Saturday, June 28, 2008

i will always have hope...

or hopey dopey as we call her at home. she's my baby daughter and she is turning 13! it's almost funny how prophetic we were when we decided on her name. i believe god put it in our hearts because it was fitting to the plan he has for her life. when she was very young i misunderstood her. i thought her name was god's way of reminding us that there was hope for her! i felt helpless so many times. i could never seem to figure out what she needed when she'd cry. she got frustrated with me, i got frustrated with her. i prayed and god spoke...one word...gentleness. in every way i need to be gentle with her; in the way i speak, in the way i touch, and in the way i love her. sometimes i forget. sometimes i make her cry.
hope is sensitive in every way. her heart hurts when mine hurts; it hurts when yours hurts. she loves to the fullest. she doesn't understand injustice. she truly cares for and sees the potential in everyone and every situation. she doesn't look down on others. she's ignorant of time. she's messy. although she is a brunette, we are convinced her roots ARE blonde. she's funny. she loves to laugh and make others laugh. she's witty, creative, rational. she's a counselor. she's insightful. she's a songwriter. she inspires me. she dances. she's disciplined. she slows me down. she helps me. she teaches me. she makes me proud. she knows jesus. she's shy. she's gifted. she's an encourager. she ministers. although she is never all of these things all of the time, she is hope. she doesn't know yet how much she has to offer. she doesn't understand her calling. she doesn't see that she is changing the world. god is all over her. he is shaping her, maturing her, guarding her, directing her, protecting her...she is in his hands. i love her...
she is my hope

Thursday, June 19, 2008

the F word...

no, not that one! i am talking about an F word that describes me...Flawed. that used to be an ugly word that i would never have chosen to describe myself. i have always been an idealist in the most negative way. i always thought everything could be perfect; the perfect marriage, the perfect family, the perfect house, the perfect life. to reach the goal of perfection i put unrealistic expectations on just about everyone and everything including myself. if i worked hard enough, said the right things, did the right things then dang it! it would be perfect. if it wasn't...well, i was a failure (another f word). i remember that day well; the day i failed. reality had slapped me in the face and the flaws were revealed. i wish that day on everyone. it was the most beautiful and perfect day of my life! although my marriage ended, god has given me a hope for the future; although i went to work full time and turned my children's world upside down (the words of my oldest child), i have a great relationship with them and they know i love them with all my heart; although i neglect the housework and yardwork to hang out with friends and play, i now have friendships that are healthy and strong. there is nothing ugly about my imperfections... they make me who i am. i am jealous, sometimes rude, selfish, make bad choices, pout when i don't get my way, yell at my kids, forget to call my friends, slam doors, curse at other drivers, forget to feed my cat, spend money on things i shouldn't, forget my dad's b-day, probably shouldn't have had that last drink.... better stop there. anyway, without them i wouldn't need jesus. without them you couldn't know me. without them i couldn't be free. today i don't want to be perfect. i want to be real. yep, what you see is what you get,
Flaws and all...



Tuesday, June 17, 2008

it's all about the experience...

i realized a couple years ago that i had been living much of my adult life in survival mode, just going through the motions, trying to do the right thing, trying to make it from day to day...but not really living. it took some unforeseen changes and some painful twists and turns before i could see my life for what it was, what it had become; apathetic, lonely, indifferent, hopeless, limited, disappointing, fatigued, emotionally detached, embarrassed, depressed, geez...i could go on and on! i hadn't given up, i kept the faith, but i was still only existing, not living. i found myself approaching 40 and "holy crap! how did i end up here?!" a do-over was out of the question so i decided through god's guidance, love and grace that it was time to start over. and i have. i am restoring my vision, reviving my passion, beginning to dream again. i am making minor adjustments daily. i am saying "yes" and taking risks. i am looking for everything good that i can get out of any experience; big or small. i am doing things just for the experience, just to say i did it. i am having fun. i am laughing again.
i am 41 and living...

video

Monday, June 9, 2008

beer, boats and best friends...

this is what i love about summer time! to me, being on or near water with my best friends laughing, having good talks, admiring God's creation (especially the sunsets), and making fun memories together...add some live music, and well, it just doesn't get much better than that! jesus feels the same way, you know. i am convinced of this after spending a couple weeks in israel a few months ago on a jesus tour; we "walked where jesus walked." (that's another blog for another time) anyway, one of the most unexpected of my experiences came when i visited the sea of galilee, more specifically capernaum. to sum it up and not give it due justice, capernaum is a fishing village, home of at least 5 of the 12 disciples and the base of jesus' ministry. ok, so, i am in a town where jesus performed many miracles, was standing at the steps of peter's house (where jesus stayed when he was in town) and as our tour guide is explaining all of this along with tons of other historical facts, i look to my right and can see the beautiful shoreline of the sea. all the noise and busyness and talking around me faded and all i could think was, "wow, i love the water as much as jesus must've for him to have spent so much time here. this place is awesome!" jesus and i had a very intimate connection at that moment. it wasn't spiritual, it was personal. i could see him and his best friends sitting on the steps laughing and playing around. i could see him on the boat with his friends turning the sails to hit the wind just right and riding the waves (the waves can get up to 5-7 ft!). i could see one of them flipping out of the boat and all of them laughing so hard their stomach hurt! i could see them hanging out on the outside patios at the seaside restaurants having some cold drinks (ok, maybe not beer as we know it!), but telling stories and watching the sunset together admiring the beauty of it all. i could see a very real, fun side of jesus that i will never forget. i could see jesus in ME!