Saturday, November 28, 2009

I Love Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving. It is the one time of the year that our family gets together with no real expectations. No one has scrambled to find that perfect gift for the gift exchange. No argument over who gets the kids in that morning. Everyone is invited, family members, friends, or enemies. No hurry for families to scurry over to the in-laws because we are already together. There is laughter in every room. The cousins play card games, uncles cheer for their favorite sports team while the aunts discuss Black Friday tactics with store ads scattered over the floor. Christmas music plays in the background with the occasional group joining in at the top of their lungs. Food lines the counter, table, stove, and kerosine heater.

But my favorite part this year was sitting at the table, sharing. My brother had arranged the tables and chairs in "normal" fashion and you could see everyone. We all stood behind our chairs and gave thanks before heading to the dining room to fill our plates. The TV was turned off and we all just talked. My aunt started a new tradition this year by naming one thing she was thankful for this season. Everyone took a turn. Jokes and stories were shared. We laughed. Grandma cried as she shared that she had decided to give her heart to Jesus. This lasted all day. I love Thanksgiving.
(Did you think I was kidding about food on the kerosine heater?)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Update One

Summer.... (just a few details.)

-Moved off campus into a beautiful third floor loft apt. (I love it!)
-Acquired a new roommate.

(The following is a hodge-podge of events that occurred in no particular order).
-Babysitting fiasco: In short, a mother left her child alone. I got to talk to a nice detective with my new roommate and the vice president of GBS. LOL (It wasn't funny at the time. I was scared, but think about a 30 minute car ride to the police station with Bro. Miles and Brittany).

-Totaled car: I was on my way back from Wal-Mart when a Nissan, going very fast, rammed the back of my car and fled the scene. (How do I know it was a Nissan? Oh, that's because he hit me so hard he left the emblem in my bumper. Too bad it wasn't his license plate number!) Funny part of this story was that I had forgotten my cell phone so the policeman had to take me home......I had just come from visiting my parents and hadn't taken my clean laundry up yet. So picture me in a cop car with two baskets and a trashbag full of laundry in the backseat.

-Brittany tried to do sit-ups in my already lame desk chair. She broke it and fell flat on our kitchen floor.

-We "missed our exit" on the way to Cinci Mills and ended up driving down an exit that was under construction. Hilarious! Not safe, but funny.

-Brittany tried to be thrifty with her laundry and let it air dry on the fire escape. Result? Laundry all over the backyard and Dr. Farmer's backyard. Oh, let's not forget the tree. One shirt didn't make it to the ground. The nice cable guy got it with his ladder.

-We went to the Kroger in Bellevue. Saw a mouse run down the aisle, shopped, got out to discover a flat tire on Brittany's car that has no jack or spare.

-I consumed a whole Chinese meal in a movie theatre without detection.

-I was mistaken for Brittany's mother! Now that is funny. Brittany is trying on shoes and claims that she doesn't know if they are too big or not. I give my opinion, but it didn't satisfy so she turns to ask a lady walking by. The nice lady asks where her foot ends and then looks at me and asks "Is she done growing?" HAHAHAHAHA

Monday, February 9, 2009


I originally had an extremely long post of the "exciting" life I have led so far in 2009, but as I neared the end I found myself slightly focusing inward and asking myself, "Why me?" I deleted it so as not to have a public record of my self-centeredness, but also because as I typed I heard the voice of a rather mean, heartless, and painfully honest friend...."What is your focus?" Just to be transparent, this has been a rather difficult task. It seems as though I have been hit from every side so far this year and I find myself looking up from the bottom of the barrel often. I am learning, albeit ever so slowly, that I can not be in control of my circumstances, but I can be in control of my focus. Am I feeding at the bottom of the barrel or looking up and expecting to see my Father reaching down to pull me up?

Which brings me to another lesson...What can I expect from my Heavenly Father? Do I expect to see Him working things for my good? Do I expect Him to be consistent with His track record?

Illustration #1, as pointed out by my "mean" friend: I baby-sit a genius. His name is Vipul. Though he is very intelligent, he is only three. At times I find myself stressed because he will refuse to complete a task when I know he is fully capable. Yet many times I have watched him attack a job with vigor only to learn that it is beyond his ability. Usually I watch him for a few minutes and chuckle to myself, then hold out my hand and offer assistance. It is a joy to help him. How much more would my Father stretch His loving arms out to offer hope, comfort, healing, and ultimately His kind assistance? I can expect Him to be consistent and stand by His record and do it again, and again, and again!

Illustration #2, 3rd Grade Bible Lesson on John 3:16: This morning Mrs. B introduced the lesson in a rather unique way. She started out calling the students to attention for a game called the "rhythm game." Pad your legs twice, clap hands twice, snap each finger once. On the first snap say your name, second snap a friend's name, continue until someone misses the beat or says the wrong name. After practicing for a few rounds she changed the name of the game and added a different aspect. "We are going to call this game Life and when you mess up it is a sin. Sin must be punished!" Mrs. B pulled out a long roll of what looked like bulletin board paper. She took a marker and wrote punishment. "When you mess up the rhythm or miss a name you will be punished."

The game started again and you could see the concern and concentration of the students. They were really trying not to mess up out of fear of getting swatted by the rolled up paper. The first student to break the rhythm looked like she was getting ready to pass out. As Mrs. B went toward the small girl, she suddenly turned and LIGHTLY swatted another student. This went on for several turns. Each time the same student was swatted. The class questioned the fairness of this method, but Mrs. B continued without a word. Finally the class was called to attention and a explanation was given. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not parish but have everlasting life! The children were so upset at the injustice of one person getting swatted, but the point was driven home and you could see the lights come on

I sat in the back of the room at my desk as tears formed and flowed. I can expect my Father to come through with a solution to the problem. I can expect Him to love me when I feel unlovable and ugly inside, He has already proven it true.

One more lesson I am learning. Most of my life the verse stating that "the truth will set you free" referred to lying. Always tell the truth, it keeps you out of trouble. While telling the truth is a great thing and requirement by God, there is more to this verse. Knowing the truth will set you free. When my mind runs about wildly with doubts and fears, the truth will set me free. The truth is God is faithful, God is available, God is CONSISTENT, God is God and I should let Him be. Knowing the truth will set me free.