Thursday, June 30, 2011

But for now, just let me be...

I flew from Chicago to California the second week in May and jumped into a wonderful sermon series at Cedar Grove. Oasis in the Wilderness: Finding Light in the Darkness. Pastor Keith taught from Exodus 2:11-24 that Sunday and I took lots of notes knowing that I would refer to them later. Well, today was later.

1. Who turned out the lights? The party wasn’t supposed to be over!
-You can be living in a wonderful situation, but still mentally be in the wilderness.
-Lament, sorrow, grief
-When I’m in the wilderness, I just want to get out.

2. Where can I find some hope again? Let the healing begin!
-There is purpose of being in the wilderness.
-In the wilderness God desires intimacy.

Exodus 7:16 - And you shall say to him, The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you, saying, “Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness. But so far, you have not obeyed.”

Hosea 2:14, 15 - “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. And there I will give her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.”

Hosea 13:5 - “It was I who knew you in the wilderness, in the land of drought...”

-If you find yourself in the wilderness, God is trying to speak to you, to draw you close to Him.

3. What about the dreams? Where is God?
-God is on the throne working out His plans. As always.
-Surrender to God.

Pastor Keith closed the sermon with a time of reflection.
What is your wilderness? My wilderness is:

Lonely. Empty. Unsatisfying. Cold. Gloomy. Dark. Unrelenting. Condemning. Heavy. Angry. Tearful.

In your wilderness:
Be still and know that I AM God. -Psalm 46:10
Look for God in your wilderness. He IS there.

I'm looking for God in my wilderness. I know that He is here.

Show Me
by Audrey Assad

(verse 1)
You could plant me like a tree beside a river
You could tangle me in soil and let my roots run wild
And I would blossom like a flower in the desert
But for now just let me cry
(verse 2)
You could raise me like a banner in a battle
Put victory like a fire behind my shining eyes
And I would drift like falling snow over the embers
But for now just let me lie
Bind up these broken bones
Mercy bend and breathe me back to life
But not before You show me how to die
(verse 3)
Set me like a star before the morning
Like a song that steals the darkness from a world asleep
And I'll illuminate the path You've laid before me
But for now just let me be
(verse 4)
So let me go like a leaf upon the water
Let me brave the wild currents flowing to the sea
And I will disappear into a deeper beauty
But for now just stay with me

God, for now just stay with me

Friday, June 24, 2011

Worst Vacation Ever.

Am I allowed to say that? Well, I just did.

While my immediate family and large extended family was happily romping around Morro Bay and playing in the ocean, I was confined to a couch. An uncomfortable lumpy purple couch. The color was its one redeeming quality.

I traded my wetsuit and surfboard for vicodin and an ice pack due to the pinched nerve in my back. My back had been feeling a bunch better the week before, but something in my back shifted on the drive down. The pain was no longer contained to my lower back but spread through my entire spine and resided primarily my cervical vertebrae resulting in an unrelenting headache. Hence the vicodin and the ice pack.

However, I did take a bunch of pictures the three times I got outside!

Friday, June 17, 2011

But is he qualified?

That was the question Trina proposed to me after I told her that Robert would be taking care of my two goldfish while I was out of town.
About a month ago, Alicia and I had an adventurous day and ended up with two gold fish. We named them Franklin Delroy and Ofelia Loraine.
I had goldfish when I was younger, but I don’t remember the need for the water to be changed a few times per week. I’m pretty sure my parents played a large role in that area of my relationship with the fish. I just named them and fed them. So now that I’m 22 and apparently responsible enough to take care of my own goldfish, I’ve had to set aside time every few days to change the water.
Trina and I did the smelly task this afternoon. As Trina helped me, she had many questions about goldfish...
What’s in the food they eat?
How do they talk?
Do they like the rocks in their bowl?
What if they lay eggs?
Why do they need to stay in the water?
What if it jumps out of the water?
What if food gets stuck to their tail?
Why can’t I hold it?
Do they get thirsty?
When do they sleep?
After the slew of questions, I kindly told her to ask the goldfish and not me. After all, I’m not a goldfish expert. She talked to the fish for a little while to ask them the questions and ended her fishy interrogation by telling them how pretty they were.
“You don’t know very much about your fish,” Trina said very matter-of-factually.
“Not really,” was my soft response. I didn’t see the need to buy and read The Goldfish Owners Guide on the shelf next to the fish food at PetSmart.
Her next question was a little more important.
“Who’s going to take care of your fish when you’re away with your family?”
I paused before answering. Last night I asked Robert if he would be willing to feed them for me. Although he didn’t seem utterly thrilled, he agreed.
“Robert’s going to,” was my response with a smile.
“But is he qualified?” she said in very serious and concerned tone as she glanced at the fish happily swimming around.
I couldn’t think of a response at that point. What qualifies a person to feed two fish a few times a day?
Before I could give an answer, she responded with genuine innocence, “They look hungry. Can they eat some of my chocolate chip cookie?”
After saying no and explaining my answer to her, I felt reassured that Robert was the right guy for this fish-sitting job.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

"I'm working on it!!"

“I’m working on it!!”

I don’t know how many times I’ve said that in the past few months.

I’m working on it.

I’m working on it.

That means I don’t quite have it yet, but I’m getting there.

I’m working on... not letting anxiety rule and ruin my life.

I’m working on... being organized without being obsessive.

I’m working on... not overbooking my schedule.

I’m working on... treasuring moments before running to the next one.

I’m working on... not being defensive when I’m unconfident in a situation.

I’m working on... responding with patience and compassion.

I’m working on... not pushing people away when I’m not ok.

I’m working on... remembering to eat.

So there you have it. I’m working on it.

I love this song by Addison Road. It SO accurately describes what I'm feeling right now.

Change In the Making

by Addison Road

(Verse 1)

There’s a better version of me

That I can’t quite see

But things are gonna change

Right now I’m a total mess and

Right now I’m completely incomplete

But things are gonna change

‘Cause you’re not through with me yet


This is redemption’s story

With every step that I’m taking

Every day, You’re chipping away

What I don’t need

This is me under construction

This is my pride being broken

And every day I’m closer to who

I’m meant to be

I’m a change in the making

(Verse 2)

Wish I could live more patiently

Wish I would give a little more of me

Without stopping to think twice

Wish I had faith like a little child

Wish I could walk a single mile

Without tripping on my own feet

But You’re not through with me yet


From the dawn of history

You make new and You redeem

From a broken world to a broken heart

You finish what you start in everything

(Verse 3)

Like a river rolls into the sea

We’re not who we’re going to be

But things are going to change

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Think Happy Thoughts - Part 3

Here are the next 5 things that make me smile:

11. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. -C.S. Lewis

Clive Staples Lewis is one of my favorite authors. His writing is beautiful and thought provoking.

12. Fluffy blankets and handsome boyfriends. Well, many fluffy blankets and just one boyfriend. Robert was in Livermore for the weekend so we got got to spend some time together! On Monday morning we had breakfast together. I came over to his house and within a few minutes his dad brought me a fuzzy blanket to curl up in as Robert cooked pancakes. It was a wonderfully fun and lazy morning. And I personally think there are very few things hotter than a guy cooking. :)

13. Along the way, I’ve collected more questions than answers, but I’ve fought for a few ideas that have formed a bed I can rest on, a life I can make peace with, a dream I can cling to. -Shauna Niequist

I’m about halfway through Shauna’s book Cold Tangerines. I started reading it at the beginning of last semester. I read a few pages and then put it down for a few days and then pick it up again and read a few more. I love her short blogpost-like stories. The quote above jumped off the page at me because I always have questions and have a handful of people who often get bombarded with them.

A mentor in high school once told me, "I'll start worrying about you the day you quit asking questions. Until then, you'll be fine."

14. Written words. I love reading the thoughts, comments, musings, and feelings of others.

15. Doctors. Ok, not exactly doctors, but when they can make me feel better, then I smile! I have a pinched nerve in my back and my chiropractor had me take x-rays. The lower part of my spine is twisting, thus pinching a nerve causing my entire right leg fluctuate between being numb and being exceedingly painful. Anyways, my chiropractor is working on getting my spine back into it's proper alignment. Although fixing it is painful right now, the end result will be worth it when the pain is gone!