he talks about how vicariously we toss around the word “care,” when we don’t even realize the greek translation of the word means to be sad. That means when you truly care about someone you are sad when they are sad. He goes on the express that in actuality “caring” for a person is so much deeper than mere words we say. “It’s a kind of compassion that allows all of us … to enter the world of another and feel what they feel.”

So next time you tell someone “take care,” remember what you are saying. Remember you are saying you feel their joys and their pains. I believe that’s what people are so desperately seeking … someone who cares. The saying goes people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. I believe life is about people and in order to connect with people you have to show you care. And I am not talking and the fuzzy furry kind of caring either. I mean the genuine “I am hurting with you,” kind of caring.
P.S. Gary, I wrote this last night but I could not post it until this morning because I care so much about my roommate and wanted to help her ... lol

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Ready or Not

I have been thinking ... what does it really mean to be "ready?" When I look at my life I think I am "ready" to do a lot of things. I am "ready" to be married. I am "ready" to be a mother. But am I "ready" to be who God is calling me to be? (Even if that means I won't be a wife or a mother?) I believe we often feel we are "ready" for certain things and seasons in our lives, but are we really? I'll have to admit I am not ready to not be a wife or a mother, but I know if that's in God's plan for me, I'll learn to get "ready." You see I think being "ready" isn't so much about being at a specific place or stage in our lives, as it is about being willing to change. I don't think we reach a magical point in our lives when we are "ready" for anything. However I do believe that we can prepare ourselves for change, however that looks. I do believe we reach a point in our lives when we aren't so focused on ourselves that we can truly say we are "ready," however that looks and feel.

God told Moses this in Exodus 23:20: "Now get yourselves ready. I'm sending my Angel ahead of you to guard you in your travels, to lead you to the place that I've prepared." I don't think Moses had a clue what was instore for him, so how could he be "ready?" But I believe God is telling Moses: "Trust me, Follow me and Love me." That's all God really ask of us, yet we make it way too complicated. We see our lives lived out in stages we have to be "ready" for. I don't think we can ever really be "ready." Life is always changing and by the time we get "ready" for season, God has already started introducing us to a new one.

Ask any wife and she'll tell you marriage was nothing she was "ready" for. Ask any mom and she'll tell you parenthood is something you can never truly be "ready" for. Ask anyone and they'll tell you life is always filled with experiences they were not "ready" for. So God I guess ready or not, I am "ready."

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Emptying Your Pockets

I was reading in Psalms the other day (chapter 42 to be exact). There is a line that talks about emptying out the pockets of my life. I began to think about that. What does that mean? The verses that lead up to this one just talk about desiring to be closer to God, but not sure if you'll ever be there. It talks about doubts of others and maybe from ourselves. "Where is this God of yours? These are the things I go over and over, emptying out the pockets of my life?" I began to think to my days as a kid when I'd go walking through the woods or near a pond. Whenever I saw a rock that looked cool or something I wasn't sure what it was, I'd bend down pick it up and store in my pocket. By the end of the day, I'd get home and my pockets would be full rocks, dirt, flowers, bugs, and anything else I felt like picking up that day. Even though I seemed to collect a lot of junk, I never waned to get rid of it. Somehow even though I knew it was junk, it was my junk! Why are we so possesive of everything that is ours, even the junk? If we'd just empty our pockets of all the junk, we could fill them up again and again and again. But if they are full of junk they can't be filled with what we need. I believe the same is true about our minds and hearts. If we fill our mind with junk there is no room for the good stuff. (Think about it ... name two main characters from Seinfield, tell me how many Friends made up the show, tell me how many times have the Cavs won a national title, name the logo for McDonald's, etc.) It's crazy how much useless information we store and continue to put in our minds. One way I believe we can empty our minds is by sharing all we know useful and useless by blogging. (I'm putting it out here, you decide what you put in ... lol) Also I believe we do the same with our hearts. We take in junk (hurt, pain, lies, etc.) and keep it there. We store so much junk in there that pretty soon there's no room for the good stuff (love, friendships, peace, joy, etc.). What are you storing? Is it time to empty your pockets?

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Reality Is

I’m writing this as I watch the Spurs blow the Cavs away. As I watch this game, I can’t help but feel the frustration of the Cavs. I even commented at halftime how I think I would just pack up and go home. I guess you have to give to the guys for hanging in there when’s it’s obvious they are not going to win. Then I started thinking of all the times I’ve wanted to pack up and head home, so to speak. Today at church Konan talked about the desert of your soul and how your focus becomes your reality. I have just been thinking about how true that is in every aspect of our lives. Even in basketball. The Cavs didn’t end up winning, but they did finish strong and go from a 30-point deficit to an 11-point loss.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Dropped Ball

As you may have read in April I "promised" to keep up with this blogging thing. As you also may have noticed I dropped the ball. That's something I've learned in life ... there are going to be times when we drop the ball, but what really matters is if we pick it back up. So that's why (thanks to Gary's accountability) I am going to give this blogging thing another try. I think it's hard for me because I always feel like I need to write some fabulous piece that will enlighten the world, but I am discovering that's not what blogging is about at all. I think it is actually more for myself than anyone else. As I begin to open up and write, I am learning to stop thinking and just start writing.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

All Skate

Isn't it funny how you can hear 10 seconds of a song and instantly go back in time. I was searching some tunes online and came across some Sugar Hill Gang. I was instantly at the skating rink. That was probably one of the better all-skate songs. I instantly went back to the days of pig tails and knee socks. Oh and how could I forget the skates that looked like tennis shoes. (You know what I'm talking about, the blue and yellow ones.) I never got to wear those anyways because they never came in my size. It was either rent the boring brown skates or wear the plastic ones that go over your shoes. You can guess which ones I wore. I was never really one of those super-speed skaters, but I could hold my own. Afterall we went every Saturday morning. Probably my favorite part about the skating rink was the concession stand. I thought I was so cool because I could skate up to the counter and order my food. (Go figure I would remember the food.) It never failed I would order a jump rope licorice and have it ate before I crashed back into our booth. It just amazes me how a song has the power to take me to a specific place in time. And not just recalling fun moments and memories, but even the smells. Remember how the skating rentals smelled ... nothing like stanky, stiff pleather!

Friday, April 13, 2007

promises, promises

Well I think I've spent enough time surfing the Web and reading other blogs, now it's time I stop reading and start writing. So I promise(to the whole 2, if that, readers that I have), I will begin to blog monthly. I am starting a new season in my life. A season of promises. This season isn't just about promises I will make, but more so about the ones I have broke, the ones others broke and the ones that are kept.

Too often we make promises without really thinking about them(or at least I do). It just sounds better to say "I promise" instead of "Well it all depends how I feel at the moment." I've never really said that to someone, but I have probably said "I promise" and never followed through with it. If you are someone I have ever broke a promise to, "I am so sorry." I believe we rarely intend to intentionally harm others, but rather too often forget about others and think only of ourselves. So to YOU I am truly sorry.

I can truly say I am sorry for breaking promises because I know how it feels when someone breaks a promise to me. It feels horrible. It crushes you. I've had more broken promises than I care to write about, but just for your sake I will have to say the "I promise I'll call you" line is the one that has crushed me the most. I know I am not alone, you know what I'm taking about. You wait all day, all night and the next day for the certain someone to call. I'll admit it crushes me, but you know it has also helped me. Yeah I said helped. You see when someone breaks a promise, I lose trust in them. But once I lose trust in a certain person, I then gain trust in God that He is enough for me.

Which leads to me to kept promises. Wow, how awesome is it to be loved by a God who keeps His promises. You see God does not put desires inside our hearts for us to be crushed on or hurt over. We do enough of that! God is in the business of keeping promises. I am not saying He delivers when I expect Him to, but He definately delivers exactly when I need Him to. When I am desperate for Him. When all my promises are false and I am unable to keep them. When I don't think I can make it through another broken promise. God keeps His promises. Never forget that. Never lose grip of what He has promised you and most importantly never lose trust that He will do for you what He promised He will do.

Until next month ... I PROMISE!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I'm Blogging

Well look out world, I'm blogging. I've often thought about starting a blog, but quickly asked myself what would I write about? But somehow I think of random things daily, so why not share my thoughts? So stay posted and watch out here they come.