Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Don't get me wrong. I love children just as much as the next person. They are funny, cute, and can melt your heart like no one else. They have faults too but they are far outweighed by the great things about kids. But when you spend 40+ hours a week changing poopy diapers and wiping snotty noses of children who are not related to you in any way, it can get old really fast. I'm mean really old and really fast.
I wouldn't take back the experiences I had as a child care worker. I met some really great people. Fell in love with some of the most wonderful little humans. Every family I worked for has a special place in my heart. Those experiences are one of the tools God used to shape me into the person I am today. They taught me patience. They taught me how to remain calm under pressure. They taught me how to think on my feet. They taught me how to deal with people from all walks of life. They helped me to lose my squeamishness about body fluids. They taught me the infinite pricelessness of a smile, a hug, a kiss, a laugh.
But it was time to move on. We want to have our own family some day and I don't want to be caring for other's children while taking care of mine. And my heart was no longer in it. It made me feel old, spinster-like, and purposeless. I just didn't have the desire to do it and I didn't enjoy it any more.
So today was a good day. I had to wait 10 minutes in sub-freezing temperatures for a shuttle bus. I spent 30 minutes on a crowded train squished into a tiny seat next to a complete stranger. Twice. I walked 2 blocks on slippery pavement in the snow. Twice. I spent all day at my computer working on a huge posting that is due Friday. It requires lots of data entry and balancing and I loved every minute of it. I spent 20 minutes sitting on the shuttle because I got to the metro 10 minutes too late for the 5pm shuttle and 20 minutes too early for the 5:30pm shuttle.
So today was a good day. Thanks for reading.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Yesterday, I was inexplicably sad. Sad for my country. Sad for the families missing loved ones. Even the silly antics of a 2 year old were only a brief respite from the grief that seemed to wash over me in undulating waves yesterday. I cried for the mothers and fathers who can no longer kiss the soft cheeks of their children. I cried for the families torn apart by death and destruction. I cried for a country so divided all we can do is call each other names like schoolyard bullies. I cried for my friends who have faced the unspeakable. I cried for my failures and frustrations. I cried and I wept.
In my weeping, my soul cried out to God with words I will never be able to speak. I reached to Him like an inconsolable toddler. Unexplainable pain tore at me. Sob after unwanted sob poured from the raw depths of me. Part of my grief was the inability to make every person's suffering stop and the helplessness I feel when I hear about another tragedy, another death, another wound. Relient K's lyrics whispered in the back of my mind. "Life, could you be a littler softer to me? / Life, could you be more gentle me?" In my weeping, I poured it all out in His arms. I had to. The burden was breaking me. My shoulders were splintered from trying to carry the world's misfortunes. And then I slept.
There is still tragedy in the world and there always will be as long as we are on this earth but there is hope in the hopelessness. Whether you believe in Him or not, God is still here and He is still in control. He is our Great Healer, our Comforter, our Father and our King. I can't tell you why children die or why lives are destroyed but I can tell you that there is hope and there is peace. Strength comes when it is needed. Good things still happen. Pain is a part of life but we can choose to push through and trust that God will bring us out of it. Am I still sad? Yes. But today I rest in the thought that I am a child of God and He loves me more than I will ever know. Until I am with Him in heaven, that will be enough for me. Thanks for reading.
Monday, June 4, 2012
I used to be in the ocean but for some reason I have crawled back up onto the shore. I am standing ankle deep in God knowing I should be out further with His love and grace and acceptance crashing over me. How did I end up back on the shore? When did I start believing I was better off in the hot sun and uncomfortable sand than in the arms of the One who loves me than I will ever know? I know where I need to be but I allow my human reasoning take over and my fear of drowning keeps me on the shore.
I live in a beautiful area and am still amazed a year later how beautiful it is but the beauty which surrounds me every day is rotting garbage compared to the beauty of my Savior who bled and died for me, who reaches out for me daily, who holds my tears, my fears, my wants, my desires. I have become blind to Him even as He reveals Himself to me daily. Why do I do this to myself?
I want something beautiful to touch me. I want to experience beauty beyond belief. My heart cries out to be consumed. When gold is taken from the ground, it is full of impurities and the only way to remove them is to put the gold through the fire. Only then can it be made into something beautiful. I want to be back in that space. I want to be something beautiful again. Beauty is something I have always struggled with. As I got off the elliptical, trembling with exertion and emotion, I was reminded that in God's eyes I am beautiful. It doesn't matter what the world thinks. It doesn't matter that I am not tall or have cottage cheese thighs or crooked teeth. It doesn't matter that I don't have a flat stomach.
As I type this blog with shaky hands and teary eyes, my heart echoes the words of this song. "This is my desire: Consume me like a fire because I just want something beautiful to touch me. I know that I am in reach because I am down on my knees waiting for something beautiful." I need something beautiful. Do you? Thanks for reading.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
"So what is the song?" you ask. The song is Monster by Skillet. I am a big fan of Skillet. They have some amazing rock ballads and crazy sick instrumentals. When I was younger, I felt like every song they sang was written about me. Now that I am older, I listen to them with the nostalgia of someone whose youth is gone but is not yet old. This particular song came to me in this latter part of my life. At one time in my life, I would have cried with teenage angst and beat my chest saying, "Somebody finally understands!" Ok, maybe I wouldn't have been that dramatic but I would have definitely related to this song.
Now I don't want you to think that I hesitated about this song because it is a rock song. I love rock. Many has been the time when I have cranked up Skillet's Comatose album and rocked out till my ears were ringing. My hesitation about this song is that it no longer applies to me.When I started this year with the resolution to write about music, I assumed all the songs would be relevant to MY life and where I am now. How selfish of me. I have a gift for writing and what good is a gift if it is used only for myself? So I write this blog to you, the person who feels like a monster, who feels there is no escape, who feels like a stranger in your own skin. I have a message for you. You are NOT a monster; you are human.
Anyone who has ever been a teenager, and I think we can safely assume that applies to everyone over the age of 19, has had to deal with the torment, the agony and the delight of emotions. Human bodies go through this radical change and it can be difficult. It seems like overnight your body is no longer the same. You go from being unbelievably happy to miserably depressed at the drop of a hat and for no reason. This can be a confusing time.
This song, I believe, portrays what one of these emotions can feel like to a teenager. Anger. This song is a very angry song. Jon Cooper portrays this emotion as a beast that rages within the body wanting out, but he knows he can't let it out because it will destroy him. And he is probably right. Anger can cause all kinds of damage if not dealt with properly.
But anger is a natural part of being human. Everyone gets angry. How you deal with it can affect how it makes you feel. I used to kick things, slam doors and scream at the top of my lungs. All I got was sore toes, broken doors and a raw throat. When I learned to express that anger through other means, I no longer felt like it had control of me. I learned to write my anger out or pray it out or I would put on a Skillet album and rock it out. There are certain times in life when it feels all-consuming. I know there were times in my life when I felt like a monster was inside of me. I write this as someone who has been broken, been defeated, felt worthless. It gets better. Take it from someone who never thought it could.
So to whoever this blog is meant for, and I hope you find it, know that there is no monster inside of you. Know that it will get better. Know you are not the only human being on earth to feel like this. Know that God sees your hurt and your torment and His heart breaks for you. Know that God is bigger than anything you will ever go through. Know that you can make it to the other side in one piece and be made whole. I did. Thanks for reading.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
I don’t feel much like a warrior, yet. In fact, I have felt rather inadequate in many areas of my life lately. My warrior’s heart is weak and discouraged. Part of me wonders how that happened and part of me is not really that surprised. Being a human being, I am naturally weak. I need to plug back into my power source: God. Through Him alone can I acquire and maintain a true warrior’s heart. As I strive to become a warrior for God, He is the one who will bolster me and give me the vigor and courage I will need to be a warrior for Him.
After some reflection, I have realized that in order to be a warrior, there must be an enemy. What good is a warrior who has no one to stand against? If there are no opportunities to use the skills they possess as a warrior, what good are those skills? Sparring can only go so far. Without something to defend against, a warrior becomes complacent and feeble.
I am now facing my enemy, but who is this nemesis? I would argue there are two. The first, and the most difficult to overcome, is myself. I am my own worst enemy. I can tear myself down faster than any silver-tongued imp. I doubt myself; I contradict myself; I wound myself. This is one of the main reasons why dying to self is so important. My “self” is dangerous, even fatal.
Another enemy who is more obvious, at least to my friends who believe in him, is Satan. God tells us Satan is our enemy. He hates it when we rise up and take a stand for God. He hates it when we don’t fall for his tricks. He hates it when the weapons he has fashioned against us fail. He hates us. Period. Writing about this enemy is actually strengthening my resolve to maintain my warrior status. My warrior’s heart has begun to burn again!
It should also be said that one must be careful what they say. I proclaimed I wanted to become a warrior for God and the enemy didn't wait for me to go through basic training or put on armor. Say what you mean and mean what you say. There may be consequences. The enemy made a preemptive strike and I almost let him win. Almost. Now I see clearly and he no longer as the element of surprise. Now that I have a clearer sense of the battle before me, I am ready. I'm a warrior!
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
I have decided I will pick a theme song each month this year, then reflect on the song and (hopefully) post my thoughts throughout the month. My method for choosing these songs will be a little unconventional. As I listen to my iPod at the gym or while I am cleaning, I will wait for a song to speak to me. Some of them may be serious; some may be silly while others may make you think.
The song I have chosen for January is “Until My Heart Caves In” by Audio Adrenaline. Here is a video with the lyrics uploaded to YouTube by go1chris. The creator of this video adds a little message at the end about how men need to be worshipers, warriors and leaders and I believe the same can be said for women as well:
This song struck a chord with me the first time I heard it. The first proclamation of “I’m a warrior” speaks to something within my soul. I want my relationship with God to be like the person in this song. I want to be a warrior for God. I want to be able to say to Him, “I would die for you.” I want my heart to be a warrior’s heart and I want it to burn for God. I want to sing His name until my heart caves in. But what does all that mean?
First of all, what exactly does it mean to be a warrior? Dictionary.com defines it as “a person engaged or experienced in warfare or a person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness, as in politics or athletics.” For my purposes, I am going to go with the second definition. I want to be someone who has shown, and is still showing, great vigor, courage and aggressiveness when it comes to my relationship with God.
I am not at this point but I hope to be by the end of this year. I want to strengthen the most important relationship in my life. By doing so, I will strengthen other areas of my life such as my relationship with my husband. He uses the illustration of a triangle. He and I are at the bottom of the triangle on opposite corners and God is at the apex of the triangle. The closer he and I move toward God, the closer we move towards each other.
Another line from this song I like is “My love is fierce.” Love is not usually thought of as something fierce, especially by women. We tend to think of it in soft, gentle ways that make us feel warm and tingly all over, but love can also be fierce. Love can make someone be so devoted that nothing can come between them and the object of their love. They would do anything to protect him or her from harm or injury, even to the point of their own demise. Examples of fierce love come in the forms of stories we've all seen such as a mother who wrapped herself around her baby in order to protect him from the cold when their car stalled on a remote road in the dead of winter. I want my love for God to be like this. I want to be so in love with Him and so devoted to Him that nothing can come between us. I want to be able to stand up and say, “He is my God!!!” He doesn’t need me to defend Him, but He loves it when I do.
There are many more things I could say about this song but I will save them for later posts. I pray you will be touched just as much as I am by this song and that my ramblings will have meaning for you. God has laid a great desire on my heart to write and so, for now, this is my outlet. Thanks for reading.