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Archive for the ‘Thoughtful’ Category

Playing the Waiting Game

Rarely do I feel compelled to write about chapel. Normally, it’s not awful, but it’s usually not my thing. The worship’s decent but I have trouble focusing on God in huge groups of people, and sometimes the speakers are simply dreadful. For this week, though, WU did a great job picking the speaker for Spiritual Life Week. His name is Tommy Kyllonen aka Urban D from Crossover Church in Tampa. He’s not at all what I expected, but the theme for the week hits my heart in just the right way.

The theme for the week is “Dreams” and we’re following the story of Abram (aka Abraham) and his wife Sarai (aka Sarah). God told Abram to leave his home and go where he tells him to go. And Abram actually does it! He packs up and leaves at age 75. Leaves everything he knows and understand to follow God. That’s faith alright. God then promises to give them a son. Sarai was 65. Yikes.

The thing of it is, though, that God didn’t fulfill his promise right away. He had them wait 25 YEARS until they finally had a bouncing baby boy. Do the math. Yup, Abram was 100 and Sarai was 90. God must have a sense of humor.

That’s as far as we’ve gotten. We still have another chapel tomorrow to finish up. The focus of today was being in God’s waiting room and understanding that sometimes God may place a dream in your heart but it could take years to come to fruition. During that time, He’s preparing you to fulfill those dreams, but you have to remain faithful and trusting. That’s the hard part.

Here I am. Waiting. Hubs is waiting too. God’s placed huge dreams in our hearts but we cannot catch a glimpse the light at the end of the tunnel. I know it’s there. I know God’s here…somewhere. I feel let down though. I’ve seen things crumble before my eyes over the last few months. It’s making it  hard to trust this crazy unknown plan He’s got because I don’t understand what is around the corner. I’m hanging on, but barely. I just don’t understand it. A little clarity would be appreciated.

Welcome to my waiting room. I think I’m going to be here a while, but I guess I’m going to learn how to truly trust God in the process.

Shake the Dust

Let me premise this video. It’s A-MAZ-ING. Yup. Promise. Anis Mojgani will introduce you to a new flavor of poetry and will leave you craving for more. The English major in me loves the way he twists words and phrases to make such a beautiful design that is unlike anything I have ever heard before. Hubs and I had the privilege of seeing him live a year ago in Orlando with TWLOHA’s Heavy and Light show. We lost our words that night. I hope you enjoy it too.

P.S. My favorite lines are “For the springtime that somehow seems to show up after every single winter”. It’s a phrase that gets stuck in my head on repeat. It makes me smile.

One More Semester to Go

My Fall 2010 semester is done here at Warner University. Next semester will be my final semester there. I’m excited, and yet I still feel a little bittersweet that it is so close to ending. WU has become a steady constant in my life for the last year and a half. I know faces, names, and the location of all the bathrooms. (Yes, that is a very important detail to know.) I know the professors in my departments and enjoy seeing their smiling faces. I’m not sure I am ready for this to all be done.

I am ready for the textbooks to be closed and the exams to finish. Thankfully, it is all done now. I have a month before I have to pick up another textbook. The joy of heading home for Christmas is exciting and knowing I don’t have to rush back is a major perk.

When I do finally get around to graduating, I know I will be ever so thankful I picked WU to finish out my degree. I may not be super involved with any of the campus activities, and I rarely hang out with anyone outside of school (I’m really quite shy), but I will always hold WU with the upmost respect and admiration. It’s a delightful school and one day, when I have kids, I will tell them to at least consider it for their education.

So, WU, I do believe I love you.

The Pause Between Chapters…

Last night was the closing of the first chapter, but what a first chapter it was! It was filled with joy, nervousness, tears, connection, bonding, sharing, heartbreak, and most of all, love. Love covered every ounce of the chapter. I’m quite sad to see it end, but very excited to start the second chapter.

What am I talking about? Why, Family Group, of course!

What is “Family Group”? It’s the best thing ever and everyone should be a part of one in my opinion!

Family Group is RPC’s version of small groups, only better. This unique grouping of 10-12 people meet once a week in someone’s home and do a bible study together of some sort. We basically do life together. Because the pastor really can’t meet the emotional and physical needs of everyone in the church, that’s what the group is for. They’re the people you call when something happens or you need someone to pray for you. They are the people who will be there at the drop of a hat anytime and will support you through life’s difficulties.

That’s what my Family Group does. We’ve only had one semester together, but we’ve grown so close over that time period. We’ve laughed and shared our hurts and pains. We’ve bonded over good food and pray for those who couldn’t make it that night. It’s the one day I look forward to most and when it’s done, I cannot wait until next week. That’s what it’s all about.

Our semester is officially done and we’re taking a break until after the holidays. Our next meeting will by in January and I cannot wait! I’m not quite sure how I’m going to survive the next month, but I know what if I need any of them, all I have to do is call and all will be well again with the world.

So, Family Group members, I love you. I’ll miss you. I truly don’t know where I would be without you. Thank you for being there for me and hugging me through the tears and confessions. And those of you not in a Family Group – Go join one. In January when we have sign-ups. Don’t delay. It will truly wreck your world in an amazing way and you’ll never be the same again. You’ll feel that sense of belonging you’ve been longing for. So go.


P.S. Tara, stop crying. It’s ok. Promise. I know they’re happy tears. I love you too!

In Honor and Memory…

I didn’t know Cassi very well. I saw her once a week for a semester as we met in Dr. Sanders’ office for class. It was just the two of us in our “Spiritual Practices” class. I remember being nervous. I always get nervous when I meet new people. I clam up and can’t say a darn thing that sounds intelligent. I wish I could. I wish it would pour out of me like a normal person. She seemed like the person who was friends with everyone she met. Her faith in God was stronger than mine had ever been; I envied that in her. I could only dream of a faith that strong and secure.

Cassi died in June 2010. It was a rare issue. I don’t even know all the details. Good ol’ Facebook helped to fill in some of the gaps. The point was she was only 20 years old. She didn’t eve get to see her 21st birthday. Her death, as tragic as it was, left an imprint so big that the Warner University campus has still not recovered from it. Suddenly, this Christian based campus is asking the hard questions of “why, God, why? Why her? Why now?” We’re forced to wrestle with the unanswerable and deal with the silence; but God is working. There’s a Brooklyn Tabernacle song entitled “God is working”. It’s a beautiful piece of lyrical mastery. It’s also a simple truth that speaks volumes.

I only knew her truly for a semester. She said “hi” every time she saw me. I still think of her whenever I pass by the Ministry building. She left an imprint on my soul. I want to develop her faith. I wish we would’ve had time to sit and talk about it; I wish she had more time, for her sake and others; I wish I could help those hurting more than me. Instead, I pray. I ask God to help me honor her memory through my own faith and never forget her. I don’t ever want to forget her, even though I barely knew her.

Answers…

Have you ever had those times when you’ve prayed about something so many times that you begin to wonder if God’s even listening? The lack of an answer might as well be a giant door slamming in your face.

That’s where I was until about a week and a half ago. Actually, I had even reached a resolution: I was going to stop praying about it and just accept it. What was it? Well, I’m going to be blunt about it and don’t you dare give me any form of pitying look while you read this. I mean it. Seriously. Ok. So I have spent the better half of the last three years praying for a friend. Not just any friend, mind you, but a true blue best friend. Someone who I can talk to about anything and will really be there for me in ways I’ve always needed a friend but it appeared as though God thought otherwise. Even my husband couldn’t explain to you why I could never find a best friend. So decided to stop asking God to help me. I decided I just was not meant to have a best friend at this stage of life and I needed to move past it. As heartbreaking as it was, I was determined to stop dwelling on it.

And then God decided to respond.

Seriously. He created an opportunity for me to open up and share with someone I had known for a long time but never really wanted to bother with all of this. I didn’t want her pity but ironically, she’s exactly what I needed. She’s spoken words of encouragement in my life that I really needed and she’s been consistently there for me since. I don’t think she’s going anywhere either. After almost two weeks, I actually am starting to believe that she’s determined to be there for me no matter what and she’s proving it.

So, thanks, God. Thanks, friend. I don’t know what I would do without either of you.

Late Night Ramblings by Little Ol’ Me

Soooooo…….it’s 11:03 p.m. I should be winding down for the evening. I’m getting there. It’s been an event-filled day and I guess my second – or third – wind has kicked in, and I have been sitting here on my comfy couch next to my very sleepy puppy contemplating. What have been absentmindedly thinking about, you ask? Well, I guess I can share, though please accept the vagueness in some areas. I am thinking about:

  • The amazing day we had with Chris’ best friend John and his fiancee Jessica! It was great to finally meet her (after a year and three months of dating!). They are a great couple to spend time with and I truly wish they lived closer than 3 hours away.
  • My hopes and desires. This is one of those vague ideas. I’ve been trying to figure out if I’m yearning for the right things or if I just keep setting myself up for disappointment.
  • I am eager to attend RPC’s first church-wide picnic instead of a church service. It should be a wonderful experienced filled with food, fun, and community.
  • I wish October 30th could get here a little quicker! Chris and I are doing a photo shoot with  our dear friend Tara Bent. She’s uber talented and creative! I have been looking forward to that day for months now. Chris and I are doing it to celebrate our two year wedding anniversary a few months late, but we had to properly save up for it all and I wanted to wait until the cooler weather anyway.
  • My dog might just be my best friend. Though he never talks back, he is an amazing listener who loves to play and go on long walks with me down the road. I love that little booger.
  • I’ve been wondering about that word “friendship” and what it really means to me and others. It’s an interesting word that gets about as overused as “love”.
  • I love my husband more today than when I married him. Chris cherishes me in so many ways, and I work hard to make sure he feels the same way. He’s an amazing, godly man who deserves as much respect as I can muster. He’s my rock and provider…well, after God, anyway. 🙂

Well, that’s all for now. All this typing has helped make me a bit sleepy which is great. I need to get a little rest so I can take on tomorrow.
Toodles!

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