Thursday, February 24, 2005

barnes and nobles vs the evil beast

i grabbed a student this afternoon and headed down to barnes and nobles. it's funny how peaceful a corporate bookstore can be. i even felt better while being in the store after the possession i experienced this morning. i explain that later. this afternoon i was struck by how awesome my job really is. i get to hang out with students and leaders who share the same passions that i do and talk about life. this one student remindeded me why i'm so fired up about teens to begin with. she's not a jacked up teen like i used to be but she is so passionate. if only everyone had some one that would go to bat for them or who would encourage them to pursue the deepest desires of their being. so often we get crushed and forget the potiential that we have. there are so many things in society that tell us we don't measure up and that we're not good enough. we need people in our lives to remind us that we are. i'm gonna miss these punk austinite kids.

while in barnes and nobles i stumbled across the book messy spirituality. i got a chance to glance through the first chapter and realized this is the book for me. i am in fact quite the messy christian. i hate that i'm a mess! the vision of the person i want to be and the messy person that resides in my body are constantly fighting. Jesus came to save the messy christians not the perfect ones. i always think of the messy people as those who haven't found Jesus yet. the ones that are controlled by depression, lust, addiction, or whatever else most of the world struggles with. whatever! i still struggle with these same things, christian or not. i struggle that despite the redemption i've received from the cross i'm still messy. i still struggle with the same things. i can't seem to be consistent in my time with God. my relationship with him at times feels like a fifty year old stale rice cake. Jesus doesn't just extend us grace one time, he constantly extends his love and grace to us. He accepts us as messy as we are. thank goodness!

this messy person must have woke up on the wrong side of the messy bed this morning or ate some evil waffles this morning because i had no idea what the heck was going on with me. it was more than a case of "who pissed in your cherios this morning?" somehow i managed to loose all rationality and control over my emotions. in the middle of folding laudry this morning i yelled at les "if you don't start helping me i'm going to stop doing the laundry!!!" complete with red eyes and snot and drool dripping from my face. most often outbursts or coments like that are premeditated but out of nowhere slipped this fit of rage when immediately turned into a surpressed sob. not wanting to have a complete melt down in front of my husband i stiff armed him and rushed him out of the apartment as fast as i could. okay i do have to admit this is not the worst thing ever. it has been irritating that the last several times i've folded laudry with him in the same room he hasn't moved a muscle to at least attempt to help. it's not like i just love doing laundry. at least an attempt to help would help me not feel like the live in laundry mat. i was and still am justified with my frustration but what freaked me out was the hairy beast that was masquerading under my frustration with the laundry and took it's opportunity to surface this morning. i still can't figure out what caused me to sob this morning and feel completely out of control. my guesses are #1 i'm somehow angry at les and jealous that he isn't as affected by this 2300 mile move away from austin as i am #2 i'm freaked out about it just being les and i once we move to portland. granted i know God will be with us too but at least in austin my friends and family are easily assessible. it will be just him and i for awhile and the only human i'll have in arms reach to get support from will be him. #3 i read a chapter from a book called inside of me which is written by a woman who was sexually abused by her step father. that could have stirred the pot a little with my own experiences which i still haven't fully dealt with. i know! i know! i am working on it, just very slowly. #4 it's all of these rolled up into one neat ball of laundry. i don't kow what it was. all i know is that i hate being emotionally messy. maybe there's a book out there i can read on that.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

not the baby anymore

for almost 26 years i have been the baby of my small and sometimes crazy family. two weeks ago that title was taken from me. move over baby desi it's now time for a new era with baby alison. my cousin ray and his wife mimi were the first in our family to make their parents grandparents and our grandparents great grandparents. there's a couple of pictures below of baby alison. oh my goodness she is so stinking cute! i haven't had the honors of meeting her yet but les and i are swinging down to san antonio tomorrow so hopefully i'll get a chance to meet my new cousin when i'm down there.

okay now time for a little bit of honesty, the first time i saw the picture of alison and my grandpa my first gut reaction was "hey that's my grandpa!" pretty sad for this almost 26 year old girl. i guess all baby's get upset when someone takes their place in line. it's going to be so much fun having some "real" babies in the family again.

well, the move to portland is becoming real. the fun of moving that had once existed three weeks ago is diminishing by the minute. this is the hardest thing i've ever done. leaving my family, my friends, and my kiddos. ugghhh!!! obeying God can be so hard sometimes. i know we're supposed to leave and i know God will provide in amazing ways and i know it will be more incredible than i could have ever imagined. BUT right now all i want to do is lie on the ground kick, scream and cry. i'm tired of going to church and the main focus of all conversation is the move. "why are you leaving us? oh you guys are leaving us anyway... we're going to miss you guys." my usual healthy self wants everyone to shut it so i can pretend like it's not happening. i'm afraid that's not going to happen and i'm going to have to deal with this and face the fact that in 38 days les and i are leaving for the next adventure in our lives. so far the adventure stinks!!

on a side note i'm actually thinking about trying to make it back down to austin for the youth mission trip this summer. it's in june and i'll have to raise about $1000 to go but if God is willing then i want to go. it would be a great chance to see my family again, go on an amazing adventure with my kiddos and serve God in another country. i'll have to pray about it but if any of you think about it a little extra shout out to the Big G for me couldn't hurt.

My Grandma & Baby Alision Posted by Hello

isn't she adorable? Posted by Hello

My Grandpa & Baby Alison Posted by Hello

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

MY FURRY CHILDREN


Buster & Riley Posted by Hello

for those of you pet owners with no kids do you ever wonder what kind of parent you will be someday based on the kind of pet owner you are? for right now my two furry beasts Riley and Buster are my kids. i know referring to dogs as chidlren probably hacks off the people who really do have kids but come on... i was at the dog park the other day and two dogs started getting rough and one of the owners said "Sparky you know better, play nice." that's not too far off from what you'd hear at your local playground. i would feel sorry for the child named Sparky though.

sometimes i get so stinking frustrated with my boxer pup Buster. i don't think he will ever be house trained. i love him but i have to be honest i really like him best when he's sleeping. buster was a christmas present from les. a puppy is the best birth control EVER! any desire i ever had to procreate has been sucked out of my body. hopefully, one day i'll recover but at this rate i'm not quite sure.

les and i were talking last night about the kind of parents we'll be if we want to pick up our dog Buster and punt him to the moon. it's scary to think that. it hits mostly when we are by ourselves watching the little booger. to all the single parents out there GOD BLESS YOU! you are doing an incredible job! crowns in heaven is all i can say.

someone somewhere please tell me that raising a child is easier. that it's different when it's your own flesh and blood. do you get super human patient powers when you become a parent? or does all the good out weight the bad? there has to be something to it if so many people choose to have more than one. how do i learn how to become the parent that doesn't cause my child the cost of years of therapy as an adult?

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

the power of the geek

i finally watched thirteen the other day. it was one of those movies that is painful to watch. some of it unfortunately was oddly familiar. it's amazing how strong the power of the geek can be. i don't think there is anybody who could say that they desire to be a geek. we all want to accepted and be loved no matter how introverted we might be. the power of the geek says that we don't measure up to anything, that if people knew who we really were they would run away screaming, it says that we are all alone. i've heard those messages and songs that try to convince people that God loves us even if we are geeks. "i'm not cool and that's okay my God loves me anyway..." that song really irritates the tar our of me. as a christian i know i shouldn't be chasing after what the world says is cool. nice clothes, the big fat house, rockin job (although i think my job is pretty rockin), fancy friends, ect... i don't want to be cool by glamour's standards i couldn't be even if i tried really hard but i don't beleive it says anywehre in the bible that we should settle with being geeks. i don't care if i'm a geek God still loves me. what the heck is that? is that really supposed to be convincing to today's teens? is that supposed to be attractive in some way? i'm a geeko nerd bombar but it's okay. that is so wrong! it's satan who makes us feel like geeks in the first place. it's satan who makes us feel inadaquate. it's satan who tricks us into beleiveing that we aren't as valuable as we are and that we have to prove ourselves to others. why celebrate that? when we realize our value and our full potiential in God i think it's becomes quite clear that we are the far opposite of a geek. when we catch on to how much we our loved and how much grace God offers us we realize that we are not the loser that we think we are. why be proud to be a geek and give christianity a bad wrap? i mean come on christians already have a bad enough name as it is. we're either hypocrites, which heck i agree we all our it's part of our sinful nature, or we are goody goody boring people who are missing out on the good life. for those of you out there who are christians and are acting like geeks, STOP IT! as christians we should be living it up. people should recognize that we are living the good life. STOP BEING A CRUSTY CROTCHITY CHRISTIAN! God promises us that he will take care of us and provide for our every need, we don't need to be worry about anything. We tells us again and again how much he loves us and how he'll never leave us not to mention that we are forgiven and that he's doing the hard work of cleaning up our messy lives. He promises us that he will be there with us through the horrible stroms that life throws our way and that He be dancing in the streets with us during the joyful times of our life. He promises to fill us up with joy beyond imagine. He is most glorified in us when we find the most pleasure in him. He's always got our backs and no matter how many times we screw up he'll never leave us, always love us and forgives us. He died for us. He tells us again and agian how precious and valuable we are to him. with all of this why would we be content to being geeks? why would even want to think about portraying that? when Christ's spirit gets ahold of us and we step out of the way we can't help but be beautiful and attractive. you can't buy that in a hipster magazine or trendy coffe shop.

Friday, February 11, 2005

technologically challenged girl discovers how to post pictures on blog


i'm a total dork. me at my surreal wedding. Posted by Hello

this surreal life...

ever had one of those moments when you stop and try and figure out if this is really your life or somebody elses? if you have no idea what i'm yapping about check out Being John Malkovich. that movie is about as weird as the feeling. i guess most people describe that feeling with the word surreal. lately it seems like all i've been having are surreal moments. i suppose that feeling is brought on by doing something that you never imagined you would do.

getting married was surreal. the rehearsal dinner, the actual wedding everything about it surreal. i felt like i was floating the entire time. i can't even rememeber half of it. this whole portland thing has been surreal. in six weeks les and i are leaving texas to go work for a church that can't afford to pay us. we have no idea what our jobs will be, no idea where we are going to live, no idea about nothing nada. all we know is that we are supposed to be there. who does this!? this isn't the way the world opperates. who leaves the job they love, people they love, family they love not to meantion the best darn state to live in... TEXAS! who does that!? is this really happening or are the flying pigs and dancing pink and fuzzy bunnies going to pop out at any minute cueing me off to this wacky yet incredible dream. this isn't how the world opperates, it's how God opperates and when you trust that you just can't go wrong.

last night i had the second to the last youth leader meeting i'll ever have. roland and daren lead it and talked about transition. it was like the group that i've worked so hard on was no longer mine anymore. not that it was ever mine to begin with but it was like i never existed or i wasn't even there. i'm not upset about it, it was just weird. it has to be that way from now on because in less than two months from now i wont be there. God is so awesome though. now more than ever i know i can leave and have nothing to fear about how that group will function. it will stay status quo for awhile but it will function like clockwork until the new person is hired.

after the meeting stinking roland had les and i sit in the middle of the circle and gave the people surrounding us the opportunity to say how they felt about us. again very surreal. as words came out of people's mouths i started to ask myself who are they talking? are they really saying all that stuff about me? when's pee wee herman and the flying nun going to pop out and break into show tunes? people were crying and all i could do was sit there dazed and emotionless. i wanted to break in the middle of it and say "excuse me? whose leaving? oh you must be mistaken i'm not going anywhere. it's that girl over there and her husband that's leaving it's not us."

whatever causes these feelings of "surrealism" i hope i can shut them off soon. right now i don't want to float around in a dream. with less than six weeks left in austin all i want to be doing is living in the moment.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

What's in Your Wallet?

dirty socks

i finally went to church under the bridge on sunday. i gave my socks away to a man who said it was the nicest thing anyone had ever done. there are times when i think my life is so horrible. i sit and question why God is choosing to do this or that. why life can be so hard. receiving dirty socks from someone is not the nicest thing anyone has done for me. les leaves his dirty socks for me to wash all the time and that's not the best gift i've ever received. i've got it really good. no i'm not a fat cat millionaire and i'll probably never be able to travel the world but i've got it really good.

all this made me question am i really giving my all? am i really offering up all my resources? i know i'm not at work. i haven't been able to manage much of anything this week. i can't get motivated. i hate it. i got so angry on sunday searching for decent socks to give. so many of them were stretched out and worn. i know i've given my dirty socks and felt good about it. God deserves so much more than my stretched out dirty socks. what am i holding back? would i really sell it all or give it all away to follow Christ? i really want that desire to be more than just a good intention.


credit card momma

i saw my mom this monday. it went pretty well but i was a jerk. i expect my mom to assume the worst and don't give her much credit. i've been just as much as the problem as she has been in our relationship. i just assume that she thinks the worst thing possible about me. i still care what she thinks.

who needs who?

i've been feeling really guilty lately about leaving gateway. they aren't going to have someone hired by the time that i leave. the weight has been heavy. the truth is crossroads doesn't need me. i needed crossroads. they'll be okay without me. with God how could they not be? i'm okay with them not needing me. in fact it has lifted the huge weight off my shoulders. it feels good not to have my self worth wrapped up in the need to feel needed anymore. and another one bites the dust... at least for now.

These Are God's Battles

These Are God's Battles

During the time of King Jehoshaphat (approximately 860 BC), several armies began to invade the land of Judah. Being greatly outnumbered, Jehoshaphat called for a nation-wide time of fasting and prayer to seek guidance from God: "O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You" (2 Chronicles 20:12).The king needed to formulate a plan. He was the appointed leader and responsible for the safety of his people. King Jehoshaphat's "plan" was to place the fate of the entire nation into the hands of God. Many see such action as weakness, but it took great strength to recognize he was powerless - even greater strength to know where to turn and Who to trust!God answered King Jehoshaphat's cry for help through a Levite named Jahaziel.2 Chronicles 20:14-15"Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel...'Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: "Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's."'"This is great comfort when we face trials which appear much bigger than anything we can handle, we can rest in the fact that our battles belong to God. But there is more to the story! God didn't tell Jehoshaphat to just sit in his tent while the battle was won, He gave specific instructions to confidently stand before the enemy.2 Chronicles 20:16-17"Tomorrow march down against them...{But} you will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.'"It's inevitable that our life will contain such battles - many of us are facing overwhelming battles right now. As with everything we encounter on our Christian walk, battles have a purpose. Many times the purpose of our battles is for us to understand a fundamental truth: "Apart from Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). Reaching the end of our own strength is our real battle - turning to God and trusting Him for every step of our walk is the real victory!As we trust Him with all our heart and seek counsel in His presence, He will tell us where to march and where to stand. Let's boldly follow each and every day and refuse to get discouraged. He is in absolute control...for these are God's battles!

Steve Troxel
God's Daily Word Ministries

Saturday, February 05, 2005

I Hope You Dance...

last night i went to an icebats game which was interesting in itself since the last time i had gone to an icebats game i got so ripped i decided to ice skate on the ice with no ice skates and came home that night with a ton of bruises all over my body. ahh, memories of a time when i was a completely different person. that poor poor girl from long ago on the ice. if i had only known then what would truly satisfy me.

anyway, after the ice bats game wide awake played. wide awake is cool and all but the most interesting part of the evening was watching these little girls dance. there were two dancing away with each other with not a care in the world. it was so cool to watch. i wonder how many times God looks down and wishes that we would drop all the weigth that we carry and all the burdens that we struggle with and just dance. dance from the sheer joy of knowing Him. to dance like david danced. I can almost hear Him now "My child I Hope you dance."

Friday, February 04, 2005

snarf snarf snarf

oh the irony of it all. i like to play a little game called am i really growing? this is part of a post from this time last year:

becky cried at the staff meeting today and i almost felt resentment towards her. at least towards her being such a girl and being so sensitive. it allm akes sense now. i didn't have compassion for her which is odd for me because i saw in her today what i have been fighting with in myself. i don't want to be sensitve and that's why i was irritated at becky. actually it was more disgust. she is such a sweet sweet girl. i felt horrible for feeling that way.

first off just to note i absolutely love Becky and she is one of the staff members that i'll miss most when les and i leave. the irony of it all if i had only know how many times i would cry in front of other staff members i don't think i would have ever written this. i can't even count the number of times. i hated every moment of blubbering in front of other people at gateway but heck it happens. in fact i did it a coupe of weeks ago at the stupid affirmation training. why the affirmations at gateway get me so upset i'll never know. i'm a little clued in after going to red sea but goodness. i had been acting like it's the end of the world. anyway, back on track. so i was talking to ted and then john showed up and as i was talking about things i was really concerned with and the tears came flowing. i don't know where the heck that came from and i'm still embarrassed just thinking about it. why do i have to be a crybaby girl? ugh! maybe one of these days it wont even bother me that i like to snot all over the place in front of people. but over affirmations? come on! at least it wasn't over another men's wearhouse commercial. gosh! idiot! i can't even believe i'm admitting that.

Quack Quack Says The Lame Duck...

so much for a productive week back at Gateway. i just can't get my head back into it. i have no desire to plan anymore youth events or come up with anything new at all. the new person who comes in will probably change it all anyway. QUACK! QUACK! QUACK! this past week has been absolutely nutso. i can't even explain what went on in portland. i'm excited and signed on to red sea and i just want to be there now. i want to be built into. i want to have a real pastor for the first time. i'm tired and weary and i'm ready to be fed. i'm going to learn so much from shaun garman. i'm excited. i'm excited not only to receive but to give back. this whole thing has been a faith walk. i didn't care what the pay would look like or how all of that would even turn out. i didn't care about titles or being on staff officially. i just know that God wants us in st. john's portland for whatever reason. this morning i felt fear creep in for the first time. not fear about how all of this is going to work out or where the money is going to come from or how anything like that. the thought crossed my mind am i really going to be able to minister to these jacked up kids? will i be adaquate enough for this adventure. probably not and i'm sure once again i'll be in completely over my head but heck i know how to love people and that's really what it is all about. so shoo fly don't bother me you are not going to rob me of this joy.

i heard from an old chili's friend yesterday. like me he was wondering trying to figure it all out back in those days and like me he has found the true meaning of life. he has found a savior and his purpose here on earth. it's so awesome to hear how he's been doing. i always felt connected to rob. it's so awesome to be able to hear the stories of other people experiencing the freedom only found in Christ.

speaking of freedom i can't seem to break free of this anger i've been harboring. i am so hacked off at a student i can hardly stand it. actually after praying about it and trying to figure out what the freaking deal is i feel better. God really is awesome. i've been hacked off at myself for not being able to let go and for judging this person. i'm mad at the student for being so darn legalistic and yet i've been doing nothing but judging them in my mind. it's so stinkin ironical. the whole time i've been concerned about how they were judging me. when will i shake my approval addiction?

i've been reading upmost for his highest by oswald chambers and in the grip of grace by max lucado. the combination has been interesting. in several of the utmost for his highest devotionals it talks about how we should stop praying all the time for God to change us. i am constantly doing that. God please work in me change me. help me to be more patient, help me to be more loving, help me not to be such a smuck all the stinking time. change me i've a rotten human and i need your help. i want to do good. i want to be a good little christian. i don't want to earn my salvation but i don't want to keep constantly messing up and constantly struggling with the same junk. i want to make progress i want to be please God. the truth is i am already pleasing to God. his grace covers all my offenses. i don't deserve it and i don't exactly understand why but he does. he loves this smuck of a christian. he loves this smuck of a youth pastor who can't let go of anger. granted he wants me to be willing but that's basically all i have to be. it is promised that as long as i'm willing and actively pursuing a relationship with a God who is more awesome than i have words to explain then he does the hard part of cleaning out my stench ridden mucky stables.

"And I am sure that God, who began the good work in you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again." Philippians 1:6

"For God is working in you, giving you the power to do what what pleases him." Philippians 2:13

can this smuck be patient in the process?