Big Daddy Weave

>> Friday, January 30, 2009

Really weird name, but that's what you get when you go into rock music. I guess. I've found that one of the best ways I worship and get inspired is through Christian radio. I've been listening to His Radio out of Columbia this past year, and just this week they hit the air at 100.5 FM from Charleston, so now there's no static. Yay!

Big Daddy Weave has provided more fuel for my recent faith introspection this week. Here's the chorus:

Big Daddy Weave Lyrics - What Life Would Be Like

[Chorus]
He made the lame walk
And the dumb talk
He opened blinded eyes to see
That the sun rises on His time
Yet He knows our deepest desperate need

And the world waits
While His heart aches
To realize the dream
I wonder what life would be like
If we let JESUS live through you and me

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Dear Kira, Spook & Colin

>> Thursday, January 29, 2009

Our cats got mail yesterday, one for each of them, from their doctor. Kira's was on top. It reads:

Dear Kira,
We want to thank you and your family for choosing The Animal Hospital to take care of all your veterinary needs.

We strive to keep up with the latest technology and health issues to keep you healthy and happy for many years. As a part of helping to keep you healthy, we will remind your parents to bring you in for a yearly wellness exam, vaccines and bloodwork.

[cut: more of same]

Sincerely,
Your vet


I've been kinda iffy on my opinion of these people, but this really heaps up the + column. This was great!

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A prayer

>> Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Brandon Heath; Give me your Eyes

Looked down from a broken sky
traced out by the city lights
my world is a mile high
best seat in the house tonight
Touched down on the cold black tile
hold on for the sudden stop, breathe in the familiar shot
of confusion and chaos
all those people going somewhere why have I never cared

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
give me your heart for the ones forgotten
Lord, give me your eyes so I can see
Yea-ah-ah Yea-ah-ah Yeah-ah-ah Yeah-ah

Step out on a busy street
See a girl and our eyes meet
Does her best to smile at me
To hide what´s underneath
there´s a man just to her right
Black suit and a bright red tie
Too ashamed to tell his wife
He's out of work
he's buying time
All those people going somewhere
Why have I never cared

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
give me your heart for the ones forgotten
Lord, give me your eyes so I can see
Yea-ah-ah Yea-ah-ah Yeah-ah-ah Yeah-ah

I´ve been there a million times!
A couple of million eyes
just move and pass me by
I swear I never thought that I was wrong
Well I want a second glance
So give me a second chance
To see the way you see the people all alone

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
give me your heart for the ones forgotten
Lord, give me your eyes so I can see
Yea-ah-ah Yea-ah-ah Yeah-ah-ah Yeah-ah

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Knowing God

>> Tuesday, January 27, 2009

This is an entry I made in my diary on March 13th, 2000. I stumbled across it lately, and it gives a really good perspective at the end that I want to share. I have changed a lot since then, and the contents of this entry was a big part of the beginning of that change.

"I'm reading a book by Phillip Yancy entitled Disappointment with God. He spent the first half of the book exploring God's personality. I've maintained that I've kept hold of a "personal relationship with God" despite how I felt about his followers, but now I'm not so sure.

I have a personal relationship with Stephanie [my college roommate]. The very first thing I set out to do, and I continue to do as often as we come into contact with one another, is find out - truly seek - who she is. How she feels about things, what she likes, what she doesn't know about. I have never done that with God, even though we're in contact with one another (or should be) constantly. I have never read the Scriptures specifically to find out who God is.

I know the Torah books (and most of the Old Testament) are interesting history lessons, prophets give instructions and cover judgments and the End Times, Jesus is love and the way to salvation, and the rest are commands, stories and the end of the world. Can one honestly have a "personal relationship with God" and not know who He is beyond the Sunday School rote responses?

That's like saying Stephanie is a close friend because I know her hair is brown. And if that's the kind of relationship I have with God, there's not much "personal" in my faith."


(And a 2009 answer to my posed question, the answer is NO! You must dig! You must SEEK the desires and face of God. How He feels about things, what He likes and dislikes, how He can be a good friend to me, and what I can do to be a good friend to Him. If you want to know His will for you, if you want to rest the peace He offers, you have to be willing to try. Relationships, even here on earth, take hard work. We're created in His image, so why should a relationship with God be any different?)

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Thoughts on faith

When our children are young we teach them a song that goes, "Oh, how I love Jesus... because He first loved me."

And then around Junior High, we teach them, "Be careful not to fall in love with love."

***************

Being a Christian is like attending Harvard when everyone at Yale expects you to show up. During high school, you get to see a wide variety of academic options. You make your choice, and Harvard sends you the letter that says, "Yes! We think you're ideal for this program! Come! WE LIKE YOU!" and you enroll. So, at that point (connecting our metaphor) you've agreed to follow Christ.

Sorry to break it to you folks, but faith and trust? Good Christian behavior? Knowing God's will? HARD WORK. You're accepted to Harvard. You love it. They love you. But you have to attend classes, read your textbooks, practice your skills, do what your professors tell you to do and not only talk about it. If you need help, the faculty will do their best for you when you ask... (of course, heavenly help is exactly perfect!)

Those pissed off Yale folks might egg your car, or steal your homework from your table at Starbucks when you run to the bathroom. They may even get some Princeton folks to ambush you at a football game, or get another Harvard person (whose parents made them go there) to steal your underwear and hang them on every flagpole on campus. Or worse, they get sweet and cozy and start to convince you that Harvard really isn't as great as you know it is. Life gets harder when you make a choice and the previously friendly folks become opponents trying to get you back on their side.

Living for Christ needs focus and motivation, and a willingness to seek out understanding of hard concepts and choices. In the end, you'll still have a "Harvard" degree, but it's up to you if you graduate with a D+ average or summa cum laude.

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Adoption inspection

>> Thursday, January 22, 2009

We passed with flying colors! It wasn't complicated, but it was important. I have to go fall down now; the adrenaline rush and now letdown has caused a bit of exhaustion.

More details at 11:00... or, well, whenever I get around to writing them. I'll probably put them on the adoption blog, so check there later on.

Thanks for your prayers, everyone. We could feel them! We even slept last night!

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Preparing for Thursday

>> Sunday, January 18, 2009

Thursday morning around 11:30 is our first county/state inspection for the adoption. I haven't posted here because pretty much all of our weekend has revolved around the last-minute projects we had to do for it, as well as just doing homework and going to church. If you would like more of an update on the last couple of days, please check our adoption blog!

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Yesterday

>> Friday, January 16, 2009

Yesterday was a very lovely day. I got older. :)

Lanse woke me up nicely, and I went to Publix to get some breakfast goodies for my Bible Study group. The people at the store seemed to know it was my birthday, (not really) but they were really nice and the bagger hauled things for me and gave me extra pieces of firewood and even held my car door for me, like a chauffeur. I felt special. Then I went to buy a mocha, cuz I haven't in a while, and I ended up with a NINJA MINT mocha. Cuz I'd only ordered a regular sugar-free and the coffee girl thought I'd ordered mint. She offered to change it, but I like mint so I kept it. It wasn't bad. Mint was so sneaky!

Bible Study was great, we ate birthday strudel and strawberries and they sang to me, and we talked about Job and everyone checked in on life. This group is amazing. We seem to also spend a good deal of time discussing how wonderful the group is; maybe I should whip up some Mutual Admiration Society cards.

Anyway, I came home and spent all afternoon playing on my silly new game addiction, Puzzle Pirates. It's one of those games that have lots of real people playing at once, and we're pirates, but like... when ships attack each other and we sword fight, we go one on one in a game of Tetris. So they make like... sailing is one kind of game, gunning is another, bilging and carpentry are others... and so on. So I wasted my day happily. Also, while I did that I was also listening to a lecture from school on social networking. Kinda boring, it was basically an introduction to Linkedin and Facebook and things. Took the quiz at the end which told me that I have an excellent online persona in regards to it helping (or not hurting) my professional goals. This is good.

Then my JULIA called me! I miss my bestest friend ever, she's in frozen Minnesota. So we talked for a while and everything's good. I'd been calling and just missing her for a while, so it really was the best birthday present ever.

Speaking of birthday presents, Lanse gave me Stardust the movie, which we'll probably watch tonight. Yay! Except he's on call... so I don't know.

Lanse took me to dinner at Tomatoes, an Italian restaurant that I like. The appetizers and desserts are excellent, and the atmosphere makes me feel completely at home and at peace, which is really weird. However, this is the second time we've been and the second main course that really didn't impress me at all. We had porcini crusted scallops for apps, veal marsala for main, and dessert was a really good thing I can't pronounce that had a custard on a thick biscuit crust with blackberries and raspberries and one other berry on top. It was really good.

When I went to Publix I'd gotten a bundle of firewood just for my birthday. I know it's not cost effective at all compared to actually buying a cord from somewhere. But I was in a hurry. So we spent the evening after dinner playing computer games/reading in the living room while messing with fire. I also talked to my brother and my mom, and a friend from church too. And then we went to bed late.

It was a great day.

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Good study day

>> Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It's gray and rainy, but not too much. It's the perfect day for huddling down with a book. So I have my tea, my comfy pillows, my cats... and my textbook. Today, this is my study area (it was full of cats when I left to get the camera... they left before I got back):



Jen's coming over after work to help us prepare for the inspection. We love Jen. (We love her husband Luke too, but he's not coming.) In any case, Jen doesn't know it yet (but will when she reads this!) but I'm experimenting on her with dinner. I'll post it later, when we've tasted it.

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A fresh start...

>> Monday, January 12, 2009

In an effort to drag myself out of my depressed crazies with intention, I arranged to make excuse to do my homework at church today. I need a public place to ignore in order to actually focus on what I'm doing. But in order for me to be there, we all felt it was better for me to volunteer and do a couple odd jobs before settling in.

I arrived a bit after ten, hung out and chatted in the office, punched, collated and finished creation of the latest batch of directories for Cathy McG, finished the pamphlet I volunteered to do on Friday for the C4K project for Cathy J, ate some lunch, got the call to schedule the health inspection, freaked out and called family, and then opened my textbook... to see it was almost 2:00. I read about 10 pages and then came home. Still better than nothing.

Actually accomplishing helpful work at the church really made me realize how much ministry means to me. I enjoyed working at Grace Covenant with the school so much I know I want to do something like that, but I didn't realize how much of it was ministry work in general... I've focused my degree on the children, which was also a huge part of it, but it's the church environment over all that moves me, and I'd thought it was the classroom. I may start to refine my future plans, just based on this morning. This could be a good thing.

Then I came home, ate more, zoned out, arranged with mom to maybe get a free living room set (but we have to get a truck to move it from Charlotte, so it won't be ALL free) and then we biked up and down the street. We have a cul-de-sac on each end, so in the end it makes a nice longish ride for me. Plus it was cold, so we kinda booked it home.

I'm pleased. I think I'll have a much better time being responsible and taking care of myself if I just determine that I'll probably get around to it eventually, but there's no pressure. I work better that way.

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No need for resolutions

>> Friday, January 9, 2009

Off and on this year I've been trying to get myself to exercise because I feel like a slug and my blood sugar would be helped as well. I kept trying little things that I've never liked doing because my grown-up brain thought that I should. It's the stuff New Year's resolutions are made of. Of course, that never works.

But now, my health woes are at a end-of-the-middle with the return of my beloved bicycle from the basement shop of Lanse's Uncle Chuck. She's a Schwinn from the 70s, with all the lovely retro shapes, and coaster brakes. Ta da!






Yes, she is in a rather sad shape, but Uncle Chuck fixed the wheels and replaced that silver part under the handlebars that joins up with the pink bit. It was originally too narrow and wobbled around a lot. Everything that needs doing right now is aesthetic - except for replacing the seat, which is now slightly too low; it's very functional, and I rode it around the block this afternoon. Let me say right now that eight years is much too long to keep muscles in any sort of shape. But I enjoy riding my bike, so there's an incredibly good chance that I'll finally start exercising.

So, part of next month's budget will go towards a new seat, some higher grade sandpaper than what we have left over from the oak cabinets, and some paint. I'm thinking either deep purple or bright teal. If I can find one, I'd like to also replace the emblem on the front.

Yay!

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Vet update

>> Wednesday, January 7, 2009

So we took all three cats to a new vet yesterday. We got in at 4:00, got out at 6:00... I think that's the longest we've ever taken. I have mixed feelings; they were very nice, but not very well organized for dealing with stressed out animals. They "recommended" a complete workup for all cats over age 7, which two of ours are, and bloodwork+ for all ages. We did everything they recommended only because we're trying to appease the Powers that Social Work, and it came to almost $600. *collapse* We'd only budgetted 1/6th of that. Three cheers for Discover, and formal apologies to Mr. Dave Ramsey for resorting to credit again.

Anyway, first they did the general check teeth, heartbeat, etc. touch tests and a blood draw for all but Colin, who got the blood draw at the very end. That's what set him off on shock and liver failure last time, so we weren't sure if we were even going to do it. So all three get a general inspection and a stick up the butt (fecal sample. Ew. Colin tried to bite for that one), two get the blood drawn, then there's a break. Then the actual vet comes in (the first woman was a tech) and does the manual test again and does the vaccines, and then tries to get blood from Colin. He totally flipped out, it was heartbreaking... then the vet went off to get something, and the tech decided to try it in the leg instead of the neck and he calmed down considerably. We opted to do the home gathering method of a urine sample, they gave us stuff to do it with. Apparently when they do it in the office they draw with a needle. Don't even want to think about it. *too late*

Then we were done, had some talk, came home, and everyone seems fine. Everyone's eating *THANK YOU GOD* and they're still snuggly and purring when appropriate. I did get a call back on the blood work, and Spook and Kira have slightly low white blood cell count and higher red blood cell count (not a problem unless they get sick), and Colin has "indicators" for heartworm. Lovely. Apparently there's nothing to do about it until he has symptoms (breathing problems or weird heart rates), at which point they would do tests to verify that's what it is. So this isn't even a diagnosis, it's just more of a note of concern, and a reminder to get everyone on preventative stuff, since something around here might carry heartworm.

So after all that, I'm still calming myself down. Although it didn't look like it at the time, I think the whole experience was much more traumatic for me and Lanse than the cats!

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Good intentions...

Despite yesterday's good intentions, I woke up with the migraine from hell this morning and after I finally dragged out of bed, sat staring comatose at my computer most of the day until just about an hour ago when the drugs finally kicked in. Even so, I've talked to Bert a number of times, got the vet records scanned and emailed, and finally printed out the fire escape route floor plans we have to hang on the wall. I also remembered that our agency has discussion forums, and chatted in there a bit.

More updated info on the adoption blog, again.

Just a bit ago, I checked my school communication thing in my classroom to discover that my instructor has actually been adding comments to all my papers throughout the term, in additional text boxes in blue text down the right margin, but none of them have been showing up in my returned graded papers. So all this time I've been upset that she never comments, and she actually has been. But because she started all my papers with a note across the top, I didn't realize I was missing something. So we're going to find a way to get my comments to me, hopefully, and we'll hope that I wasn't supposed to be building on things she said. My grade seems to say that I'm doing fine, which is a relief. I just wish I hadn't felt so annoyed about her not doing her job as a prof, since apparently she was and it was the technology that failed me.

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So far...

>> Tuesday, January 6, 2009

So far today I have:

  • put dinner in the crock pot - another experiment
  • baked bread
  • contacted financial aid services for school
  • contacted academic advisors to see if I can get into another class that starts Monday
  • talked to Bert at Bethany (more info on our adoption site)
  • received mail from Heidi (YAY! Thank you!)
  • received my next Netflix movie
  • received my textbook for the class I'm already in for Monday
  • checked in to both of my current classes
  • answered questions on my school research community
  • watched video of Kaylee WALKING (click to watch on Flickr)
  • scheduled an appointment with a new vet (it's at 4:00, please pray! Our last scheduled vet visit didn't go so well)
  • finished two puzzles on jigidi.com (flash jigsaw puzzle site)
Later today we will:
  • take the cats to the vet
  • eat the food I hopefully haven't destroyed
  • collapse
  • maybe watch a movie
Tomorrow I will (theoretically):
  • go to Home Depot and BabiesRUs for some final child proofing items
  • finish child proofing the house
  • do some homework
  • try to contact my AA again

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2008 review in pictures

>> Friday, January 2, 2009

I started out posting my 2008 review in pictures here, but then realized how much time it would take to upload a whole year's worth of stuff... and how people who read my blog might gripe if it took a while to load. So, please check the following link to my flickr account to view my "blog" post!

2008 Review in Pictures

Happy 2009 everybody!

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About This Blog

Life is about changes; transitions from one place to another, from one purpose to another, from one being to another. They say that the person you are today is a completely different person from who you were ten years ago and who you'll be ten years from now. So far, at the age of 33, I've had four major transitions in my life which redefined who I am. Two years into the results of the most recent transition I am again - still - exploring how God is shaping me. Over the next few months I hope to review my past and set goals for the future, and embrace the next adventure of rediscovering me.
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