Search This Blog

Friday, November 14, 2008

Scattered Friday Night Thoughts

This one may be a bit long. There's lots of stuff running round and round in my head. The secret of my blogging, you know, is to empty my head so that I can relax. This emptying may take longer than you care to read.

Friday nights are the hardest, I think. After a long week at school, I push really hard on Friday to finish up my units that I'm teaching, and give tests to hyper children. Then after school, I have to push even harder to try to prep for the next week. After the long week, I find it very hard to have anything at all left to be a good parent. That's why I am thankful for movies! Love piling the kids in my bed, watching a movie, and munching popcorn. It requires no human interaction from me, and makes them feel special and loved because I'm hanging out with them. Currently watching Journey to the Center of the Earth.

Tonight I did have a really cool moment. James's report card came in the mail. It was not exactly what we expected. Shawn coached me through not flying off the handle, and I handled the issue with grace and mercy. James sat through supper, hunched over his cereal, and not speaking. When we were doing dishes after supper, I told him that I had seen his report card. When there was no screaming, he totally relaxed and explained some of the problems he's been having, and we were able to work out some solutions. So then later we took the time to hang out together on the piano bench and played our first piano/sax duet. Pretty cool. I think music may run in his blood, too.

One last thought....this one is definitely pretty random. I had exactly 9 minutes today for lunch. (This is not important to the story, I just thought you might want to know) One of the team's daughters was eating with us today, and I was totally jealous of her ice cream sandwich. I love ice cream sandwiches and never get around to buying any. Primarily because I will eat the whole entire box. Oh...I'm wandering again. Here's where I was going with this.

Lately God has been reminding me of good memories from my childhood. Seeing the ice cream sandwich brought back an awesome memory. When I was a little girl, maybe 6 or so, my older brothers mowed yards and cemeteries on Saturdays for spending money. Jon and Jeff would've been teenagers. Many Saturdays they had to take me with them. Lots of times one or both parents were with us, but the day I'm thinking of, I'm pretty sure we were alone. I'm not sure why....where were my parents exactly? Anyway, I was cheap labor. I picked up the sticks and rocks that they couldn't mow over, and then they paid me by buying me ice cream when we were done.

We would go to Mr. Warpole's little store up on the hill, and I would walk up and down all four aisles staring at the incredible array of treats. I always ended up at the big cooler filled with ice cream. I would climb up, balance on my belly, and reach deep into the cold, icy, cooler to grab my ice cream sandwich. If it was a really special day, the boys would buy me a glass bottled coke to go with it. We would sit outside on the sidewalk and eat our treats. I thought life couldn't get any better.

Don't know why I felt the urge to share that. Strange really. It doesn't connect to anything else or have a point. Random, huh? Oh, yeah...that's the name of the blog.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


It's that time of year again. Where I am teaching first graders silly songs about turkeys, helping them memorize the ABC's of thanksgiving poetry, and designing and decorating costumes for the thanksgiving play. (Just an aside for those of you who enjoy laughing at/with me- today I was practicing one of the songs and became so off key that I gave up entirely and moved on to another activity.) As we learn about the Pilgrims and Native Americans and the first Thanksgiving, I am always amazed to see how God provided. I remember the first year that I was reading to the kids and discussing the events of 1620, and it all connected with me about just how precisely God took care of those early settlers.

If you have never played connect the dots here it is for you. The best I remember it without my books handy to double check my facts.

Pilgrims: seeking religious freedom, leave England, sailing for America. Storm at sea blows them off course and they land WAY north of their intended destination - at some place called Plymouth. They meet a Native, who happens to speak English and teaches them the necessary survival skills for living in their environment so that they do not all perish in their new land. Remember that this is the part of the country that years later argued for our freedom of religion in the bill of rights.

Squanto: many years earlier is captured and taken into slavery, during which he learns English. Years later when he is freed and returns to his former home, his entire village has been destroyed. He hooks up with some locals and lives happily until one day when a ship lands on his beach. Then he finds it in the goodness of his heart to assist these poor white men learn survival skills. God's getting ready to use his painful past to change the world.

So - here's what had to happen - Native sold into slavery, learns English. Ship blown way off course to ensure that Pilgrims land in a place where there is assistance - from someone who speaks their language. What are the chances of making a wrong turn and ending up exactly where you need to be?

I was thinking today about this. Many years ago, I'm pretty sure that I made a wrong turn. However, it seems to have landed me exactly where I need to be at this particular moment in my life. So even though I am fairly uncertain about where my future lies, I am glad to know that I serve a God who has the ability to unite one of the only English speaking Natives in an untamed land with a group of people blown miles off course so that his purposes would be fulfilled. I am excited that my future is being held in such capable hands.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Writer's Block

Writer's block is an interesting ailment. It does not occur often for me, but tonight I seem to have a pretty severe case. I can't come up with anything serious and spiritual tonight, and I have nothing really new and funny to say either. This week's just been a bit lame as far as blogs go, don't you think?

I wonder what causes writer's block? Could it be sheer exhaustion - which I could testify to tonight? Or maybe sometimes our brains just love to play tricks on us. Or maybe God says, you think you're good at this. Don't get too arrogant.

The only cure that I have ever discovered for writer's block is to just force myself to write anyway. Whatever lame thoughts happen to come to mind. Now there's a blog title - "my lame thoughts" If this block lasts much longer, I may seriously have to consider a rename for the blog.

I can, however, highly recommend that you read tenth avenue north's (my new favorite band) blog on myspace. They are blogging about the stories behind each of their songs on their new CD. Way cool to hear the stories to go with their awesome music.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Just kidding about being too tired to blog

Tonight we had an awesome night at Bible Study. I was thrilled that the kids' soccer practice was rained out so that I got to attend to whole thing. I love hanging out with my Crossroads friends. I don't know that I've ever been around so many unique, but absolutely awesome people at any other time in my life. I am looking forward to what God has in store for us in the upcoming months. Thanks guys for coming along on the ride.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Crazy Love, chapter 5

This chapter was just not nice. God was all in my business. I've had a pretty rough day anyway and then for God to be all convicting and stuff just wasn't very nice. Tonight I would have liked to have heard, "good're awesome...." But no.....The chapter is titled, "Serving leftovers to a Holy God." I'm not even sure where to begin. I'll just type out the entire chapter and let you evaluate your life for yourself. Just kidding, but it might be faster and less painful than outing my own self.

Here's just a little bit of the stuff in this chapter that made me say, "ouch!"

*is my concern more about going to heaven than loving the king?

*I felt no shame with my offerings to God because I took my eyes off scripture and compared myself to others around me.

*Am I giving God a bone with a few scraps? Fetch, God!

*no worship is better than apathetic worship. Malachi 1

*Sacrificing "something" instead of "everything" is evil. Malachi 1

*It's not what you advertise that counts, it's what you really are.

*God measures our lives by how we love.

*pursuing Christ means swimming upstream. If you are not swimming, you are floating downstream. Or use the analogy of going up the downward escalator. Run fast!!!! If not, then you are going down.

*Are you really willing to leave it all behind when Jesus says "Follow me," with no explanations attached?

*God is not someone who can be tacked onto our lives.

*Don't assume you are good soil. Really examine your heart.

Here's my life evaluation....just right out here in the open for all of you to see.... as honest as I can be without more intimate personal details than you care to know. I have certainly made great strides in my faith since accepting Christ about 15 years ago. However, I have a really long way left to go. I confess with great shame that I am really struggling with wanting some good explanations about what God has planned for my future. I know that there's a big course change ahead for me, but I'm pretty clueless about what that is and what I need to do next to make it happen. And feeling pretty dang (edited for you, honey) angry about God's silence and lack of detailed explanations - just about me. He has plenty to say about other people. get the idea. That's also probably more than you wanted to know about me.

I'm also having a hard time with wanting what I want and wanting to have God, too. It doesn't even take a close examination of my heart to know that my wants are not yet closely aligned with God's wants. Trust me when I say that I cannot have both. Sin and God do not go together. This is me not giving you details.

Yes, I evaluate my Christian walk against the people around me more than I lay it up against scripture. I am totally guilty of sacrificing some things to God while not giving him everything. Right now, I'm having a really hard time laying down my whole life and trusting God to do the right thing with it.

Don't misunderstand me here. I know that perfection is not attainable on Earth. I know that God just asks me to continue moving forward. I seriously believe that most days I make an attempt in a Godward direction. I am not one of those people who thinks that they are worthless worms in Christ. I know that I am His beautiful masterpiece. However, I am saying that this chapter absolutely knocked any arrogance out of me when I honestly looked at myself long and hard. I know that seeing where I am struggling is a huge part of the battle towards becoming who God has designed me to be. I'm just saying as honestly as I can that I'm struggling. Today more than most. Don't believe the facade that I have it all figured out or even have a good idea about what I'm doing. Mostly right now, I'm just confused. And for me, confused equals frustrated.

Oh - and pray for my gradebook to turn up. It has disappeared and I have to turn in grades on Friday. This is a critical emergency. I don't think I can accurately falsify enough grades if I don't find it.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Monday Morning Updates

It is so cool to see families start to get plugged in at the Crossroads. I realized tonight that I spent a large part of my morning visiting with people I did not know six months ago. That's pretty awesome! Services went well today. I can't wait for our first baptisms coming up soon. I also have the distinct impression that God is getting ready to do something huge. I am anxious to see what it is!

Although our services were great, my primary worship experiences today did not occur at The Crossroads. Not to say that I didn't experience God or meet with him there also, but that was not the big wow moment today. This morning God woke me up early with a very distinct childhood memory that I want to share with you tonight. When I was a little girl, I used to love to go down to the deer camp with my dad and brothers. (This is the whole I wasn't born very girly thing) While they were out hunting, I usually hung out at the cabin - reading, writing, or visiting with my Pops (dad's dad).

One day as thunder was rumbling in the distance, Pops drove up in his old pick-up. "Hey, Reese, let's go feed those fish before the storm rolls in." I tingled with excitement, because feeding the fish with Pops was always a huge adventure.

So I jumped in his pick-up and we took off down to the pond. Now my relationship with Pops was interesting. He was nearly deaf, and was pretty crippled up. So conversation were pretty one-sided, and he moved kind-of slow. We got down to the pond, and he slowly, painfully climbed out of the truck. I remember the dark clouds rolling in and the heavy, damp smell of rain in the distance.

We walked out onto the old dock, Pops tapping the dock in a particular rhythm with his old cane. As soon as he began tapping the dock, the fish began to swarm. The water frothed with the movements of the fish. Then he began calling the fish with this peculiar deep, guttural sound. The water was churning with the movements of hundreds of fish as I cast out the fish food (old dog food) into the water. I was amazed by this experience, and the rain splattering on my face just added to the intrigue. Standing in the rain, feeding the excited fish with Pops was a beautiful moment.

So here's the God-point. The fish knew Pop's presence. They were eager and ready and waiting to be fed. By the time he was calling to them, they were already there, ready and waiting. If they had stayed on the bottom of the pond where they were comfortable they would have only gotten the leftover soggy food that fell to the bottom. I want to be that eager for God...that when he gets around to calling me I am already in place, ready, and waiting, and hungry to do what he wants me to do.

So I sat down at the piano this morning before church and was just absolutely overwhelmed by the gut instinct that God is getting ready to do some big things. I'm pretty sure I heard thunder rumbling in the distance. I'm going to head for the dock and wait for him to call me.

The other big worship experience today was just as unexpected. I was performing my "first lady" duties and attending a nighttime worship service at a sponsor church. The crowd was slim, the music primarily hymns, and God spoke loud and clear. He gave me some pretty specific reprimands about losing my focus in the busyness of my life and some other assorted sins. (there's always plenty for him to choose from) Then he began to talk about trusting him in the next phase of my life and ministry. I'm not sure exactly what he has planned, but I'm just telling you that I am so excited I can hardly stand myself. The sense of his presence was so incredible today. I was privileged to spend a beautiful day with my king.

Happy Monday! Only 7 days till the next weekend!