Introducing…

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I’d like to take a moment to introduce you to a good friend of mine and her blog.  Katelyn’s a pretty rockin girl, and I think you’ll like her stuff!  Here you go!!!

http://kbake.blogspot.com/

I’m avoiding wrapping my presents for some reason.   They’re all sitting in the middle of my living room, and I’m sitting on the couch typing this entry and watching a cheesy Christmas movie, which is just about my favorite thing to do during the holidays.  I don’t know if you’ve ever sat down and watched a few of these movies.  If you have, you’ll notice a couple recurring themes in everyone of them.  Most of the time there’s a person or two who has had some sort of tragedy or just remotely bad thing that they’ve gone through.  Then after you’ve seen the tragedy part of the movie, then enters the hero.  This is the only person in the world that will ever understand what this other person has gone through.  They come through the tragedy together and help each other come to the realization of what Christmas and what love really is.  The other real themes that come through in every movie is a really thin story line with bad acting.

I don’t really know why I like them so much.  Some of them are just really bad.  In fact, I’ve watched about five minutes of two that I’ve had recorded for a while and have instantly deleted them.  It has to be really bad acting and/or story for me to not even watch 30 minutes of something.  Really bad.

I think, though, the common theme that all of these movies unknowingly portray is the longing for the something that’s missing in their lives.  And it just seems that Christmastime would be the perfect time for those longings to come true.  Right?  I mean, after all, it is the season of miracles, isn’t it?

I’m not going to deny it.  It does seem like miraculous things happen at Christmas.  Good and seemingly life-changing things happen all the time, but I don’t know if it’s that we there’s more at Christmastime or if we just notice them more because that’s when we’re expecting miracles.

Why is it, do you think, that there’s this air of miracles surrounding this time of year?  I personally think that it’s because we’re all searching for that one thing that fulfills us, that makes us complete.  What makes it great is that the one and only thing that we’ll ever need is the very first miracle at Christmastime.  When Mary and Joseph had Jesus, they, of course, knew that He was a miracle.  They didn’t, however, know the full impact that He would have on the world.

So, yes, I believe that Christmastime is a time for miracles because it’s the time of year when the miracle came that saved me from a tortured eternity.  I’m so thankful for that.  So whatever you do at Christmas, take time this year to sit on your couch with your family, turn on a cheesy Christmas movie, make fun of me because I’ve probably already seen it (note the bad acting) and think about it.  They’re searching for something.  It’s up to us to let them know what it is they’re searching for.

So I’m up way too late again waiting on my laundry to finish ’cause I don’t have any clean clothes to wear tomorrow.  I’ve been too busy this week to even come close to thinking about doing a load or two.  Forget even trying to vacuum my home or cook or dust…it’s ridiculous.  Why have I been busy?  Because I choose to be mainly, but a lot of it is that I work with the public, and when you work with the public, you need to be available. I had a conversation today with a woman that I think could become a good friend.  She was telling me about her children and her life raising them, and what struck me about it is how available she was to her family.  I’ve been thinking a lot about family lately and how blessed I am to have been born into the family I have.  My father worked three jobs sometimes to provide so my mother could stay home and raise us four kids.  Even though my dad was gone a lot with his jobs, he was still available.  I could still go to him if I needed something, and I knew that.  Same with my mom.  It would be easy to kind of get lost in the midst of four children and a husband who worked so hard, but she was there.  They’re still there.  I’m thankful. I don’t really have much of a point tonight except that there have been times in my life when I’ve just shown up, but I wasn’t available.  I was there physically and went through the motions, but things really wouldn’t have changed if I hadn’t been there at all.  We think sometimes that just because we show up that we’re doing good or helping out and that God will notice that, Hey, at least we’re here.  My question is this:  Does it really mean anything eternally if we do good to get noticed?  Yeah, it helps in the here and now, but eternally, where does it leave us? I heard a quote the other day on the radio, and I loved it. He said something like, “The modern church is obsessed in trying to look like Jesus instead of trying to look like we need Jesus.”  Now, I hadn’t ever thought that trying to look like Jesus was a bad thing, and this speaker didn’t say it was.  But he did say that when we neglect to look like we are in need of Jesus, several things happen.  We don’t allow the grace of God to work through us for one thing.  Secondly, people will readily see Jesus’ love flowing into us and through us when we show that we need Him.

I believe that when we act like we’ve got it all together, people are turned off to the Gospel.  I think that when people see that you’re just as broken and bruised as they are, they are drawn to you like people were drawn to Jesus.  Some of those people didn’t really know what it was about this Jesus guy, but he had something that they wanted, and they were going to try everything they could to figure out what it was.

My question to you is this:  Are you trying to show the world that you’re like Jesus, or are you showing the world that you need Jesus?

Trust You

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Man, there are just some days you just really know you shouldn’t have ever gotten out of bed.  Some days you just gotta wonder is it all worth it?  Those thoughts are only fleeting.  My flesh seems to think those things, but thankfully, knowing Jesus, my spirit wins out.  There’s some days it takes a little longer for my spirit to overtake my flesh, but so far it’s always won.   There’s some days I want to wallow in self-pity when I need to fight, and there’s some days I want to fight when I just really need to take a minute and figure stuff out.

I’m so thankful for my father.  I got most of my temperament from him.  He’s a pretty laid back guy.  I’m a pretty laid back girl.  We both dislike conflict, and he taught me to think things out before I acted.  What I got from my mom in temperament is that urgency to act that sometimes overtakes the urge to think it all the way out.  Which in a lot of cases has worked out well for me.  Sometimes you just need to act.  Sometimes you just need to sit and know and trust.

I think I’m having a harder time with the trust part of that than I should be having.  My friends broke it to me a few years back that even though as laid back as I was, I was still a pretty “type A” personality.  I like to have control of situations and am uncomfortable in situations that I don’t have control over.  I’ve been working on it over the years, at least trying to become aware of when I start taking over when I really don’t need to be in charge.  The “good” thing about my friends is that they’ll help me and point it out to me, as well…lol

I’m learning that I can’t make people think the way I think they should think.  I’m learning that even with a completely logical argument, sometimes it’s the totally illogical line of thinking that wins out.  But if you think about it, God is both logical and illogical all at the same time.  Sometimes I have to take a step back and realize that some of the things that happen in my life and the lives of my friends is the least logical thing I could ever imagine.  But then I have to think that it’s my my standards that judge what makes sense or not.  It’s all up to God, and I either have the choice to accept it or to fight it…and I’ll tell you what, when I’ve chose to fight, I haven’t ever come out on top…fortunately.

Man, I’d screw everything up, wouldn’t I?  Yes.  I believe so.

Father, I believe.  Help my unbelief.

Home

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My nephew comes and stays with me once every week or so for the night and then I take him to school.  There’s one constant every time he comes to stay with me and even when he’s not staying but when he’s just here for a visit, he walks in the door and starts getting comfortable.  Even as the door is opening he’s stripping his coat and by the time he’s three feet in the door, his shoes are off and he plops down on my couch and is in for the night.  After he walks in, he’s got a couple places that he likes to sit.  I’ve got a glider rocker that he loves to spin around and around in and I’ve recently acquired a new loveseat that Trevor thinks is just about Heaven with cushions.

What gets me is that this happens every time.  Every time he comes in the door.  What I love about it is that he feels comfortable.  He loves being at my house, and he’s comfortable.  Maybe it’s that fact that he’s six so that makes things easier, but I love the fact that he feels like he has a place here.  I’ve got my favorite seat in my house. I can sit across from him and watch him spin around and around in that chair or snuggle up with a blanket on the couch and watch his favorite movie.  Having him comfortable and happy at my house just makes my day better.

I go to different friends’ homes quite frequently, and there’s always a spot there for me wherever I go.  It’s not always the same spot in the house, but whenever I’m there, there’s always a spot for me.  I feel loved and cared for every time I’m there.  The thing is is that I don’t even have to be sitting in a home with my friends, but as long as I’m with them, I’m home.  I love it that I have a place.

We have a lot in common, but we don’t have everything in common.  We like some of the same movies, foods, activities, but we don’t like all of the same things.  It doesn’t matter what we have in common or what we don’t have in common.  What matters is that we love each other, and when we’re together, we’re home.



Beautiful Lord

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You know how when you write something down, it becomes real?  I don’t know.  Maybe you don’t, but it seems as soon as I write something down, it’s out there.  I’m accountable for whatever it is.  This is a good thing.  This can also piss me off and be a bad thing.

As I mentioned the real estate world is a little fickle.  Is that the right word?  Anyway, it can be good, bad & ugly all within the span of five minutes.  I’ve had a lot of deals that I thought were going to happen fall through because of nothing I’ve done, just people changing their minds or something else coming up.  You know, real life stuff.  The problem with that is is that a couple posts ago I wrote that I was and would be thankful for everything, the good AND the bad.  When in actuality all I want to do is hole up in a corner and feel sorry for myself.  I am still clinging to the hope that one or two of them will go through.  Actually, I’m not clinging.  I’m believing.  There is a difference.

The fact of the matter is is, as I said previously, I’m learning to be thankful for the good and the bad.  I’m learning that my plans aren’t always best for me.  But most of all I’m learning that God is always in control…even when I seem ungrateful.

So my prayer is whatever I try to be and whatever I am, that I am always thankful.

Wow.  What a crazy couple of days.  Right now it’s almost 2 a.m., so my thoughts might not connect totally.  My last post may have made you think that I was saying that I only felt that God loved me when good things were happening.  I don’t want you to think that.  I want you to know that I’m learning.  I’m learning to know the voice of God.  I’m learning how to come into His presence.  I’m learning that during the good times and the bad that if I pay close enough attention, I will be able to feel His arms wrapped around me when I need it most.  I’m learning that I don’t have it all together, and that maybe my plan just isn’t the right one.  I’m learning to take advice.  But most of all I’m learning and continuously trying to believe that God is crazy in love with me.  To me, sometimes, that’s the crazy part.  I’ve got this God that is so crazy in love with me that He wants to spend time with me.  AND He wants me to spend time with Him.

I went to a concert tonight.  Let me tell you something.  If you haven’t checked out JJ Heller, you need to.  Seeing a person do a live set can make you have a totally new appreciation for their music.  I was already in love with her style and honesty and her folky voice, but seeing the person and the heart behind the music was awesome.  The only thing that would have made it better is if we had been sitting in a coffeehouse atmosphere and we were there for several hours.  Thirty minutes of your favorite artist live just is never long enough.

There was your typical crowd at a typical Christian concert.  You had the tween girls that stood up front all concert long and jumped up and down.  You had the old man asleep in the back aisle just waiting to be able to clean up the church.  You had the young single girls there old enough to get married looking for the wedding bands on the guitar players and trying to get close-up pictures on their cell phones to send to their friends to show them just how close they were to Mr. Hottie-Lead-Singer-Guy.  You had the middle-aged woman trying so hard to embarrass her children by dancing in the aisle, and doing a darn good job of it (not the dancing…the embarrassing).  You had the people that clapped off-beat and those who kept their hands in their pockets the whole time.  There were those who wanted to stand for every song and those who took the first opportunity they could to sit.  I was sitting kind of in the middle of the sanctuary just enjoying the music, the company and watching people.  The one thing that never changes, though, at whatever concert you choose to attend, there are people there together as one worshipping the same God.  You know, the God that’s crazy in love with all of us.  As I sat back there watching all of these people I wondered how many of them really realized that.  And then if they did realize it, how many of them really believed it.

Just want to leave you with a little JJ Heller lyrical genius to speak to you.  The song is called “When You Come Back For Me,” and, yes, you need to check it out.

“I don’t know how to follow You without losing my way.  Jesus come and take me by the hand.  And I don’t know how to trust that You will do the things you say.  Spirit teach me how to understand.  That Your love can heal the wreckage of my soul.  The beauty of Your light shining in me.  I don’t know when You’ll take me home to paradise with you, the day when I will finally be free.  Oh, the day when You come back for me.”

 

You Bless Me

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Today was one of those days.  And here’s the thing…you’re thinking by that statement that it was kind of a bad day.  Nope.  Today was one of those days when you’ve been praying for blessings and God says:  Let me show you how much I love you.

I don’t know how much you know about the real estate business, but nothing is ever certain until close.   Every deal can fall through.  But I’m believing that things are going to work out with all that has gone on today.

This has just been one of those days where you can have no doubt that God is real and that He’s totally in love with you.  My prayer is that I continue to be open to it until only love remains.  My prayer is also that you have a chance to experience on of those days.  Have you ever?

I’m going to go see this girl in concert tomorrow night, and this is my favorite song from her!!  Can’t wait!


Opinions on time travel have been thrown around all throughout time. Can we go back and change our lives?  Can we go into the future and see how the rest of our lives are going to pan out?  There are some who believe that it’s absolutely possible and there are some that believe that there is absolutely no way it will ever happen.  This is not really a topic that I’ve put a lot of thought into.  This week, though, a youtube video has aired, and it seems to be causing a little bit of a stir all over.

It seems that in a Charlie Chaplin movie there is a man or woman that seems to be walking down the street talking on a cell phone.  I’ll admit it, I’ve watched the video several times, and I see what they’re seeing.  People are saying they’ve found a real life time traveler.  I’m posting the video for you to decide for yourself.  Also, what I would like to do is have a discussion on what you would do if you could go back and change something or what you would want to know if you could go to the future.

Here you go!

Have you ever just felt yourself kinda sinking?  Not the good kind of sinking either.  Just slowly slipping?  First it’s one thing, and then all of a sudden you turn around and you’re right back where you started?  Well, I guess you can’t ever be exactly right back where you started, but one step forward and two steps back might be more fitting.

It hasn’t been one major thing, but more like just a bunch of little things that I’ve sold out to.  We’ve been swamped at work and all I want to do when I get home is stay home and curl up and not do anything and not see anyone.  My back has hurt for the past month, and I haven’t been able to work out, so I’ve started gaining some weight back.  Because I started gaining weight back, I’ve been a little more free with my diet.  Example:  Tonight I had a quarter pound burger and fries and a coke from Dairy Queen AND a small chocolate extreme Blizzard.

A couple nights ago I heard sirens out in my neighborhood.  That doesn’t happen very often.  In fact, when I saw the ambulance and fire truck go by on the next road over, it took me back to the last time I remember sirens in my neck of the woods…the morning my nephew died.  I couldn’t help it.  The flashbacks just started coming back to that horrible morning nine years ago.  Man, it doesn’t seem like it should be nine years, but next month it will be exactly that.  Honestly it doesn’t matter how long it’s been, that wound was fresh that night.  I was instantly back in that place…and it sucked.

The next morning I woke up knowing what the sirens were for and knowing that my family was safe, but I also realized that I had slipped back.  I had let my guard down and the depression, the staying home and avoiding people, the eating and the not working out…I was right back in that place longing for an easy way out but realizing that this journey wasn’t going to be easy.

I was talking to a friend tonight, and we were just talking about my issues and the place I was at.  She point blank asked me, as I had asked her a couple weeks prior, So…what are we going to do about it?  And you’re right, Nancy, it kinda pissed me off.  Thanks for not letting me wallow in the darkness.  She suggested that we just start fresh and start with baby steps.  One thing at a time.  One breath, one step, one day at a time.

I was talking to another friend today, and she mentioned her grandson and how his learning to walk and her watching him take his baby steps was helping her visualize her goal.  She said, and I’m paraphrasing, Sometimes you’re just going along great and then you end up knocked down on your butt.  The thing we’ve got to remember, though, is that we’ve got to get back up again.  Most of the time I’m too content just staying where I’m at after having the wind knocked out of me.  Sometimes it’s just too hard to get back up.

But God calls us as believers to a higher calling, a next level, if you will.  This journey that we’re on is our own, but what I forget most of the time is that God is walking it right next to me.  He’s put people in my life that have struggled with the same things that I’m struggling with now.  He’s put them in my life for me to learn and to love and to be loved so that maybe some day my life will resemble the beautiful life that He’s planned for me and not this broken path that I sometimes cling so hard to.