Thursday, January 27, 2011

Faith Barista Jam- Hope Now

Today's topic for the Faith Barista Jam is Hope.

One of my favorite words in the world honestly. 
I know that if I ever have a little girl some day I really want to name her Hope.  (hopefully that will be ok with my husband ;o) )

Hope wasn't my word for 2011 but HOPE has always been my word.  For me HOPE is often that thing that keeps me going in the tough times. 

When I feel like life is getting to be too much. 

When I see the world falling around me.

When I see disaster here, there, or everywhere.

When all I really want is to be wrapped in his arms or walking on his streets in heaven.

HOPE is what fans the flame- sometimes the very faint flame- inside me.

I looked up the definition for Hope this morning and was a little surprised that there are so many for it. 
Some that I'm a fan of some that are just ok if you ask me. 

But here's what they are... I've underlined the ones that I personally really like.  (Made the ones I LOVE bigger)

1. the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best: to give up hope.
2. a particular instance of this feeling: the hope of winning.
3. grounds for this feeling in a particular instance: There is little or no hope of his recovery.
4. a person or thing in which expectations are centered: The medicine was her last hope.
5. something that is hoped for: Her forgiveness is my constant hope.

–verb (used with object)
6. to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence.
7. to believe, desire, or trust: I hope that my work will be satisfactory.

–verb (used without object)
8. to feel that something desired may happen: We hope for an early spring.
9. Archaic . to place trust; rely (usually fol. by in ).

10. hope against hope, to continue to hope, although the outlook does not warrant it: We are hoping against hope for a change in her condition.

My preferred definitions are the verbs. 
Which to me makes perfect sense, because HOPE is an action. (at least with me)
It's something that moves, that inspires, that drives me to hang in there. 

I pulled a few verses that have  HOPE as well.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  Hebrews 11:1

Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation. 1 Peter 1:13

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, 1 Peter 3:15

I don't know where you are today or what you are going through, I know that this year has been tough for me. 
With relationships failing, with health issues, with the state of our country, the loss of life all around us. 
All these circumstances can get a person down- I know that it's been getting me down- but we have reason to HOPE, we have our ever present Savour who loves us more than we can imagine. 
So lets "rest our hope fully upon the grace" (1 Peter 1:13). 
And lets trust that things really will turn out for the best, because that is what God wants for us, even when we can't see it. 

May HOPE be the fuel to your faith today. 

Here's a little music with HOPE today as well.  Addison Road- HOPE NOW

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I wish...

Today I wish February 3rd was here already.

That's the day of my next doctors appointment.

The last few weeks I've been doing a different form of writing.

Writing on my little calendar.

Every little pain, every little abnormality...

All so I can go in and have a full and accurate "account" of what's going on for her. 

In some ways I wish I had started it sooner.

In other ways I wish I didn't have to do this at all.

In some ways it's pretty scary. 

Tonight was a rough night in terms of what I had to write down.

And I'll admit there were more then a few tears.

Not that all of them were from that but most of them were.

Almost all of them were. 

But it will be ok. 

One way or the other.

It just has to be.

Monday, January 24, 2011

You Are More...

So I LOVE this song,  the words that it says. 

If you would just take a moment and not only listen but read them.
Allow them to sink in.
Allow God to speak to you through it.

I don't know if you're like me. 
If you struggle with past mistakes, if you worry that you will make more.
If you wonder how a God as great and wonderful as ours can forgive us.

But I know that he does forgive us.
That he does love us.
That he is here with us.
Whispering these same words to us.

We are more...
Not because of our own strength but because of who us is. 

I went to the New Guy's church this I'm not leaving mine.  After all I'm the junior high youth pastor there, and I love my kids to much to change churches right now.

But another friends goes to his church as well and I had told her I was going to visit before everything had gone down with him.  Plus he did finally call last week and apologized to me for his lack of communication and all that.  I'm not sure that I really think things will work with us but I'm willing to give him another shot and see if this can at least amount to a nice friendship. 

But I'm getting of track with what I wanted to say...

The pastor at the church had us speak some declarations, when we were there Saturday. 

This is what they were: 

• I set the course of my life with my declarations

• God is with me, therefore I declare I cannot be defeated, discouraged, depressed or disappointed

• I am the head and not the tail. I have insight. I have wisdom. I have ideas and divine strategies. I have authority.

• As I speak Gods promises, they come to pass. They stop all attacks, assaults, oppression and fear from my life.

• I have the wisdom of God today. I will think the right thoughts, say the right words and make the right decisions in every situation I face.

• I expect to have powerful divine appointments today to heal the sick, raise the dead, to prophesy life, to lead people to Christ, to bring deliverance, to release signs and wonders and to bless every place I go.

• I expect the best day of my life spiritually, emotionally, relationally and financially in Jesus name. Amen!

I thought they were pretty good, and most of them were very fitting with some of the things I've personally been going through. 
This is the pastor's blog if you want to check it out. 

My hope is that between declarations like these, and songs like the one above I'll be reminded to get out of this funk I'm in. 

Because I know God doesn't want me there.  Not matter what's going on (or not going on) in my life.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


So I'm sure you can guess the next line...

I'm sleepy. It's been a long day, but a good one.

One I didn't get hardly any of the things I had planed to done.
But oh well. It was still very nice.

I spent the day with my best friend. She's totally different from me.

But I love her to death and she loves me pretty much the same.
Thankfully her husband is ok with that. :)

We did some shopping, saw the Narnia movie, had a late lunch, a little more shopping. And then she went to church with me.

It was good.

And needed. I had another little scare yesterday.
I'm spotting again. And there's more pain.

So I'm a little worried. But a day like today helped with that
To take my mind off the what ifs.

Because let's face it. I know something is wrong. I just don't know what.
However I'm trying to choose to move forward and trust God with this.
No matter what the outcome means for my future.
Even if that means no kids. I'm honestly having a hard time with that the most.
Well that and pain forever, but that's tough no knowing who I'll marry or when and having to go through all this possibly alone.
I don't like it.
But I know I can trust God fully in this.

So here's to trusting.

And to February 3rd. When I have my next doctors appointment.
Hopefully we will get some answers. And I not. I'll keep trusting the one who is most trustworthy.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I NEEDED that....

Ok, yesterday's post was a big downer. 

I knew that when I was writing it,  it was hard to write. 

But I NEEDED to write it. 

I NEEDED to get that out.

I NEEDED to put it down somewhere

And I NEEDED to admit it to myself that I really was feeling that way.

If you've read anything I've written in the last year or if you know me, you know I'm not perfect and I never claim to be.   I am striving to be, because I feel that we should live as Christ lived. 
And he was perfect, even in all his struggles, even in everything he had/choose to go through. 

So I want to be perfect, right or wrong I do. Because I want to be worthy of his sacrafice.  I want to be worthy of his gift to me, of his love.  And sometimes I know I put to much pressure on myself.

Sometime I know I need to remember this....

Isaiah 40:31. "...but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." 

And honestly I know that deep down right now, my hormones are totally out of wack.  And that plays a big factor in how I feel. 
But today I had a good day.  I feel good.  Yes I'm still in pain today but I got things accomplished and I don't feel  like I've been on an emotional rollercoaster. 
I call my Doctor and have an appointment in a few weeks to see if we can figure out what is going on. 
I know this needs to get sorted out.  That we need to come up with a solution.  Because honestly I don't want to keep going on with all these jumbled emotions. 

So for now I'm going to work on pressing in.  I'm going to work on looking for the good in all things, no matter how I feel. 

Psalms30:5  Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.

And I'm going to remember this too...

Psalms 86:5
You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
abounding in love to all who call to you.

sunrise in Oceanside, CA

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I feel like I'm really walking in the Valley right now...

I feel like life is one big struggle right now...

Maybe it's those winter blues, maybe it's the passage of another year, maybe it's what seems like the lack of interest from that boy, maybe it's lack of sleep.

I wish I knew what it really was that had me down. 

That thing that seems to keep pushing me down. 

That the thing that seems to, no matter how I try to get up, keeps rushing back to me.

I don't like this, HATE would probably be a good word for it. 

I'm not that girl.  The sad, irritable, semi-depressed girl I see in the mirror.  The one I see even through the forced smile, I can see it in those brown eyes. 

The one that is longing for someone to just wrap her in their arms and allow her to cry it out while they rub her back and say everything is going to be fine. 

I'm not that girl.  I'm the one who people come to for strength and encouragement. 

The one that others lean on, not the one that leans on others. 

And I know, I KNOW what the word says, I know that He PROMISES he won't leave or forsake.

"Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”  Deut 31:6

But I don't feel like I have it in me right now to be STRONG and of Good COURAGE. 
So What do I do? 
I'm trying just to hang in there right now.  But even little things seem to set me off right now. 
And it's hard.  I know some people can tell I'm struggling,  Some try to be encouraging, by saying things like...
they know I'm tired of being patient, but to just keep my head up.  That God has a plan and I'm an amazing person.   (how can they know, they are neither 30 or single)
Or that God has someone really special for me.  Because I'm so special. (I'm not really questioning my specialness)
Or that its all in God timing.  (duh, it's always God's timing)
I KNOW these things deep down...
I've probably heard most of them repeatedly, more times than I could count, in the last 15 years. 
And while they mean well, sometimes those words hurt.  Sometimes they get lost in the pain.  Sometimes words aren't what someone needs (odd as it is for me to say that since I'm writing) Sometimes all we need is someone to just be there with us in the journey. 
To simply sit with us, to simply stand with us and just be there. 
In our hurt, pain, disappointment, struggles, or whatever it is that we are experiencing. 
I don't (nor do others who are hurting) expect some to have those right words, the "golden" words. 
If you're not near in distance a simple- wish I was there to give you a hug, sit with you, or grab coffee, is often FELT just like those actual things. 
I KNOW -with out a shadow of a doubt- that God hasn't left.  That he does understand, that he does have someone.  That he sees and even FEELS my pain (& yours too).
And I know he will work it out for his good- 
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.  Romans 8:28
I KNOW I am called according to HIS Purpose,  even if I don't understand the whys of this time in my life.
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.  JAMES 1:2-8
While I am finding it hard to count it as joy- I'm believing that God has his reasons for all this. And I'm doing all I can to persevere. 
Will you sit with me, pray with me, just be with me in this journey.  I don't expect you to have the answer, I just want to know you're there with me in it.  Sticking with me in all things, just like I'll stick with you. 
Even if you are struggling, irritable, semi-depressed, or tearful.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I'm tired....

It's been a long weekend.  And honestly I'm tired.  Very tired. 

Friday night I celebrated my Birthday with my sisters, which was nice. 
We did a little shopping (so I could pick out my birthday presents, I've mentioned I'm REALLY hard to shop for so this is usually what I end up doing with my family or they just give me money).

Then we went to see Country Strong, which for the most part wasn't too bad.  Especially if you look into all the junk that's in movies these days. 

BTW if you ever want to know what is in a movie BEFORE you see it I totally recommend Focus on the Family's movie review site.  Plugged In offers not just detailed movie reviews but DVD reviews and TV shows as well. I've found it to be very helpful. 
Though I will say sometimes you miss the *spoiler alert* like I did Friday when I was looking up Country Strong so I ended up knowing what was going to happen.  Which wasn't very cool.  :o( 

Saturday we went bridesmaid dress shopping for my sister's wedding in April.  And immediately after that I had to rush to one of our local convention centers to work a bridal show with my best friend. 
She has hr own photography company and this year we are going to try to work together more.  And if she is booked for a wedding on a certain date she is going to pass the person on to me, which honestly weddings scare me, but I think we can make it work.  I just plan to practice more before I shoot a wedding on my own.

But aside from being on my feet all day I had a great time.  A better time than I expected really.  It was a lot of fun getting to talk to people about what we offer and all that.  I had thought it might be a little rough being around all the brides all day, given my current and seemingly non ending struggle with my singleness, but I had a good time. 

After the show I met up with 10 of the ladies I work with at Outback for some more birthday celebration.  It was really nice to go out with everyone and as a bonus we were seated where we could watch the 2nd half of the Steelers/Ravens game and my boys pulled off the win.  :o)  Which was a GREAT birthday present. 

Then a few of us went and saw the Green Hornet.  It was pretty good, funny actually. 
Though again I say check out the review, especially if you have kids, I don't know that I would let me kids see that movie; if I had kids.

So Saturday was a really good day, a lot of fun. 

Today was a pretty good day too.

5 of my kids from youth got baptized this morning which was beyond fantastic. 

It's something we've been talking about for awhile now so it was great to see them make the commitment and do it. 

Then I had lunch with my parents and sisters, followed by a little grocery shopping.  And now 4 of my kids from our mission trips are here at the house. 

they are all in college (ok Megan is actually interning at her church so she's not but they are all college age) 2 of they go to school about 30min away so they like to come over so I can feed them. 

The even funnier thing is that when they come over they want to watch the Twilight movies. 
Did I mention that 3 of the 4 are boys, and when we watched Twilight it was just the 2 boys, they are the ones that wanted to watch it. 
Tonight we are watching New Moon, it's hilarious to hear the commentary that comes along with it from the boys.  They are certainly paying more attention to it then Megan and I are. 

The house is full of laughter which is pretty great. 

Because honestly I've been down since my Birthday approached this week.  And then passed,  and here I am still single. 

When it comes to talking to God, I'm still trying to press in,  to figure out the whys of all of this. 
The when will it be my turn or when will this desire go away. 

And to be honest there have been some angry moments.  Not angry at God really, just angry about things and the way they are.  But hey, God can handle that.  He understands all of it and not that he's happy that I feel this way but he is certainly able to handle how I feel.

And I know he's here with me through all of this, but sometimes it just sucks. 
And I'm trying to understand, trying to be patient, trying to believe that one day, it will all work out. 
One day  I won't be going through all of this, and I really do believe that DEEP DOWN but it's hard right now to really cling to that hope.

It's hard to just put a smile on my face and tell people I'm fine when they ask how I am. It's hard to keep smiling, it's hard not to cry at random times. 
I'm so tired of it of putting on that brave face.  Of needing to put on the brave face, tired of needing to wait, believe, hope.
I wish some days it was all over all done.  That I could just be in a place where I could rest. 

Maybe someday it will happen soon. 

Maybe someday....I won't be so tired.

Friday, January 14, 2011

So I did it...

So after the lack of real response from the new guy yesterday, what I wanted to do was call. 

And basically ask him one thing....

Still Interested?

But because I was a tad irritated yesterday I decided to give myself a day to cool off a little more.

So today around 5:30p.m.  I left this voicemail,...only because he didn't pick up the phone. 

" Hey (his name) it's Leann, look I'm calling because I'm getting the feeling you're no longer interested anymore.  So if you could let me know one way or the other I'd  really appreciate it. ummm, yeah, thanks.  bye."

It's now almost 11p.m. and there has been NO RESPONSE.  So my guess is that I was pretty spot on. 

So much for that guy right. 

I'm so tired of all of this. :o(

31 sucks

**2 things**
1.I started this post yesterday, which was not a good day. 
2. This is not meant to be a sympathy gathering post just one that is stating how I feel.  The tone of it is pretty non optimistic.  I do know that God has a plan and all that.  I just wish I could see a little part of it. 

So far 31 isn't shaping up to be better than 30 was.

What a GREAT day...know that comment is dripping with sarcasm. 

It started by having to get out of bed this morning, normally I sleep through the night but last night I was up, and up, and up. 
Then kept looking at the clock till about 15 min before the alarm was to go off. 

So I got up, got ready, when I managed to burn my neck with my curling iron.

I then headed to work, where I got stuck behind people that didn't want to drive even though the lights were green, so I was late for work. 

Then about an hour after I was there our receptionist decided that she would announce to everyone that it was my Birthday, over the speaker, so EVERYONE knew.  And I guess she thought it would be cute to tell everyone I was 29...not 31.  (I'm sure her intentions were to be nice) Which made it so I was telling everyone all day that I was not 29 but 31.  Which wasn't exactly fun.  (No I have no issue with being 31 it's just a number, but when people think you are making it out like it is it's not fun at all).

(TMI Coming up) Oh and I started the day before which means I REALLY started full on yesterday.  Which is pretty painful after having the appendix out...still.  So I was in pain most of the day.  And really hormonal, and really irritable and emotional. 

Then I decided I'd text the New Guy to check on him, after all I still hadn't heard about the family emergency.  And I was concerned. 

So I said this " Hey don't want to bother you, I'm sure you probably still have a lot on your plate but I wanted to see how you are.  And let you know you and the fam are in my prayers."
I should mention to  I had called Wednesday night on my way home from church to see if I could talk to him, you know instead of doing all this via text.

This is what I got back -"Hey chica- saw you called last night.  Sorry about lack of comm.  Not necessarily 'busy' just paced.  How are things w/ u?" 

Which I'm sorry- kinda set me off.  I mean one I didn't say he was BUSY- I basically figured with just getting back, then having a family emergency and all that, he probably just didn't have time or desire to communicate.  And what the heck is paced?  I'd never even had that mentioned to me before. 

So I asked "I'm sorry- What is paced?"
To which he said."Means...on the go.  Just started school back up as well last night-blah"

And even though I respond to that, and did shortly later tell him I was ok.  (because I had forgotten) I haven't heard anything else. 

Now the vibe I've gotten from this is that he's no longer interested.  Is that what you all get?  Maybe I'm wrong here, but I just can't help but get this feeling. 

So after all of that I still had the work day to finish out, which resulted in about 5 paper cuts. 

I went to the gym after work, because I felt pretty bad still and thought maybe I could "work it out", which didn't work.  Then went home and curled up with the heating pad. 
All alone. 
I'm not sure where my sister was (probably out with her fiance) but she wasn't home till about 9ish. 

Then she asked if I had a good day where upon her doing that I broke down into tears and went to bed.  I didn't want to talk about it. 
Where I cried & prayed asking God what the heck and all that for probably a half hour before falling asleep. 

So yes, 31 sucked.  At least day one of it. 

Next year, I plan to be out of the country for my birthday.  Where no one can reach me via phone or text or even email. 
Where I can just pretend that it's one more day.  Maybe then it won't be such a crappy day. 
I really don't like my birthday. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011


*Faith Barista Jam* How God is calling you to be more bold or confident?
So, this is something that I’ve been tossing around in my mind for a while now. Which just makes me smile again at how God works, since it falls along the same lines Bonnie is on for Today’s Faith Barista Jam.

See I was having a conversation with a co worker last week. We were talking about well, sex honestly, and couples co habituating and all of that. And then I made a comment about how it’s not something I ever want to do, not that I’m judging or anything and it’s a choice you have to make. Since It’s not my place to judge.

And while it’s true it’s NOT MY PLACE to do the judging, that doesn’t make it any less wrong. It hit me when I said that, how wrong it is to make that statement. It would be one thing for me to say “I’m not judging you for what you do”, but the way I said it kinda made it like I was passing it off as it being ok for that to be something you do, that there isn’t anything wrong with it. But that’s not true is it?

(courtesy of Google Images)

See I think we (myself included) as a society these days have decided we are going to live in this gray area. Because gray is more comfortable. But to me, as I’ve been tossing the idea in my head GRAY is choosing not to choose. It’s like saying; I’m not going to say that’s right or wrong, more often than not because we don’t want to offend anyone.

But we do a disservice to others when we don’t call right, right or wrong, wrong. In fact in a lot of ways we are lying to them; because we are making out something to be ok when it’s really not.

So since this conversation last week I’ve been feeling a call to be bolder in the truth; even if it is truth about something that may be hard for a person to hear, even if it is a truth that is hard for me to say. Because…

John 8:32

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Who doesn’t want freedom? I think deep down even though we may not recognize that we want it we ALL want it.

I know that no matter who I am dealing with they deserve the truth; I think we all feel that way even if it’s something we don’t want to really hear. And in the long run it’s something that will benefit us.

It may be hard in some cases to speak the truth, and I will say that in those cases especially it MUST be spoken in love, but it still needs to be spoken.

After all we do live in black or white, not a shade of gray.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I'm pretty sure I don't like...

My Birthday...

(courtsey of Google Images)

Not that I've ever really been a big fan of it. 
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy spending time with people, that's one thing I love, so I love getting together with people for my Birthday I just don't like my Birthday. 

And tomorrow is the day.  The day I say GOODBYE to 30 and will say hello to 31.
Which like I've eluded to, 30 wasn't my year.
So I have hope that 31 will be better. 
I certainly plan on not repeating the same mistakes that I made in the last year so that should help. 

But honestly, even things in the last week haven't been great, so I'm not putting a lot of stock in this Birthday being better. 
After all I still haven't heard from the New Guy after last Friday's Disappointment something that I had been hoping for.  Even if it was just a call kinda explaining things a little more. 
You know just something I was looking forward to for this Birthday. 

But really even with that, I hate that I have to make so many decisions when it comes down to things because of the birthday. 
Like where we all get together to eat for the celebration.  (So far there are 3 planned and I have to pick all 3) And I also have to pick the movie.  That's hard for me with a group of us because what if someone doesn't want to see something. 
And really I just don't do well with making decision.  In most cases I just don't care. 
Which it honestly the truth.  Unless something just sounds bad be it food wise or movie I don't care what we do, where we go, or who we see. 
It's just the whole  act of getting together that I really like. 

So can't someone do me a favor and pick for me?  That's what I'd really like for my Birthday. 

That and for the New Guy to actually call me.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Scripture for the Year

Last year 2010 our church ladies sent out a group facebook email asking us to share the scripture we felt God was giving us or placing on our hearts, I believe my pastors wife (who retired this past October) may have been the one that started it.

But even though she wasn't with us this year they've done it again.  Which is good.  Great in fact.  Some people have some good ones...Like...

Mark 6:31 "And He said to them, "Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while."
John 15 9-11 "As Christ's love is unconditional...obey Christ's Word, abide in His love. To come to experience and understand His love for me. (11)Experience Christ's love = Complete Joy!"
Romans 12:14-17  ''Bless those who persecute you.Rejoice with those who rejoice,weep with those who weep,Be of the same mind toward one another, do not be haughty in mind but associate with the lowly.Do not be wise in your own estimation.Never pay back evil for evil to anyone.''

All really good ones if you ask me.  This year though, I had mine before I ever knew we were going to be doing this,  In fact I had it before the new year started. 

It's this: 
ROMANS 8:6-8 (read a few ahead and then below for full meaning)

6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Most of you who have been reading this know that last year was a hard year for me.  Everything that happened with the Ex it was a rough year.   A year I never imagined having.  A year I hope to never repeat.  I know that for me this means certain specific things, but the more I think on it, it makes me think of all sin. 
That our sinful nature is our carnal nature, not just when it comes to men/women and all that but greed, pride, gluttony and all those things. 
And if we are in the flesh we can't please God. 

I don't know about you, and nor is it my place to judge where you are, but I do know this; Wrong is wrong.  No matter how pretty we paint it up to be, or how nice it is made out to look.  No matter how we may want to justify that what we are doing isn't hurting anyone, that's not the case...even if we don't hurt other people I truly believe that our sin hurts God, that it saddens him.  That he hates to see it. 

And while we may not hurt others we certainly hurt ourselves. 
I know my personal sins from last year hurt me.  It may be that those hurts were more emotional wounds then anything else but they are there, they are still there, they may be scars and scabs more now than they are open wounds but they are wounds that are of my own making. 

Don't deceive yourselves people, God's word is clear.  It is black and white.  While we may want to justify to ourselves that things are a big  gray area in a lot of places I really don't think that's the case. 

I think that if we are to REALLY SEEK out God's word we should have an answer to weather something is right or wrong.  Even more so if we pray about things, that will help clarify it. 

Maybe though one thing to do is to focus on the positive. 
Let's take 2011 and make it a year were we focus on doing the GOOD THINGS God has commanded us to do.  Versus just focusing on what he tells us not to.  (Not that we shouldn't be watchful of those things).
But by reaching out, taking our focus off us, by ACTIVELY SEEKING to love God more than anything, and LOVE OTHERS as we love ourselves (and yes sometimes for some of us, LOVE OURSELVES as we love others) what a different year 2011 could be. 
**Tiny side note.  I want to be honest.  I didn't share my scripture with the group this year.  While I love the ladies in my church most (or all) don't know about the things I went though last year.  And while I believe in God using a bad situation for good I didn't think this was one that He was leading me to disclose. 
If He leads me to it one day that will be fine, even if it will be very hard. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Big Disappointment Tonight

SO all week I've been pretty excited, see the New Guy and I were going out tonight. 
Our first non weeknight date. 
I planned out what I was going to wear,  we got off work early and turned the curling iron on and all that. 

I've had so many things to talk to him about, things I wanted to ask him, and I felt like I finally got to the point where I'm really excited to do this dating thing.  I was really ready to put myself back out there. 

So at 5:30 I sent him a text- just to confirm the time.  After all the last time we went out was December 14th-
which in all fairness, he left on the 20th for Spain, and as one that travels semi frequently out of country I know communication when you are out isn't easy or always possible, not to mention that it can be expensive.  SO I understood not hearing from him for the last 2 1/2 weeks. 
He had mentioned he would be back on the 3rd but I wasn't sure so I waited till Tuesday (the 4th) to text him.   A simple Happy New Year and Welcome Back.  And then I didn't hear anything, until Wednesday night.  He called, right in the middle of my teaching the JR High Youth Group.  So I couldn't take the call.  :o(
He left a strange voicemail that asked me to call him back.  But when I did I got his voicemail so I left him a message for him to call again.  But never heard back. 

SO shortly after I sent my text tonight to confirm the time I got this...
"Oh cuss (I'm assuming he meant a particular word with that one) -chica (which is what he seems to call me) , I'm on my way to Tulsa picking up my sister from the airport.  Family emergency.  I really am sorry- this has been a brutal week.  I take her back Monday. "

Then after I responded I got one that said "Pray for her husband" (with just a tiny more detail) but really nothing that eluded to what was going on. 

So I TOTALLY understand, after all if my sisters ever needed anything I'd cancel too... I just am really disappointed. 
And I'll be honest I cried.  I think there is a part of me that is really afraid I'm going to get to the point where I like this guy and he doesn't like me back. 
Crazy I know... I have to take a risk if this is going to work. 

But you ladies (or gentlemen if you're out there) if you have any dating tips please feel free to pass them on. 
I'm not really sure what to do here, other than wait for him to call or text me when his sister leaves. 
Hopefully by that point I'll be a little less emotional about the whole thing. 

I just want to stay home...

I have to head to Tulsa this weekend, for another mission meeting. For a mission trip this summer, a trip that I’m not planning on going on this year.

Not that I don’t love missions still, not that I don’t enjoy the trips; I just really really need a real vacation. I have some friends that I really want to go visit, plus my sister’s wedding and everything related to that.

Plus I’ve had a lot of ups and downs with my health this past year and I want to rest more this year, not travel to Tulsa all the time, and have to work with a bunch of kids to get them where they need to go. I told myself last year I would take a break, and I changed my mind so it’s possible that I may change my mind this year, but to be honest I’m really not feeling it this year. Not the location, not the people, not the desire. That doesn’t mean that I won’t go on a mission trip at all I just think that it means I’m not suppose to go on this one.

Plus there is an unusual factor in this one too…there are slots for 35 people and about 50 or more that want to go on the trip. While I’m leadership, my spot is pretty much guaranteed. So I haven’t turned in my paperwork, or deposit. Usually I put my deposit down just in case I change my mind. I didn’t even want to do that this year. So I figure if there are so many others interested in going on the trip, why should I take someone else’s space? My not going would allow someone who REALLY wants to go the opportunity to go.

So this weekend I’ll find myself breaking the news to my leaders, dear friends of mine, and some pretty great kids (well teenagers) that I won’t be joining them this summer. I’m sure there will be some disappointment, probably even some that try to talk me into it, but personally I just need a break. To rest, relax; focus on the other things that God has for me for this year. Other things that are calling for my attention.

Did I mention to that I've just been exausted this week, and while I do want to see everyone that is going to be there, I'm already so tired that the thought of the 2hr drive is not appealing at all.  Or the late nights that I have when I am there. 
Oh well though, I'm sure I'll be happy to be there once I am there.  That's usually how it happens. 

Here's hopeing though that my travels this year lead me to another one of these. 

Oceanside, CA

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year's "Resolute"

So I don’t do New Year’s resolutions… normally I think they are just a waste.

How often does one make a resolution and then not follow through.

The way I look at it if you want to change, change. Don’t waste your time resolving to do it the first of the year. There’s no rhyme or reason to wait for that. Do it when you see the change needing to be made.

This year though I was looking back on the year, thinking about things, reflecting. And there is something I want to change. The fact of the matter is that the feeling to change just happened to come when I was standing at the Grand Canyon Saturday morning…January 1, 2011.

So while this isn’t really a new year’s resolution I do want to make this change.

I want to work on forgiveness. Not really of others, I feel like I do that ok for the most part. Yes I have my moments where I have to really work past something and then am able to forgive but for the most part I do make it to the forgiveness stage relatively sooner vs. later. But I want and need to work on forgiving myself. I need to cling to the fact that God has forgiven me for my mistakes, even the big ones I made this past year, and I need to move forward. Yes learn from them but I need to let them go.

As I started out this year at the Grand Canyon, where it was indeed very cold. I was stopped by the thought of release. Letting go of all those things that I’d been clinging to, blaming myself about –don’t get me wrong- God hates that I sinned and wasn’t pleased with my actions (FYI I got that one out of the Bible) but I asked for forgiveness, repented, and he is faithful and just to forgive me. 1 John 1:9

SO I’ve decided that I’m letting go of that guilt, and while I don’t think it will be easy to do, because that’s just part of who I am, I do think it’s the right thing to do.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28, NIV.)

And after all, I need to remember, that things in his hands should be just like tossing something into that Grand Canyon. Once there – there is no way I’m going into that canyon to get it back out.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Vacation Adventures (part 1)

I had a great vacation this past week.
I FINALLY made it out west.
The furthest out west I'd been is Las Vegas, a town I had to go to for work, not a town I'd probably really choose to go to on my own.  Not that there is anything really wrong with Vegas.  Some people may really like it.  I'm just not really one of those people.

But California...I think that is MY state.  I love it there.  the weather, the scenery, the people.  It all seems great.  Mind you I was there for a little under a week and we got off to a little bit of a rocky start...but over all I love it there.

So let me tell you what happened when I first arrived there. 
So we decided to go to lunch right after I arrived.  There was a neat little breakfast place that my friends wanted to try, so we headed there.  As we were trying to park (parallel parking sucks in a big ol' suv) we noticed a cop kind of hovering by, right about the time we notice the parking meter is out of we thought ok, were in trouble. 
So while most of us are out of the car, the car in front of us moved and Carrie pulled into that spot. 
We see the cop speak to a woman that was coming out of the bank, his hand hovering over his gun.  She quickly tells us..."get over by this side of the building, someone is robbing the bank!!!"
I think we all looked at her like she was totally nuts!  We didn't believe it.  So we're standing there.  Waiting, motioning for Carrie to stay in the car with baby Sean, trying to figure out what the heck was going on. 
Then it was suddenly over, the cop tells us it was a false alarm, that apparently someone in the bank accidentally triggered the silent alarm.  Then he tells us "you can park wherever you want".

Good thing the pancakes were really good! 
Richard Walker's Apple Pancake

More to come on my vacation adventures very soon....