Thursday, April 16, 2009

Economizing for the Times

We are all looking for ways to save and economize, reuse and recycle, make it last a longer, cut the bill a little smaller...


Why, when life can be snatched away so unexpectedly, would we waste so many moments pining after lives that we are not actually in the midst of living? There is so much to be done with what we're in the midst of, it's just that many of us have looked at our current circumstances for so long that we think our circumstances are a habit or something. Don't throw away what you've got, or discount it. Use it.

I went somewhere I was talking to someone who was a stranger to me. We had to sit next to each other and we were waiting for something to start. The table was a circle so we couldn't really ignore each other while semi-facing like we could if we were just next to each other, or on the Metro.

I found out a lot about her because I could figure out what to ask to keep learning. I could smile a lot and gradually help her feel more comfortable. Now I know where she works and where she's from and how long she's been married and that she and her husband are planning to start a family soon and they they were planning their move to Texas while they were planning their wedding and it was really stressful but they're happy here and they're almost ready to start their family and where they go to church. If I ever paused in my onslaught of getting-to-know-you questions, she would stare at me wide-eyed, deer-caught-in-headlights, frightened and awkward because she didn't know what to say in conversation with someone she didn't know. I thought "Gee, this is awkward unless I direct the conversation ... sheesh, lady, relax and TALK."

And then I realized -- I have stared for so long at my giftedness in making conversation, I have not realized to call it a gift. (Even though my mom tried to tell me this before...) I have despised it by discounting it. And consequently, I have not used it as much as I should! Wear it out! Rub it in! Make it stronger! And there are so many of these gifts that we have received that will help us to rebound in times of stress and difficulty, and dazzle in times of plush and plenty.

Maybe just as -- or more! -- importantly, stop judging other people for not being the SAME.

Don't long to be somebody else. Long to know what you're missing about yourself. There is So. Much. Purpose. that went into the design of YOU.

How are you gifted? Tell me! I want to know! Doitnow!

Monday, April 6, 2009


I really like the music in the Toyota Venza commercials.
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WOW, Kerry Hasenbalg does it again. The following is an excerpt from her recent blog that seemed to speak into those throbbing, questioning parts of my mind and heart. Please be encouraged and exhorted as I was:

There once was a boy who had many broken toys. So, this boy took his toys to the toymaker and asked, “Will you fix my broken toys?” The toymaker replied, “I most certainly will.” The next day the little boy looked at his toys and much to his disappointment he saw that his toys were still broken, so he asked the toymaker again, “Will you please fix my broken toys?” And again the toymaker replied exactly as He did the first time, “Yes, I most certainly will.” The following day the boy looked and once again found that his toys were still broken. So, he decided to ask the toymaker a different question, “Sir, if you said you would fix my broken toys, why have you not done it yet?” And the toymaker answered, “Because you will not let go of them!”

In order for God to turn our ashes into beauty, we must be willing to let go and entrust our ashes to Him! As we bring our ashes to the foot of the cross, let us believe that He will be faithful to exchange our ashes for beauty in His time and in His way.

And when we are wiling to take this "risk" and really "let go"of our controlling and fearful grip on these things, we will finally have the opportunity to “see” for ourselves how things work in the Lord’s economy. And I believe the experiencing of this exchange process is what builds our trust in God and teaches us to desire His blessed presence with an undivided heart in all things and above all things.

I have broken a toy or twelve in my day. Letting them go for the fixing seems the most unnatural thing to do, because I feel like I have to fix it since I broke it. Yet, no! I will just make the problem worse, in most cases. Let my Creator fix it.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Something Wonderful

I know this guy that says, "What's goood?" instead of "Hello" or "What's up" when he sees someone. Debbie and I were talking about how easy it can be to focus on the little negatives in our lives, and to relate with other people based on the struggles we're all facing. Many of our conversations wind around to be negativity festivals. We decided that negativity was not a worthy cause for a festival, so we decided to say "Tell me something wonderful!" Instead of "Hey, what's up?" I like to act all crazy and say "WHAT'S GOOOOOOOOD?!?!?" when I see Debbie, cause it totally throws her off (she is a very grace-filled mom of 4...who reminds me periodically that they don't use the 's' word -- shutup -- in her house).

Lastnight at church we all went around and shared "what's good" with one another. It was so uplifting! It's amazing what a turn of perspective happens when you shift the lens looking down on your days to find those little gems of joy that happen for all of us. There is always something.

Today was amazing, unfairly fabulous from my standpoint. Finally a day off, 1 out of 8 days, and I did what I wanted to do. A little work, yes, a few chores, yes. But because of the kindness of my parents I was also able to buy a plane ticket home ... watch LOST ... talk to my Sister ... surprise some friends with Starbucks ... surprise another friend at work ... meet for martinis with another friend and talk about very deep matters -- really inappropriate yet perfect for Happy Hour.

I am thankful for my life.

Even though I am having a hard time letting go of people / places / things that I thought were always supposed to be a part of my life / dreams / future; or even though I don't know what the outcome will be of my present risky endeavors; and even because I am so imperfect / flawed / inadequate, it is Enough. It seems I may have two left feet, and it is something wonderful.

WHAT'S GOOD! Tell me something wonderful.