Monday, June 30, 2008
So I wake up today feeling much more rested and refreshed. Sleeping on a soft flat surface is so much more desirable than being crunched in a van seat. Not to mention there are no screaming teenagers, and no bumps to send my neck aching. So I am rejoicing. Even though there are mountains of laundry in my kitchen, our air conditioning has finally kicked the bucket (which is terrible news if you live in south MS), and I have three giant heads staring at me from the side of the bed. I am rejoicing because I serve a great God. I serve a God that can bind people together even though they are miles and miles and miles apart. I serve a God who can mend the broken and stir the hearts of men. I experienced some wonderful things during my time with the Tohono O'odham people this past week. I am amazed that even though they go without or have so little they still praise God for their blessings. Many of us would look at what they have and what they have been through and not be able to see how God has blessed them. To me, they are a constant reminder that we should thank God for the little things and only rely on Him. Thats hard for me to do in my culture of huge TV's and big bank accounts that go with even bigger debts. It is so much easier to rely on the things that the world says I need. Maybe I should just go live with the T.O. or maybe even the persecuted Chinese. I would really be able to see God then.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Your comment struck a chord with me. But not a chord that made me feel all warm and happy on the inside. Now granted, I have just gotten home from a 24 hr van ride from Az, so I am not in the greatest of moods but come on. Suck it up?? A little rude don't you think? I understand that with being in the military you have to expect to move and to do so often. I wasn't saying I was against it. I wasn't saying that God can not work in many different places. But do you think that just because I am part of a military family that it automatically makes leaving friends and family easy? I was merely commenting on the fact that my heart wasn't fully at peace with either choice. So I do not believe it is your place to tell me to suck it up. A more appropriate comment might have been..."wow, you really have a lot going on. It will all turn out for the best." Now, that would have struck a chord that made me feel all warm inside.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Wow...so its been quite awhile hasn't it. I doubt anyone is still reading this. I am not even sure what I was talking about in the last post. But I know that a lot has happened. Things have been very busy since my wonderful husband has been home. It seems like this week is the first break we have had since his arrival. Lets see, we made a trip to Tn to visit family and also to pick up a bunch of furniture from my sister. She and her family are moving to London as missionaries and had to get rid of EVERYTHING they own. So we basically got a new house full of furniture. I am so thankful for Matt and Myra's generosity. You two have no idea what a blessing that was, even though it was painful for ya'll.
Anyway, after that we had Camp Create at our church. The only way I can describe it is that is a Vacation Bible School on 12 types of steroids. This years title was Meet the Weirdys and the theme was "there's a hero in everyone." So my role for the week was Paddler. I was a superhero who's powers included pin-point ping pong accuracy and flight. I even have my own trading card...pretty crazy to be famous!
Anyway, after that we had Camp Create at our church. The only way I can describe it is that is a Vacation Bible School on 12 types of steroids. This years title was Meet the Weirdys and the theme was "there's a hero in everyone." So my role for the week was Paddler. I was a superhero who's powers included pin-point ping pong accuracy and flight. I even have my own trading card...pretty crazy to be famous!
So now that Camp Create is done Sean and I are preparing to head to Arizona for a week. That should be an amazing time of seeing God work in peoples lives and how He is at work on the T.O. reservation.
But the real reason that pushed me to post today was the fact that so much is changing. My sister is moving to London, and I don't think that I have processed that. I read her blog today and cried through pretty much all of it. Seeing as how I lived with them for 5 years. Along with the fact that Sean and I are going to be (unless the Lord intervenes) relocating in December. I am not ready for this. I am not ready to leave this church, I am not ready to leave the friends that I have made here, and I am not ready to leave the security that I have here. This is the first place that has truly been my home in many many years. This is a place where I really do belong. Its not that I don't want to go live in a really cool place like Hawaii or San Diego, its just that I have made a place here, a place where people love me and don't want me to leave. But the fact is that either we move somewhere else or we stay here and Sean deploys again to Iraq. I don't fully like either choice. Not to mention the fact that I don't handle change well at all.
I remember the first time that my family moved from one house to another. I ran from room to room crying because I was leaving the only home I had ever known. Granted, we only moved to another neighborhood in the same area, but it was still traumatic. Not to mention the fact that after that move my family fell apart. So yeah, I don't handle change well. And we are up for a LOT of big changes.
Monday, May 12, 2008
So ever since Sean and I have been living here in Gulfport we have kind of become the unofficial animal haven. First of all we have never had less than two dogs, at times there have been as many as 6 dogs and two cats in the house. Yes, crazy, I know...but its a gift or a curse depending on the day. Anyway, not only do we bring animals into our home by our own choosing, they seem to flock here on their own. There was one time when we came home from being out for the day and let the dogs out of the back yard, well after a few minutes we realized something didn't seem right. There was an extra creature running around. It was a small chocolate lab that had dug under our fence to come hang out. Yeah, its sad that it took us a little while to realize we had an extra, but oh well. Well, this past friday we had just arrived home from our trek to Tn (mind you, it was about 9:30 pm) and Sean saves a little Boston Terrier from being run over in front of our house. Of course the dog has no tags and no owner in sight. So we canvas the neighborhood for about an hour and finally give up. We had the dog for the majority of the next day until his owner finally saw our sign. The next incident took place today during the hours of 9:00 am to 3:30 pm. All morning long I kept hearing this weird noise down stairs and I thought it was the dogs getting into something. Well, I eventually go downstairs and I am doing something when all of a sudden I hear something clawing around frantically in the flu of the chimney. So I am kinda creeped out by it...just a little. But I can't just let it stay in there and die, I don't want it to suffer, so I finally work up the nerve to open the flew. So I get a basket to place under the hole and a towel to throw on top of my catch. When I get the flew open soot comes out, and then shoots out this little bird, who jets to the window. Well, at this point my dogs are spastic and I am screaming cause a freaky bird thing just flew in front of my face. So I grabbed the towel and caught the bird. I cleaned it up some with a wet paper towel and put him in the basket to rest. At dusk I set him in the basket outside in front of the chimney. His parents knew he was there and they kept circling. But what intrigues me the most is that God guides animals in need to people who will help them. Isn't He a cool God? Very.
As I sit and process the last few weeks there is a theme that keeps popping up. Busyness. Since my husband returned from the war we have been going 90 to nothing. We have been apart of major productions at the church, lead the youth group, attended our own small group, played in softball games, learned some killer moves in dance class, made a whirlwind trip to Tn, loaded and unloaded tons of furniture, and re-arranged the house, among a myriad of other things. We are tired...very tired. But we are happy. But here's the thing. As I was sitting in church this past sunday God was pressing upon my heart (through the songs we sang and verses we read) that busyness is not the answer. I know most of you already know that, but how many of us actually practice it. How many of us are still and know that He is God. How many of us practice stillness? Women, how many of us strive to the the proverbs 31 woman? She seems pretty stressed out to me. Although I am far from it, I have a desire to learn how to be still before the Creator, my Father and sustainer. In one of my classes in college, my professor gave us the assignment of going someplace quiet and just sitting before the Lord. No talking, no singing, no reading, just being with God. Its amazing what you will hear if you just listen. I desire to be known as a peaceful person. Not someone who is constantly scurrying around like an ant without purpose. I want to be able to sit back and enjoy some Rocky Road with Jesus (if you haven't done Tommy Nelson's "A life well lived" I highly recommend it). Not that working for the Lord isn't awesome, I mean, I work for the church and I love it. But what I am saying is that so often I find myself going this way and that and really God is just saying "STOP, I want to spend time with you. I want to hang out and hear about your day." So this is what I am going to resolve to do this week. I want to do only what God wants me to do. Not what I think I should be doing for him, but only that in which He leads. I believe that not only will I get to slow down and enjoy life more, but I will be more productive because I won't have so many irons in the fire. It's gonna be great!
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Everyone goes through Storms. Everyone...but everyone's storms are different. Some storms are worse than others, some storms blow over more quickly. But for the time that we are experiencing those storms we feel utterly out of control. Sometimes, we get angry, frustrated, depressed, and most of the time we wonder "why?" A lot of times we feel like God is causing us pain. Actually He doesn't cause the pain, but He greatly desires to use it. He wants to use it to get our attention and pull us back to Him. Recently I have been going through a storm. The past week has just been rough. So I was very frustrated and I was letting God know how frustrated I really was. I wanted Him to fix the situation and do my will. Anyway, so I was feeling sorry for myself and I was out running errands, so I decided to stop for lunch. I pulled into Chick-fil-a and placed my order for a chicken sandwich combo. I start around the corner and see a sign for their milk shakes. I LOVE milkshakes. And I think to myself, man, I have been craving one for weeks...I should have ordered one. So I get to the window and pay and the guy hands me my food and then proceeds to say "oh, we made an extra milkshake and its for you." I was floored. I pulled out of chick-fil-a in tears. God spoke to my heart in a time when I was in a small storm and said, "my darling, I want to care for not just your needs, but also your wants. I hear you my child and I love you. I know you, I know everything about you, from your favorite things to what hurts you the most. I am here even when you don't see how things are going to turn out. Trust me, my beautiful princess." Now some of you may be thinking, "you got all of that from a milk shake?" And the answer is sort of. See the thing is that I know my God. I know he loves me, even when I don't feel like He does. He wants to use my storm to pull me closer to Him. So the question we should ask is not "why is this happening" but "what". What is God going to do to redeem the situation. How is He going to make it beautiful. You see, thats what God is in the business of. He redeems things. Now that doesn't mean that we won't grieve, or hurt, but it will help us not to give the situation control. It will help you to remember that God is in control and that "I know that plans I have for you. Plans to prosper and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and future."
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
A couple of days ago I made a post about my church's current sermon series. After that post I got an anonymous comment that only include and address to another blogger's site. The post that it led me to was from a man who says he is a Christian. The post was on, and I may be wrong, how sometimes Christianity or actually humans interpretation of the Bible can lead to spousal abuse. Now, don't get me wrong, I know that lots of people have taken the Bible and used it to support their own evil actions, but that was not what I was talking about. I was merely commenting on our culture and how it is going to take MEN standing up for their sister's in Christ and protecting them from the evils of the world. When I said that Adam's first sin was passivity I was not saying he should have been controlling Eve's every move, but that He didn't stand up and protect her from the enemy. Which is sadly still occurring today. But really, both people should be submissive to Christ first and all things will flow from that.
Monday, March 31, 2008
I am currently watching nightline which is covering a story of people who are getting cryogenicly frozen. Really?? Are they kidding? Is this an April Fool's joke?? Do people really think that this can happen? Basically what happens is that the people die and then their blood is replaced with this stuff that protects the tissue and then they are placed head first into liquid nitrogen. Then they are loaded up 4 to a cylinder and stored until who knows when. Don't people realize that when you die, you are dead? This whole god-complex really vexes me. This is simply the largest, most expensive, pointless scam of all time. These people are all like the emperor and his new clothes.
Yes, you heard me right. Crosspoint church is bringing sexy back...well not really, but we are currently in the middle of a series entitled Sexual Revolution. "Do ya want a revolution, whoop whoop??" I know I do. I am SOO tied of our over sexualized culture. Its everywhere you look. Its even peddled to our kids (i.e. Bratz, Barbie, any of the disney princesses). So many times I am shocked when driving down the road, there are even billboards for Air Conditioning companies that have a sexed up woman rubbing ice on herself. GROSS. But really, its not me that I am so concerned about, but for the youth that I work with and even the grown men that I know, including my husband. How are they supposed to keep their mind clean and focused on the Father when every two seconds they are bombarded with boobs in their face. No wonder they say that the average male thinks about sex every 10 seconds...they can't help it, its everywhere. But you know what is really upsetting, I can talk about this till I am blue in the face, but a woman is NOT going to be able to solve this problem. We can shout womens lib, and how we are humans not a piece of meat all we want...to society we are just white noise. This sex epidemic will not be put to rest until the men in our culture decide to get up and take a stand for purity and holiness. Thats where it starts. We women are only looking for approval and we get it anyway we can. Now, I am not trying to take the blame off women, cause lets just face it ladies, we can be pretty sinful ourselves, but what I am saying is that our first sin was not being sexy...thats inherently how God made us and He made men to be attracted to us...we can't help that. Our first sin was taking control, and man's was being passive. So men, stop being passive and stand up for your sisters, cause really thats what we are, your sisters. Start thinking of women like that and it will really change your mindset. That is unless you are into that sorta thing, and then you are just sick.
Also, you can get Crosspoint's message audio here: http://www.mycrosspoint.org/default.aspx?pid=38
Also, you can get Crosspoint's message audio here: http://www.mycrosspoint.org/default.aspx?pid=38
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
I found this old poem that I think I wrote in highschool...
Not that I think thats its good or anything, but its just interesting to get a snapshot of where you were a few years ago. Even if that snapshot is a bad poem.
As I stare into the sunrise, I let go of the dreams that I once held of my moon. I realize that the day is drawing near and the night that once hid me was vanishing into the glory of the sun. The darkness that surrounded me was no more oppressive and think but more like the smell of a lilac bush in full bloom. The stars began to go to bed and twinkled their last goodbye. I told them one last secret and my pain that was like a thick butter on the sunset was now being blown away with the dew of the early morning. The soft smell of daffodils wafted into my brain as the early morning rays laughed and played across my bare skin. The same rays that were so soft and gentle against my skin, were at the same time strong enough to burn away the cloud that fueled my anger and disappointment, and then there were the rosey colors of a new born morning. I could feel the sweet breeze of of hope flick across my brow and flirt with my eyelashes as the possibilities of all that lay ahead came to life with the crowing of the rooster. I lay in the same field that used to conjure the dreams of the moon but not the field was lush and green and fresh and bright. There was no where to hide and nothing to hide from. There was no getting lost and no reason to be found. The morning sun was gentle and complete. It took away the dark folds and replaced them with meadows and places to explore. With the coming of the sun, I also saw the coming of my childhood.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
The date was friday the 14th of March and it was around the middle of the day. I decided that I needed to get an envelope from the very top shelf and so I climbed on a chair. As I was turning around to get down, I felt the chair begin to pitch forward. I leaned back to counter balance and thats when I realized I was going down. At first I thought that I had just tipped it a bit, but after it was all said and done I found that the leg of the chair had given way (heavy blow to the self confidence). The back of the chair met my forehead and the legs met my left ear. Once on the ground I laid there until I knew I wasn't going to cry. When I got up there was a second forehead growing above my brow bone at an alarming rate. And I was nauseous the rest of the day and I STILL have a headache two days later along with my lovely lady lump. The lump is decreasing, but only because it is migrating down my face and making my nose and eye puffy. Its quiet enjoyable really...yeah right. Anyway, ever since then I have not been quite right...I have been testy, sleepy, slightly confused, and in a little bit of pain. Yeah, never went to the doctor, but I am not in a coma (obviously) so I think I am out of the woods...or so I am telling myself. It would be just my luck that I end up with some delayed brain hematoma or however you spell it that drastically changes my quality of life. Anyway, so if I don't post, or if I do and it doesn't really make sense, at least you will know why. Oh yeah, and if I have or do piss you off/hurt your feelings/insert something bad here, I apologize. It's the concussion, not me. Blame it on the brain, yeah, yeah.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Thats right, I am constantly amazed by God. Constantly. Over the last few days as most of you know, I have been rather frustrated and downtrodden. But this weekend God showed up in a big way. This past weekend was Student Life Tour in Hattiesburg, Ms. I, along with two other chaperones, took 10 students ranging in ages from 12-17. Crazy big age range, I know. Prior to the trip I was having a fairly stressful week. I had a looming meeting with my volunteer staff that I was dreading, and I was racing toward a weekend with teenagers that can only go two ways... awesome, or terrible. Needless to say I was in a lot of prayer. A LOT of prayer. So friday rolled around and we were set to leave at 4:30 pm, but as things normally go, we didn't leave until about 5:20. So we were going to be late. But in God's amazing providence they didn't start on time so we were able to get registered and find good seats all before it started. And what we experienced over the next two days was most definitely engineered by God Himself. The high school students loved on the middle school students and people who never have before payed attention. But the best part of it all was sunday night. We decided, instead of doing a regular sunday night, to take the students to Krispy Kreme just because we love them. Of course it was a hit, but what was so amazing was the time that we had when we went back to the church. When we got back, we gathered in the circle of couches and talked about what everyone brought back from Student Life. The responses that some of the kids gave blew me away. So often you think that they aren't listening, and many times they aren't, but this time a few of them really got it. And whats really cool is that they are normally the kids who don't get it. God you are so awesome. You totally blow me away when I most need it!
Oh yeah, and that meeting I was dreading...God showed up there too. We were all in such agreement. We were coming up with the same ideas and I believe that through prayer that we have become a team. God is good.
The greatness of Anne is that I am not great at all, but it is Christ within me who is. I am made great by His death on the cross for me. I am great because I am everything but. I am just a simple, fallible, human who in every aspect is NOT great. I am humbled by the fact that even through my human-ness God desires a relationship with me, and He desires to use me to do His work. He has chosen ME. Just like Peter, He has called me from the water side saying, " Little Girl..." He called me to sit and then He took me back to where I failed him and re-broke my heart, only so that He could heal it in full. It is because of Jesus' love for me that I am made great in His sight. And although I am not great by any worldly standard, and there are those who say I am a nothing, I know that I am precious and valued by the CREATOR of the universe. And that's pretty darn great.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
It is one of the greatest feelings to be out of debt. We no longer owe money to the MAN!! I am so thankful for my great Uncle Sam who has enabled us to become free. Not just by acknowledging our unalienable rights, but by also blessing us with extra income when we sacrifice for the good of our country and others. I know, I know, there are a lot of dissenters out there...but can I just say one thing. There are so many good things happening over THERE, that we NEVER hear about in the news. And the troops that are there are there because they want to be. They believe in what we are doing because they see, and talk to the people who we are helping. They see the difference that they are making and it feels GOOD! So don't feel sorry for them, don't hate the government because our boys are over there. They are there because they want to be. They are there because they love our country and have a desire to help others feel the same way about their own. I am proud to be a Navy wife. I am proud that my husband is making a difference all the way across the world. I am sure of the decisions that our country's leaders have made. And yes, I am proud to be an American!
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
He does, He really really does. So here recently I have been becoming more and more aware of how God really does answer prayer. I mean, if you are a Christian, you "know" that God answers prayer, but it really doesn't seem like a reality all the time. But HE DOES!!! So this is going to sound a little crazy, but hey, so do a lot of things I say. I have prayed for Dave Matthews for YEARS. I mean a long time. And as many know, Dave has been agnostic or something or another for, well, before I was born. He was raised in a Christian home, but never found faith for himself. Well, like I said I have been praying for him to find Jesus for quite sometime, and well, after reading an article from Christianitymusictoday.com I believe he has!!!!! It was reported that he was filming the music video for his song Gravedigger at a local church where a youth group was holding a retreat. Upon learning that Dave Matthews was on location there the youth group went up to him and asked if he had gone through any recent faith changes. I believe the question was spurned on by one of his recent songs where he is crying out for the man who walks on water to save him. Anyway, Dave's reply was that, yes, he had gone through some faith changes, and that he had "been washed by the blood of the lamb...and that's where it all starts."
Hoorah!! I can't believe it!! The man that I have been praying for, for years on end, has come to know Christ!! Its awesome to be apart of that. Now I am going to start praying that God pulls on his heart to become a worship leader/christian artist!
Also, I have been going through some really frustrating experiences, and my prayer has become God, bring someone along side me as a mentor, and guess what...without me even asking anyone or really knowing it was happening, I have a mentor. It happened yesterday after I felt like God was wanting me at the Church. He is such a faithful God. If you call out to Him, He WILL answer!!
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Recently I was up visiting my grandmother who is rapidly going down hill. I took two of my dogs, which really made her day. All she could talk about was how great the dogs were and how much she loved them. But during all of that my dad started telling stories from when he was little and they lived on a farm. What was interesting is although my grandmother is 92, bed ridden, and enduring Alzheimers, she would clue in from time to time with correct information. And during this sweet time is where I got the life lesson from the past. My dad was talking of a time where they were picking something or whatever, but my dad was young and because of that he was complaining about how it was hurting his hands. And this is what my grandmother told him. Turn around and pick backwards, that way you won't focus on how far you have to go and you will be able to see how far you have come. This information, although simple will be something I will always remember.
It was so awesome to sit and watch the love that my dad had for his mom, and to see what an impact she had on his life, and in turn what an impact she had on mine. And even though she doesn't even really know who I am anymore I know that somewhere in that soft, wrinkled, failing body of hers, she still knows and loves us. And that she spent many years praying and leading her family. And what's even more amazing is that she still has some idea of who God is and what Jesus has done for her. If the fact that a woman who has no idea what's going on but still the truth of her savior cuts through all of her confusion doesn't prove He exists and loves the world, I don't know what does.
There is no other feeling more frustrating than being utterly frustrated. It is not a feeling that I like to endure for very long...yet, in my line of work it rears it's ugly head more often than not. You see, I work with people...and not just one type of people, but many types, of all ages, shapes, colors and any other defining characteristic that you want to throw out there. But I digress...I am in a position that I do not believe I was ready for when I assumed it. And because of that I am having to learn how to do my job while I am doing it. So, yes, I make mistakes, and yes, I have no clue what is around the corner. So where does the frustration come in to play?? Well, when people think that things should go one way and voice that opinion strongly, when that is almost in the direct opposite direction that I am trying to go, I get frustrated. And when I say that I don't know if that is the right direction, that person precedes to tell me that they think that I REALLY should pray about that, it kinda starts to get under my skin. I am so frustrated that I don't think that I am making very much sense. It is just that I am at the point where I don't know if I am in the right place anymore. I don't know if I am doing this job because it is where God wants me, or it is because I just don't know what else to do. And that is a frustrating place to be.
Friday, February 22, 2008
5 weird things about me...
1. I own 4 dogs...three of which are Great Danes...all of which live inside
2. I can write with my toes
3. I have attended 4 collegiate institutions
4. I named my car after a character in a movie and then put it on my license plate
5. I have two wedding anniversaries which we celebrate every year
Thursday, February 14, 2008
So I am truly fascinated with google analytics. I check it all the time. For those of you who don't know what it is, let me explain. Google analytics is a site tracker. But it is not just any ordinary tracker, you see, with analytics not only do I know how many people view my site I can also find out where they are in the country (as in state and city), what kind of computer and operating system and browser they are using, how long they were on my site, how they got there, and many other things. Its really interesting. I currently have visitors from a few states, but I want them all to be green. That would be great!!! Not that I really have anything all that important to say nor do I think that what I write is all that interesting either, but it would still be pretty cool.
The second thing on my mind today as I sit here on blogger and read other blogs and leave comments is this: when ever you leave a comment here on blogger you are asked to type in a verification code which consists of a bunch of random letters. Every time I leave a comment and move onto the verification part I have to read out the word. Sometimes its aloud, sometimes in my head, but none the less I have to sound it out. Which really isn't all that strange in itself, but the thing is that it is never a real word. Its just a bunch of random letters, but I consistently find myself trying to say the word "right". Maybe its not that silly to some of you, but it makes me chuckle a bit about myself.
The third thing is that I have decided I have been watching too much of the TV show Monk. Monk is a show where the main character has OCD. Well, last night I was at small group and after dinner I walked into the living room of the host home and something was just off. I couldn't get comfortable. Then it hit me, there was a chair missing. So I tried to settle in again, now knowing what the cause of the uncomfortableness was...but something still wasn't quite right. Then someone went to mess with the fan and it hit me again, the lights weren't right. So I had to go and turn the lights to how we normally have them so that I would not be so disturbed. It was then that I realized that I need to go on Monk restriction.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
I am heavily burdened. Ever since a certain idea has been proposed, I have felt conflicted and unsure, but through that I know that God is speaking and working in my life. Last night I went to small group and enjoyed fellowship with other families from the church. We have been going through Andy Stanley's "It came from within" series, a series about our hearts. Last night the topic was anger and how it affects our lives and relationships. The main verse he used was Ephesians 4:26-27. "Be angry and do not sin. Don't let the sun go down on your anger, and don't give the devil any opportunity" (CSB). Andy basically said that it is a good principle to go by literally, as in don't go to bed angry, but he also said don't let the sun go down on a season in your life while carrying anger. He talked about showing grace to others and how that heals not only them, but also yourself. Then this morning I went to the campus ministry that I am apart of at the 9th grade and the topic was on forgiveness. How when someone has hurt you, you are called to forgive them. The example was Corrie Ten Boom and her forgiving the concentration camp guard. Next, I get to my office to prepare for youth group on sunday night and the talk that I have to give is on karma vs grace. I have come to understand that the idea of karma has infiltrated my life. Although I say I don't believe in it, I choose to live my life in a way that undercuts what I say. Karma feels good...people getting what they deserve. People hurt me, they have a bad time. People not doing what they should, they have a bad time. Karma allows me to hold onto what I see as injustices performed against me. Karma says I am entitled to my anger and entitled to keep my forgiveness and grace from others. Karma makes me think I feel better that way. God says that is not the truth. God sent his Son to revolutionize the way we treat and think about others. He came to show us how to forgive. In fact, he committed the ultimate act of forgiveness and grace. And yet, I have such a hard time. Jesus said, "If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, won't he leave the ninety-nine on the hillside, and go and search for the stray? And if he finds it, I assure you: He rejoices over that sheep more than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray" Matt 18:12-13. If that were karma, the one sheep would have gotten what it deserved- getting stuck out in the wilderness alone and defenseless. That would have been me, so who am I to withhold grace from someone else. No matter how much it pains me and no matter how entitled the world says I am to withhold it, I am called to a higher standard. I am not saying that I am there yet, but that is what God has been teaching me in the last day and a half or so.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
So I just finished a book called wednesdays letters. It was a fantastic book about a family and their journey of learning forgiveness and grace. The letters were written from the patriarch of the family to his wife. They started on the day that they got married and continued faithfully every week for 35 years of marriage. They both died on the same night and minutes before the husband died, he composed one last letter. Upon their deaths the three children return home and find the letters and begin to relive the love and marriage of their parents. Although the story was very touching, what it made me realize is how much I love my sisters. In the story the wife had a a sister who came in to help with all the arrangements and to spend time celebrating the life of her sister and brother in law. What struck me is that I have always known that my parents will die, and one day my husband will too. I have thought about that, and am at peace with it. But I guess that I have subconsciously believed that my sisters will ALWAYS be with me. I can't imagine life without them. They have been my family for all these years, even when our parents haven't. They have been who I have turned to. They have shaped me and molded me into who I am today and I am forever thankful that God placed me in their care. We are still sisters don't get me wrong, we still get on each other's nerves...and feed each other dog food and other terrible acts of adolescence. But above and beyond it all, we love each other.
Friday, February 1, 2008
Only two months until someone special comes home. And I am starting to get a little panicky... I want the house to be spotless so I have started doing all the special projects that you leave for another time. I shampooed the carpets yesterday, and am going to do the couches tonight. My next task is to wipe down all the walls (a big task for a short person with 27 ft ceilings) and make the baseboards sparkle. Not to mention that I still have a bunch of weight to lose. AND THERE IS ONLY TWO MONTHS LEFT. I am so excited for the arrival, but also getting worried that I won't get it all done. Needless to say, I am going to need lots of prayer over the next two months.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Today must be confession Wednesday, cause I am full of them. I also have a HOT NOW compulsion. Some of you who either live elsewhere than the south or in a hole may not know what that is. Hot Now is the sign that flashes on the front of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts when they are just out of the cooker. It is actually more like a homing beacon. If I pass and the light is flashing it takes everything I have to keep the car on my intended path. In fact I have even pulled into Wal-mart and parked, seen the beacon, pulled out and went to get some donuts. It is one of me and my husband's favorite treats. So much so we have had them for dinner. I have decided that the door of the Krispy Kreme store is a magical portal that transports you to a little slice of heaven. I have stood for what seems like hours in front of the donut machine watching the donuts fall from the press to the oil to running through the glaze of awesomeness to being picked up by the little stick o' glory. It is a mesmerizing process. One of my favorite memories is a rainy night when my husband and myself were drawn by the light into the warmth of the The Kreme. We pulled into the parking lot, jumped out, ran through the puddle laden maze to the door. We entered wet, laughing, and full of anticipation of our sugary feast. I ordered coffee and he chocolate milk and we sat and ate and talked for quite some time. It was a simple time, and impromptu, but it was one of my favorite dates ever.
I have recently discovered that I have a compulsion for answering the phone. When I am at the office and the phone rings I always have the feeling that I have to grab it on the first ring. It drives me to distraction when it rings consecutively. This normally wouldn't be a problem, but there is a lady there who answers the phone. I have tried answering it, but she gets antsy when I do...unless I tell her I am going to. And so instead of getting into an answering war, I just leave it alone. So I was sitting at my desk yesterday and the phone keeps ringing and she keeps answering and I am having to literally sit on my hands. I began to wonder why I have this reaction...I don't get like this when I am at someone else's house, so why am I like this here. Then it hit me...indoctrination. Several years ago I worked at Pizza Hut, and during that time is when I formed the compulsion. See, if we didn't answer the phone on the first ring, we were in some mighty big trouble...in fact there was so much pressure for prompt answering that they had employees diving for phones. It was so bad that too this day if I am feeling hectic and rushed and I answer the phone I will still say, "thank you for calling the McMinnville Pizza Hut. This is Anne, how may I help you?" Crazy I know, but I have done it everywhere I have worked...Applebee's, lifeway, the church, even my own cell phone. I never knew the full effect that place had on me...I hope one day to recover.
So for those of you who don't know, not that there is anyone who reads this that doesn't, I have three rather large dogs. So being the pack leader is easier said than done. But I try. So yesterday, seeing as how I was having such a great day, I took them for a walk. All of them, at the same time, by myself. BIG adventure. I have done this before and it usually ends up with me yelling and in a foul mood. Not to mention the time in Birmingham when I was literally drug across the ground at 20 miles per hour. But, I have found a way to stop this from happening. You see, I used to walk with them all out in front of me, with them pulling my arm out of socket. But now I walk holding them all behind me. This takes some talent to keep them from stepping on the backs of my feet and in line. But anyway, the real story is the game we play with all the animals in the neighborhood. The game is, who can make my dogs the craziest. Most days there is the same assortment of dogs and cats that are always around...but yesterday...it seems the hounds of hell were on the loose. There were stray dogs taunting us, every dog in every yard rushed their fence and screamed profanities in our direction, and the cats, well, they took their lives in their hands. Whats amazing to me about all this, besides the fact that my dogs did fairly well (they got a little excited over the stupid cat that walked right up to us), was the people I encountered on the walk. There are those who look at me and think I am crazy...there are those who think I am irresponsible for having such large and so many dogs (all though I don't see them out walking their pets EVER)...and there are those that no matter what I am doing at the moment they want to stop and talk. I can deal with the judgement, I can deal with the looks, but when I am in the middle of getting under control over 300 lbs of dog DONT stop and try to have a conversation. I WILL IGNORE YOU. I am not being rude but that amount of dog-power takes all my focus and concentration. I have no time to tell you how old they are, how much they eat, if I have a big yard, and no I have never put a saddle on them and will not ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just don't think that people realize that training dogs is a constant thing...I am always working with them...you can't just live with a dog and not be training it for something...just like children, they are a work in progress.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Note to self: Never ask a certain sister to pray for something unless you really mean it. Here's the story...Yesterday I got on this kick that I wanted to start waking up early (what was I thinking???) So I called my sister who has 5 kids to ask if she would give me a little ring when they all started moving. Her answer was "of course" followed by "you should pray and ask God to send you a wake up call." Kiss of death. Those words are stronger than you would think. So I know, I just know my sister prayed that God would send me a wake up call. How do I know this you ask? Because He did. 4:45 am on the DOT Titus erupts with another bout of diarrhea rockets and I am out of the bed like a 4th of july firecraker on steroids. Yes, there I was, AGAIN, on my hands and knees scrubbing CRAP off the carpet...only with carpet its more like you are just rubbing it in. But here's the really weird part of it all. I was in a great mood about it. I thought to myself, "hey, its 4:45...I might as well just stay up and start the day...so I grabbed my computer and headed downstairs to do a little reading in John and pray for a bit. So, God in His goodness and mercy, got me awake with the method that does the trick every time and also gave me the strength to endure it and redeem the situation. Can't wait to see what my sister prays for today...
Monday, January 28, 2008
I have a few minutes before I have to leave for a pampered chef partay, so I thought, what the heck. The the coolest thing has been happening the last few days. A few days ago, one of my nephews began sending me "presents." Let me back up...Back in Dec of 2001 I moved to McSomewhere, Tn. At that time my sister had just had her 2nd child, His birthday being dec 15th. I was at her house one day (This was before I moved from my mom's house into their guest bedroom for 4 years...big thanks) and for some reason I wanted to hold the baby (very rare occasion for me). We, the baby and myself, ended up on the couch napping. From that moment on a bond was formed. We have always been close, I don't know, we just "get" each other. He is very artistic, silly, a great dancer (you can literally see the beat get inside of his body), and generous. So to move along, the present giving started a long time ago when he started putting toys in my room for me to keep for ever, and not just any toys, they were mostly his prized possessions. I had so many that I placed a box in my room so that none of them would get lost. When I went away to college I left the box in my room, thinking I don't want to take the kids favorite toys he may want to play with them, but all of the sudden he came out to the car box in hand informing me that I had forgotten something. (Pause: wiping tear) So a few days ago I opened the mail to find a letter from him. In it was enclosed a picture that he had drawn with an inscription stating "I hope you like your present" in his own 6 year old hand writing. As he is growing up and moving away from toys and finding more joy in his art, he is still giving me his most prized possessions. And these are the best presents I could ever ask for. For a child who has nothing the world would consider valuable to give me what he prizes most really touches my heart. And for him to continue to do so as he grows up in an ever changing society is a jewel that I will treasure always.
Ok, so this whole naming of my blog was a rather interesting experience...to say the least. You see, I am the youngest child of four girls and when I say youngest I mean by ten years...so really I have more or less 5 moms...(you maybe wondering where I get the number five since 3 plus 1 equals 4. I have a step mother as well and if I leave anyone out someone will get upset, so I have to mention them all. I am such a good person.) So saying, I have a hard time making decisions since I have been told what to do by so many people since before I can remember. So, I had this name all picked out and set up ready to go...it wasn't the greatest, I'll admit but it was working. Well, I was all excited and proud of myself for actually being able to blog again that I had to call my sister, some call it a compulsion...others co-dependant, and tell her and get her input. And of course she didn't like the name. We stayed on the phone for 45 minutes discussing the name of my blog. Not a whole lot else going on in my world...or I just like to procratinate. The reason that the conversation went on for so long was because my sister could not understand what I was trying to communicate...she couldn't process how to write down my original name...I think she got something like this www.wwwdotaskannedot.blogspot.com yeah, that would be confusing, if it was right. Anyway...here are the names we went through...
you may wonder why one of those is not like the other...well, that was the very very first one...I know I know...cheesey christiany crap...i'm over it
Next on www.askanne.com: My crisis of self over same sister not liking the picture on my blog...
Sunday, January 27, 2008
I am at home now, for a precious few moments before I have to head back to the church, so I thought I would sit down and get to know my way around a little better here on my new blog. I think this is my favorite part of the whole thing...its like moving into a new house, only without all the aches and pains and if you had a lot of money to make it just the way you wanted it. Anyway...I digress. So let me explain why I had a sudden change of heart about this whole blog thing. I used to blog, and quite frequently, but then I more or less fell away after I got married and moved off and started working at the church I am now. I began to come under some heavily clouded skies...like there was this anti-anne barrier blocking my phone line to God. So time went by and here we are two years later. Well, like I said earlier I just returned home from a two week stint in the desert. I was in AZ helping to lead an internship for high school students who were learning about the whole mission trip thing. I had a great time, met some really great teenagers, spent time with someone who I consider a spiritual mentor, and got to experience things that I never have in my years of going on mission to the Tohono O'odham Reservation. So I come home after a great time of learning and teaching and serving, and I am tired and dehydrated, and frustrated because my dogs are sick. The week that followed my return home I fell into some what of a depression. Coming home to problems when your husband is in Iraq is not a funny place to find yourself in. So I sat on the couch and watched TV for most of the week. Not to mention that I have not been sleeping well...maybe it correlates with all my sofa surfing...anyway. All of a sudden it was saturday night and I knew that I had to get up early to get ready for church so I drew myself a bath in hopes that it would help me sleep...and it did, I was able to drift off to sleep at around midnight...praise the Lord!! Or so I thought. i woke up at 3:30 am to what sounded like someone pressure washing my carpet. I instantly knew I had a large problem on my hands...a Great Dane with explosive diarrhea. Not fun...let me tell you. Needless to say it was a rough couple ouf hours. I finally got back in bed and tried to wrestle the last bit of sleep I could out of the night before I absolutely had to get up. Satan even had me debating on skipping church or not. Well, my spirit won out and I made it by 9:30. I got into my office and sat down and read my sister's blogs and got frustrated. Why couldn't I blog? Why was I depressed? Why wasn't God getting me out of this situation?? God where are you????? And then I went out of my office and people that were at the church started telling me how much they had missed me and they were so glad I was back, etc. I began to feel loved by the people here for the first time in awhile...not because they don't love me, but I was finally in a place where I COULD feel it. Anyway, God began to reveal to me His presence and how much HE loves me through His people. Despite how tired I am and the poop and all the other mess. He is my Father and He LOVES me. All of this to say that in order to get me out of my spiritual desert, God took me into the physical desert to refresh my spirit and let me drink of His presence. I am so thankful for my church family and my co-workers. I was astonished to find myself full of joy when I could be anything but.
After much coercion, here I am. On Blogspot. As of the past year or two I have had a strong aversion to blogging. I used to enjoy it, but I think that I have stopped wanting to process my life...the thought process that precedes that statement is- if I don't blog I don't process, if I don't process I don't have to deal with things. You see, I am a very extroverted introvert. Ha ha. Oxymoron, I know...but thats me. I don't like to share what I am dealing with at the time, I like to go over and over it in my head, creating mass anxiety and depression and when I get over it, then I like to tell the world of the conclusion that I have come to. So thats where I am. What sparked this?? Well, after two weeks in the desert I have come home dehydrated and exhausted...I haven't slept well since being home (falling asleep at 4 to get up at 7) and last night was the last straw, I fell asleep at a reasonable hour (12:00) only to be woken by one of my dogs butt exploding onto the floor in my bedroom and seeing how he weighs 140 lbs, that was a BIG problem. So here I sit, tired, frustrated, so glad to be back with my own church family, and blogging.