Saturday, May 30, 2009

If I'd Only Known. . .

How deeply and quickly I would learn the pain of being completely shocked and unprepared for something, I think I might have tried to avoid learning the lesson. So maybe I could avoid the application?

My mom called me late on Thursday to tell me that my little brother, Richard, passed away this week. We are not certain what happened, but believe he had a seizure. It happened earlier in the week, but he was found Thursday.

Please keep my family in your prayers. It is like walking in a fog or a bad dream. However, it is reality. And one that I am certainly unprepared for. I keep reminding myself of the truth that I know. And rest a bit in the knowledge that he knew those truths too.

May God be glorified in Richard's death the same way he was in his life. If we could see of glimpse of that to help with understanding, that sure would be nice too. A little Lazarus action would be appreciated too.

Sorry this picture is huge (I can't figure out how to make it smaller.)

Thursday, May 28, 2009


It probably comes as no surprise to those who know me best that I really like to be prepared. I've learned in the course of my life that I function with excellence when I am prepared. I crave being able to be thoughtful and intentional with every task and endeavor that I undertake. You may remember my post just a few short weeks ago where I outlined my plan to fast from Facebook, partially in preparation for tomorrow. I wrote:

I feel like 25 marks the beginning of a new era. I really want to go into year 25 intentionally. I want to have a list of things I want to say I am or have done by 30. I really think I need to take a break from vegging out in order to get a clearer grasp on what that means and where I think God is calling me to with the next quarter century of my life.
Now, three or so weeks later, I laid in bed tonight and had a realization.

I turn twenty-five soon.

In 20 minutes if you are losser with when the birthday starts, I have nine hours and 35 minutes if you wait until the moment I was actually born to count it (10:15 a.m. Eastern).

And I have no list. No system. No earth shattering blog post.

I am not prepared. At least, not the way I prepare. I want to push the pause button to keep it from happening until I'm ready! Ironic, since I was actually supposed to be born on May 11th. That means I was born 17 days late. Mom has always said I waited to be born until I was ready.

When I had that realization, I had a flashback to a moment on my campus walk earlier today. I was walking home, and it hit me, that this day, this situation, this birthday, this life, is not at all what I thought it would be. I was struck by how often how things are planned are not the way things actually turn out. On the flip-side, it is always for the better. Casually the verse from Proverbs 19:21 that says "Many are the plans of a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails" thought crossed my mind and I thought that maybe, I should quit trying to plan and figure out how things are going to go.

Later, on the way home from the grocery store a song from Hillsong came on my iPod called "Oceans Will Part". I was moved to tears by the lyrics:
When I'm blind to my way, There Your Spirit will pray; As You open my eyes to the work of Your hand,

Oceans will part; nations come, At the whisper of Your call. Hope will rise; glory shown. In my life, Your will be done.

Present suffering may pass, Lord, Your mercy will last; As You open my eyes to the work of Your hand. And my heart will find praise, I'll delight in Your way, As You open my eyes to the work of Your hand.
Despite all of that, I still found myself upset that I have not prepared enough for the passage of time, and the change of a day on the calendar. Truthfully, whether or not I have a "by 30" to-do list, or not, God's purpose in this passage of time should be my concern.

I need to learn that:

Just because I do not have a to-do list to accomplish, does not mean that I am not prepared.

Just because I do not feel prepared does not mean I am not.

When I feel most unprepared, that is when God's glory will most clearly be seen, and His will, clearly done.

My life purpose has nothing to do with my plans, but everything to do with His Glory.

Two of my instead of Facebook hopes from that previous post were: "learn to have the gift of presence. allow the Holy Spirit to develop a quiet spirit within me."

I think the Holy Spirit is working on both those things today. I believe that learning to be less OCD about preparation, means being more present in there right here and now- In the inner workings of the Holy Spirit within my life.

So, from 25 til death, may I remember that the Lord's purpose prevails (Proverbs 19:21), that He is faithful (Deut. 7:9), God has already determined my exact places where I will live (Acts 17:27) and He has prepared me in advance for the work He has called me to do (Eph. 2:10).

What on earth can I do to prepare more?!

Now that it's officially after midnight (central) and now less than 9 hours until the OCD Anniversary of my birth, I leave you with this message my dog wishes to send to my parents in reference to the gift they sent him for my birthday... yes, you read that right.

(He dictated the message, bad grammar and all).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What Does The Future Hold?

I saw this video on Michael Hyatt's blog this morning. I think it's pretty powerful, and hope that you will not only watch it, but share it with your friends and family. (Don't forget to turn the music off before you watch it!)

One small editorial comment- please note, that this video does not accurately portray student development, generational theory, or expectations of current college student/20somethings. Generational theory states that Millennials (roughly born between 1982-early 2000's with some exceptions) should be a Hero generation, which is actually considered a "great" generation. The Lost Generation actually refers to those born between 1883-1900. What the video may be referring to is a "Nomad" generation. Generation X is considered a nomad generation". Click the links to learn more about it! Or, go to grad school for educational administration.)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Summer Lovin'

As I type this post I'm sitting in front of an open window, with my ceiling fan going enjoying a cool, quiet summer night with a tall glass of sweet tea. My sweet dog is perched on the chair arm staring out the window listening to all the sounds of summer. A few birds are outside sharing stories about their day, every fifteen minutes the bell tolls at Pat Neff (whose green tower I can see beautifully from my window) and occasionally, a car drives past. But in all, life is quiet. Calm.

I just love nights like this. Especially at the end of a year like this one.

I am about to finish out the last few months of my first year at work at Baylor and I must admit that I would describe the last year as anything but calm and quiet. It has been a full year. Full of lots of fun stories, quality time shared with students, crazy incidents, laughter and tears. It's been good. It's been chaotic, challenging, stressful. But, Good.

I have only begun to process the last 11 months of life, but one truth stands out among it all.

God is faithful and good. Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God -Deuteronomy 7:9.

As the days of summer roll past, no doubt more quickly than I might wish, I hope and pray that our Lord will continue to reveal His faithfulness and goodness. That He will continually open my eyes to see how He has been faithful this year, that He would provide a since of renewed hope and purpose as I prepare to start my second year here.

I am so blessed to know that the God I serve has called me for this moment and this work. He has called me to be sitting in this window, on this night, in this place. How thankful I am for that knowledge, my God, and the peace that He gives. I pray that he would give me the strength to remember that always, and to be joyful because of that knowledge always.

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
-Ephesians 2:10

The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 'For in him we live and move and have our being.'
-Acts 17:24-28 (NIV)

Monday, May 18, 2009


I have recently had several conversations with several dear friends about how easy it is to allow fear and negativity, especially when that lies with others around us, to permeate our lives. I know that I have been blessed with so much, but yet it’s so easy to get frustrated with circumstances, and I’ve been trying to not given into fear and negativity so easily.

How fitting when I saw this post today on one of my favorite blogs, Radical Womanhood. Carolyn talks about why Joy is so important. I am so glad to start the week out with this! Hope it blesses you too! I pray Paul's words would be true:

I have great confidence in you; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds
-2 Corinthians 7:4

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Hope My Brother Bought a Lotto Ticket

My family is on a lucky streak apparently! You saw my previous post about the lovely plates I won. The day after my last post, I talked to Dad on the phone. He told me that someone on his work team had won one of the cars that his company, Toyota, gives away yearly at the Perfect Attendance Ceremony. This year they chose to forgo the ceremony, but still gave the cars away. He said that one of his teammates (5 people including my dad) had won a new Camry. They would find out when they went into work the next day. After attempting to convince Dad that if he won, he wanted to sell me the new car since my car is the family oldest-He reminded me that he probably wouldn't win, but that he would be willing to sell me my mom's old SUV if they did win.

The next day, during a meeting with my new CL staff, I got this text message from him: "Want to buy a car?"

Holy cow! After 19 years of service (he starts his 20th year at the end of this month), and 18 years of perfect attendance (one day missed because of a snow storm), my dad finally won the car drawing! My brothers and I would stay at my grandparents house when my parents would get dressed up for their yearly date to the Perfect Attendance event. When we would see someone start driving down Maw and Paw-Paw's half a mile drive way, we'd stare out the window looking for two sets of headlights. It was always just one set.

When he called my mom from work, she didn't believe him and he had to put his team leader on the phone to convince her he was telling the truth. I think when these photos were taken she might have actually believed him.

Mom In Her New Car.

I'm trying really hard not to be jealous.

Count them- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Cars for 2 people. A little ridiculous. To be fair, the Camero is my brother's and it doesn't work. The truck is used only for hauling things. But still.

With this string of luck, I hope my brothers bought lotto tickets. And that when they win, they show their sister a little love in the form of checks to Sallie Mae and Ed Financial.

All in all, I must say, I'm really proud of Dad. Not because he won a flashy new Camry, but because he's such a great example of faithfulness and love. Not many people have worked faithfully for one place for 20 years. Fewer many have had perfect attendance for all of those years (not counting the snow storm). Not many people when they win a new car, would give it to someone else.

I hope I'm just a bit like my dad when I grow up.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Look What I Won!!

I entered a contest on heart to Heart with Holley and won! I'm so excited because I really like this Dayspring line!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Officially On A Break

I have, after much deliberation (seriously, since February), decided to take at least a month long hiatus from Facebook and Twitter. It has truly become a crutch, and a leach on my time. I come home from work, sit in front of the t.v. with my laptop and play on facebook while watching what's on Tivo. This has become increasingly true since finishing my masters almost a year ago. At least before, I had no choice but to put Facebook aside to do something intellectual. But now, I don't have to, and it's an addiction I have fallen to easily into.

Additionally, my 25th Birthday is in less than a month and I have found myself thinking a lot about what that means. Besides the fact I, hopefully, will start feeling like an adult (I can rent a car without paying extra now after all), I feel like 25 marks the beginning of a new era. I really want to go into year 25 intentionally. I want to have a list of things I want to say I am or have done by 30. I really think I need to take a break from vegging out in order to get a clearer grasp on what that means and where I think God is calling me to with the next quarter century of my life.

With that said, no more facebook, no more twitter. Instead I'll:

read. write. post the things I write on here in some cases. have real conversations with friends. be silent. enjoy more time outside with my dog. finally finish a week of my Beth Moore study more than 20 minutes before I am supposed to be there. iron my clothes instead of wearing the same couple of skirts that don't need ironing. decorate my apartment. pick my apartment up every day rather than waiting until it's a disaster to clean. work out more. stop comparing myself to others as much. quit over analyzing everything around me. learn to have the gift of presence. allow the Holy Spirit to develop a quiet spirit within me.

I think the list could go on and on. The point is- there are so many better uses of my time than my Facebook/Twitter Obsession. So, at least until June, I will be saying adios to Facebook and Twitter. Who knows, I may decide to quit permanently! Freedom has never felt so exciting!

Soundtrack of My Life

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