Monday, September 26, 2005

Not Through

I heard a song a while back. It seemed nice. I didn’t pay really close attention. Heard it again last week. Liked it more. This morning it hit me like a brick between the eyes. It’s sung by Ginny Owens:

If You Want Me To lyrics
The pathway is broken
And The signs are unclear
And I don't know the reason why You brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I'm gonna walk through the valley If You want me to
Chorus: Cause I'm not who I was When I took my first step
And I'm clinging to the promise You're not through with me yet
so if all of these trials bring me closer to you
Then I will go through the fire If You want me to
It may not be the way I would have chosen
When you lead me through a world that's not my home
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I'd never go alone
So When the whole world turns against me
And I'm all by myself And I can't hear You answer my cries for help I
'll remember the suffering
Your love put You through
And I will go through the valley If You want me to

Today after work Nelson and I had a meeting with the pastor from the nearby church where Nelson visited back last Fall. It’s also the one we watch on TV together. I called the pastor last week and told him of our situation. He wanted to meet with us. So today after work (what a day I had!) we got to talk with him. He was very open and positive and we will get to start attending services this weekend.

I thought I’d be whooping about this…don’t get me wrong, I’m happy down to my toes. I’m thankful, excited, scared, overwhelmed, and probably a few other things too. I will confess that I spent a couple nano seconds pondering what I would wear. My “church clothes” have hung so long in the closet.

But mostly, I’ve sat here and wept. I was remembering how devastating the blow felt when my PO told me that there was no way I could go to church. It all felt so unfair, so wrong. How could that be God’s plan? That was one valley I did not want to walk through. It made no sense, surely it could serve no purpose.

Left to our own plans we would have ended up miserable at the Nazarene church in nearby town with the pastor, who I believe, is on an ego trip that has potential to crush his congregation. It scares me now. Instead we went no where, then we went to T-Net, then we watched TV. The process or journey has been confusing at times, but it has provided opportunity for me to trust and to listen hard for God.

There will be those in attendance Sunday who will probably complain about sitting on old wooden benches. I welcome that hard feel on my seat. I don’t care what they sing, it will just be such a treat to raise my voice with other believers.

On a side note…there’s a phrase in the song “And I'm clinging to the promise You're not through with me yet.” So many times in the past four years precious brothers and sisters in the faith have encouraged me with this. When I have doubted that there could be any use for me, the reminder would come. The phrase caught my attention this morning.

Then tonight, before the pastor left, he asked to pray with us. We had spoken of our ministry journey. In his prayer he then asked God to reveal how he wasn’t through with me yet. He had no idea how precious those words were. Maybe someday I’ll find a way to let him know.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Mind Flooding

There hasn't been a hurricane in my life...just a few storms lately that have left me thinking. It's not necessarily deep, nor finished--but here's some of the gist...or grist:

-The message this morning was from Luke 15. The gentleman who brought the message was a professor at our local university and basketball coach at a nearby high school. The basis for his message came from a question a student asked a few years back: "Why are people in this country (she was an international student and athlete) so obsessed with winning?" It was a good question and timely given a later point you will read further in this grist list.

Beth joined Nelson and I in the living room as we "watched" the service. She went on for a minute about how many people turn to this text, implying that it is "over-preached." I chuckled. It is one of my favorites to preach from, but I tend not to go down the over beaten paths. I remember one Sunday in my last pastorate using this text and when I got to the part where the Father ran to meet the son I talked about why he did that. So many point out his joy at his son's return. Now, while I agree that there was joy, I believe it was also a more important thing the Father did. Can you imagine how horribly humiliating it would have been for the son to walk through town to get back home? How the tongue waggers would have relished each shame-filled step and how the stories would have flown! Instead the Father swooped in and proudly, celebratorily walked--no probably skipped through the streets declaring there would be a feast! Wow--now he may have blown it at other times as a Dad, but he came through big time right then!

-I'm reading a powerful little book, Traveling Mercies, by Anne Lamott. It's made me think about a lot of different things. First, I was just thinking about the style of the writing. It's much rawer and real--more unpolished than the "Christian" books that line my shelves. In books like this one and Miller's, Searching for God Knows What, everything isn't tied up in a neat package with a pretty little bow.

Last night I was reading the chapter entitled: Grace as I was going to bed. Wow. In that chapter she describes the "gift of failure." This gift "breaks through all that held breath and isometric tension about needing to look good: it's the gift of feeling floppier." And grace is "having a commitment to--or at least an acceptance of--being ineffective and foolish."

-Then this morning I found a note from someone new to my blog. She found me via a note I left on the blog of the person who gave me the Miller book. It was related to something I said about coincidences. I said I don't believe in them. Her challenge was then to believe then that it was no coincidence that someone at work found my blog and spread it around.

-One more piece: This week I found an email from one of our foster kids. This girl was a bright light amidst much frustration and feelings of futility. Her success, though, came from an inner resilliancy, all we did was nurture it. When life in my home was going south fast, I pushed to have her put in another home. I didn't want her to be negatively affected. I hoped that some day she would be able to understand why I did such a turn around from considering adoption to hving her leave. She's married (for two years, almost) and has a little baby of her own.

I was afraid at first to respond to her email. Shame will do that to you. What could she want? I spent quite a few hours playing out the worst case scenario in my mind. With great fear and trembling I finally responded. We did some small talk and catch up and then she asked about what had happened. In that moment what I thought and felt rivaled the prodigal son: I have sinned horribly against all I believed, I am not worthy to be called friend, let alone Mom...I couldn't even begin to ask for your forgiveness. Next thing I felt was her emailishly walking alongside me. Celebrating that we had reconnected.

It's been a rough week. It's been a good week. And grace isn't satisfied to leave me here...there's still more journey and growing ahead.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Tagged by Hope

Hope tagged me and I was touched. It was fun to think about...even dream about what I'd like to do...So here goes:

5 things I plan to do before I die:
-Write a book.
-Buy a small motor home and just travel for a long stretch of time.
-Visit my dad’s birthplace in Saskatoon.
-Go to Disneyworld with my grandkids.
-Own a bed and breakfast/spiritual retreat center.

5 things I can do:
-Play four musical instruments.-Play tennis.
-Make people laugh.

5 things I cannot do:
-Run any distance.
-Math in my head.
-Hold my breath for very long.
-Keep a tidy (aka FlyLady style) house

5 Things that attract me to the opposite sex:
-Wit and humor.
-Knowledge about a wide variety of stuff.
-Similar interests.
-A strong work ethic.

5 things I say most often:
-I’m sorry.
-You’re kidding.
-Lots of words of praise: Good job. Way to go. All right!
-Variations on I love you…like Grammy loves you, Love you (to Ann and Beth), I love you (to Nelson)…and even to my friends
-“Jesus”—spoken in prayer, in fear, when I need help, when I fall asleep.

5 celebrity crushes:
-Richard Geere (especially in First Knight)
-Hugh Grant (especially in Sense and Sensibility or Notting Hill)
-Alan Rickman (Sense and Sensibility and/or Truly Madly Deeply)
-Harrison Ford (Sabrina)
-Joe Lando as Sully from Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.

Now, even tho I've been here for a while, I'm not sure who really likes to do these things. If it intrigues you then give it a try!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

What I did...

Monday was a hard day. It was hard for me to look people in the face. This became a trust issue for me. I felt very vulnerable. I'm not sure how or why people found my journal.

So today I edited the whole thing. I took out company names and employee names. Since Ed read much of this I left his name in there.

I'm going to keep writing. This is my place and I won't be run off. The good far, far outweighs the bad!

As Molly Brown would say: I ain't down yet!

Monday, September 19, 2005


It appears that someone from my place of employment decided to read my journal and go to my boss. Their intent was to make trouble for me.

I don't understand mean spirited people. I am now contemplating deleting my journal altogether. I hate the very thought of that. I've considered going private, but I'm not sure that will solve the problem.

My boss prayed with me about the issue. He was very understanding. He read much of what I wrote. I'm not angry. I just hurt and am very, very sad.

I just don't get the meanness of people.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


adj : having great beauty and splendor; "a glorious spring morning"; "a glorious sunset"; "splendid costumes"; "a kind of splendiferous native simplicity" [syn: glorious, resplendent, splendid]

That’s how my day has been. Here’s why:
-I slept in later.
-I had a new cinna-yummy coffee in my little coffee maker at work.
-I got ribbons so that I could print labels so I could package parts.
-The moves-slower-than-a-sloth kid I have working for me (who is the biggest drama queen alive) decided that he was going to try and work today (I really chewed him out yesterday…must have done some good.)
-I’ve been making sun tea for the past three days and it’s so yummy. Beth requested it (so it’s decaffeinated), but it has been so refreshing!!! No more pop for me.

(HERE’S A BIGGIE) I only worked 8ish hours today. Yes, I punched in a little early and I didn’t get out of there until 10 til 4, but the 12 hour days are over for now!!!

(WAIT THERE’S AN EVEN BIGGER BIGGIE) I remembered on my way home that I needed to stop and see my PO. What made me remember was the log I have to fill out. I didn’t have to do this until I moved to this county. I came and went for over two years, but when I moved here one of the first requirements was to keep a log of EVERYWHERE I went in the car. Any time I drove I was to log it. The family was initially annoyed, but then just went along with it. So I filled out the log and dashed to the PO’s office.

When I got there we spent quite a bit of time talking about the situation between Beth and the jerky boyfriend. We got there because one of the standard questions is whether I’ve had any contact with the police since our last visit. I told her no, but that I was close to calling them if Beth hadn’t filed a report on her own. My PO gave me some advice about the situation. So basically, we spent the whole time talking about Beth. Then I left.

As I pulled up beside the house, Nelson was yelling out the window. I couldn’t understand him—I thought maybe he was yelling at the dog. So I filled out my log and headed to the door. While I was still on the porch Nelson told me through the window that my PO had called and to let me know that I no longer need to keep the logs.

Now that may not sound like much to you, but it’s a huge piece of freedom and normalcy for me. I decided to celebrate so I drove to the gas station to fill up my car (gas is a couple cents cheaper on Tuesdays) and then to Taco Bell for a fiesta chicken taco alad. Yummmmmmmmm! And I didn’t write any of it down. (Insert huge smile here.)

So now I’m going to read about the goings on of others, drink my sun tea, finish some scrabble games, and then toddle off to bed.

It’s been a really, really good day.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Tootsie Tales

It takes 50 minutes to walk home. I’m terribly out of shape. It’s only two and a half miles. Maybe two and three quarters.

My car is in the shop. Probably the heater core. More probably $500. But at least it will be fixed.

Beth took me to work this morning and then she and Nelson went over to Ann’s to care for Penelope for the day while Ann worked a booth at the county fair for her Home and Garden Party stuff. Hope it went well.

But that’s why I had to walk…too many hills to ride my bike. I like walking. Shouldn’t do it again in my steel toe shoes. Beth will be able to drive me tomorrow. Hopefully the car will be done soon.

I was a sloth this weekend and it was glorious! Oh, I did laundry, washed dishes, vacuumed, bathed the dog and the husband…but for the most part I just rested and it felt marvelous.

Just wanted to let you know I hadn’t dropped off the face of the planet. It’s just peace-full and walk-full.

And now I’m going to go soak my tootsies. TTFN

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Hard to be up today

Work was long and hard. These ten hour days are killing me. I’m so absolutely exhausted. We’re really close to being caught up so I’m going to recommend to Ed that when we come back next week that we go back to a regular schedule.

Beth had a horrible evening with that boy. He went ballistic and hurt her physically. We were livid. She was terrified. She made a police report out on the incident today. This guy is getting a bit psycho. He’s threatened to hurt us now. A CPO is next.

Tonight for dinner I drove to Arby’s and was picking my order up at the window when noxious smoke started pouring in the vents. Before I could get half way home, scalding antifreeze began pouring out on my foot—the non-injured one. So now I have no car to drive to work and a very sore foot. When Beth gets home from spending time with a friend I’m going to go put air in my bike tires and I guess that will be my mode of transportation tomorrow, Saturday, and probably most of next week while the car is being worked on. Maybe I’ll lose a little more weight.

I’m tired and cranky, so rather than vent on, I’ll think I’ll close and nap till Beth gets home to take me to a gas station.

Sleep well.