Saturday, July 24, 2010

He is there for us

Why do you say, O Jacob,
and complain, O Israel,
"My way is hidden from the Lord;
my cause us disregarded by my God"?
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Isaiah 40:27-29

This chapter begins a long beautiful poem in which the Lord reminds His people who He is. How great He is. And that His love and faithfulness will always carry them through when they turn to Him. Even today.... His people need to be reminded.

He is there for us. Always.

Quick update: For the 4 of you (or more I don't know of) who were praying this week. Thank you. Friday went well and the decisions were made and I feel at peace. Lighter even. There is still much work to be done, but God knows exactly how to take care of that.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Broken Leg

We are made of body, soul and spirit. We all know how important it is to have a functioning body. When it’s unhealthy or injured in some way it limits us, generally causes pain and frustration. I hate being sick or feeling weak. (I might go as far to say that my stubbornness about being sick is a little extreme.) Much of it stems from a close family member who never seemed to be entirely healthy as far as I can remember. I did not want to miss out on life like that and I had very little grace for understanding the pain she was in.

But what about when our soul is sick or a part of it is broken? It’s like having a broken emotional leg. How do you put a cast on that and give it time to heal? Some people will simply ignore it while gangrene sets in creating more and more damage while others tend to hack the leg off in order to save the hassle. But soon they end up with nothing left to stand on, sit on, reach with, see with…. They become emotionally void.

I hate being sick or feeling weak. I hate admitting it even more. But…

Friends, my soul is wounded.

I tend to extremes, at least in emotional ways (in everything else I strive to stay in the comfortable middle). While I know this all-or-none thinking doesn’t do me any favors, it’s hard to find the middle ground. Our fleshly desires can be strong and not letting them have their way often closely resembles the kid having a tantrum in the grocery store cause the candy bar is within reach but can’t be had. (forgive me if you handle things much better… I am not talking about you.) Grasping the fact that there is something better to be had by waiting is sometimes a hard lesson to remember. Once we get “the something better” we often are thankful we didn’t eat the chocolate, but within a short time we have forgotten again.

How do we face and walk through our emotional pains in a way that protects the wound without further damage? I am learning the art of this and it doesn’t come naturally. I have a close friend whose physical health has not been good for a while and there are no answers yet. But her spirit rises above it with joy that carries her through the hard days. Our spirits can override soul sickness as well.

I don’t know what the other side of this will look like, but I know I will get there. When God told me this was the year of so much more, I failed to realize He didn’t mean just more of the good. He also meant more hard work, more heartbreak, more tears, more and waiting. I know without a doubt that on the other side I will know so much more of Jesus.

Your prayers are appreciated and coveted, especially this Friday as hard decisions are necessary and I want to make the right choices.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Ever feel... doing the right thing causes more pain and is much harder than going with the flow? you were better off before you looked in the mirror or asked the questions? one more step might be the last you are capable of taking before everything gives out?

Yeah.... me too.

Never Underestimate the Power of a Star!

At my desk, I have several sheets of star stickers. They come in handy sometimes. Especially, when you want to change something.

I had one co-worker, retired now, who came to get a star if he could say “No” to a request 4 times in one day (yeah, maybe not quite the thing to encourage, but it made him happy). He would come into the office with his portfolio and ask for his star. I would stick it right next to all the other ones. He ended up with quite a few. Wonder if maybe that is one of the fonder things he remembers.

More recently, I once again witnessed the power of recognition. Since the beginning of the year paperwork continually crosses my desk that is half- heartedly filled out. At first, there was one person “J” who never entered the time he closed out a request. I made a request to the foreman that the time be included. As of late, I’ve noticed everyone else except “J” forgetting this detail. So this week, I gave “J” a star. Just to say thanks and keep up the good work. And wouldn’t you know since then, ALL my sheets have been filled out including the time. “J” even shouted a “thanks for the star” out as he drove out for the afternoon in his big road truck.

Never underestimate even the smallest forms of encouragement. It might just change someone’s day.

Everybody loves a gold star. Even grown-ups.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Test Taking 101

Some of you are about to hate me for what I am about to say...

I love taking tests.

Whether its a math test, english, IQ, which cartoon chatacter are you most like, or what your favorite color says about your chances at love... you get the idea. Maybe, part of the reason I like them is that I am good at them and the results are measurable. In fact, I think the lowest grade I ever got on a test was a C and that day I was really sick and just wanted to go to bed. Yes, I was the student who ruined the curve. Go on ahead and hate.... I can take it now.

It didn't take long to realize that others didn't want to know that I got the highest score....again. So, I quickly began to hide my achievements and down play them. In college, I had this great friend who knew it was important to celebrate the things you are good at. In our suite we hung up tests and papers with the giant A's on them. We both knew the best A's came from Dr. Tepper classes. We appreciated and encouraged each other successes.

Last week, I had to take a test. Except it wasn't one I wanted to be taking. Do you know the feeling where you've turned in the test and know you did not do well. The answers just weren't there, but somehow you hope a miracle occurs and the score won't be as bad as you think. But you know. I knew what the results would show, but I hoped against hope it might be different somehow. But it wasn't.

And I was crushed. There is something about seeing it in black and white that makes it all the more real. I didn't expect to feel so emotional about it.

With any test, on paper or a test of faith, the results give us information about ourselves. They show us where we are wrong and the places we need to grow. The question becomes what we do with that knowledge. Are we willing to do what it takes to bring the grade up?

Am I willing to do what it takes to make the necessary changes?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

An American 4th

She's home!!!

Happy Birthday Steve

My buddy

yeah, he's a heart-breaker
Full of food, sun, water, volleyball, hugs and great company.
Happy 4th of July.
Thank you God for this country and our freedom.