Monday, December 27, 2010

I promise there's a moral to this story

Life lately has been...hectic. There's no other word for it.

Shaun and I stay constantly busy with scene[essence], Variance, Intellect Management, 20 Something, the work we actually get paid to do, and a million other tiny projects crammed in between. Somewhere in the middle of it all I've been sick at least once a month. Booooooo.

For most people, getting sick is a "get in, get out, get on with your life" deal where you feel crappy for a couple days, then you're fine. For me, it's always been somewhat different. When I get sick, it gets me down for days, usually about a week, then leaves me exhausted and grouchy for up to a month after. I've gotten used to that, since it's a natural occurrence for me. It's worse than it was before I got mono, since it's left me permanently lethargic.

If I'm not dealing with illness, I'm injuring myself in some way. This week's tale of woe is my sliced-and-diced toe. It's ridiculous.

Long story short, lately I feel physically broken. With the exhaustion and excessive mood swings it's brought on I feel emotionally broken too. Thankfully, God doesn't mind.

When we went to the Christmas Eve service at Crossings, Pastor Marty (one of the men I most admire) talked about how the shepherds in biblical times were considered some of the most unclean people in Jewish culture. They tended the lambs that would be sacrificed to cover sin, but they weren't allowed in the temple themselves. How crazy, then, that when Immanuel, "God with us" was born, the angels went to the shepherds to tell them the good news. Not the rabbis. Not the kings or anyone considered important to us.

No, the angels were sent to tell the unclean ones. The broken ones. The ones no one else wanted. The ones who would gaze with wonder at the face of Christ and know that healing has come.

Immanuel doesn't just mean "God." It means "God with us." With. In the same place. Feeling the same things. Understanding us and saving us.

I feel comforted by the fact that no matter how upset I get, no matter how broken I feel lately, Jesus is God with me. He takes the pieces and makes me whole. Maybe not physically, that may not be God's will, but I'm not so worried about that. As C.S. Lewis said, I am a soul, I have a body. God's priorities are always in order, even when mine aren't, so I know my soul is in safe hands.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Beyond Our Skies

We did a photo sesh with Beyond Our Skies, an OKC area band that we are managing. It was so much fun! Afterward we got to watch them practice their set, and I'm so excited to see them in concert again. For such a young bunch, they are amazing.

Check out a preview photo from their photo shoot!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Have a holly, jolly Christmas

Today was decorate-for-Christmas day in the Ladymon household. 'Tis a joyous day, and one of much sneezing, as we spent half the morning dusting off snow globes and other glassware.

As you can see, I like to overload my tree. I own many, many ornaments and a very small tree. Someday, I shall own a large tree. I will be in Christmas heaven. Unfortunately, I stink at all things ribbon related, so I had to call my Mama to come save me. Thanks Mom!

This year we are having a very Scottish Christmas, complete with piper Santa and his own little dancer to keep him company.

My dear friends, I would like you to meet Helga the Nutcracker. She was given to me by one of my favorite people, and if you look closely at where the actual nutcracker is located you can see how she created hours of giggles for us. :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010


To say yesterday was epic (and exhausting) would be an understatement.

First, we had Harry Potter day at work, because we are amazing. We plastered the office with "Wanted: Bellatrix Lestrange" posters, put Moaning Myrtle pictures in the bathroom, created a Marauder's Map, and much more. As Luna, I had my Converse hanging from the ceiling. :) We also had a large number of awesome Harry Potter themed treats.

Second, we had home-cooked food for the musicians at the Close Your Eyes, The Word Alive, Underoath, A Day to Remember show last night. Thank goodness we got to hang out backstage and watch from inside the fence, because the venue was sold out and 1900 people is just too dang many for me to handle! Let me tell you, the guys from Close Your Eyes, The Word Alive, and Underoath are sweethearts and more people should bring them home-cooked goodness.

There's so many little things that interest me about yesterday that I could share, but they'd probably just bore anyone else :)

In other news, I've already started planning my birthday. It will actually be a week-long extravaganza if I get my way, and it will start with the 1/21 We Came As Romans, Woe, Is Me, and The Word Alive show in Dallas. I'm already excited!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thoughts from today

I still cry easily. When I say I have thick skin, I'm totally lying.

Some people are jerks for no reason.

Every now and then, losing your voice can come in handy.

I love friends who are always ready with a hug.

I have the best coworkers anyone could ask for.

Baking cookies is a good way to work out frustration.

I didn't eat dinner. Whoops.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Things I love right now

The Remington Curling Wand has literally changed my life. As someone with hair that is between wavy and curly, I have a lot of weird hair days. After I use my diffuser in the morning, I wrap a few strands of hair on both sides of my face around this lil baby, and my hair looks like I actually took time to fix it!

Best. Boots. Ever. The Mossimo Kaden boots from Target ($34.99) are ah-mazing. They look great with skirts and skinnies, and they are my go-to footwear for concerts. I always get compliments! They also happen to be the most comfortable boots I've ever owned, which is a definite plus!
With the onset of fall, my skin went into dry-out mode. St. Ives Intensive Healing is the only body moisturizer I've EVER found that is lightweight, non-greasy, and lasts longer than 10 minutes. It's a great find! I have my huge pump bottle at home and a small bottle for on the go.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

pixi stix

I’ve had 24 pixi stix in the last hour and a half. This post will be completely and utterly random.

Since October hit I’ve been yearning to watch High Spirits. I have yet to do so. It is one of the best Halloween-ish movies EVER. Peter O’Toole, Daryl Hannah, Liam Neeson…it’s just fantastic and hilarious, okay? You should watch it too. If you happen to have it we can watch it together and you shall be my new best friend. Pinky promise.

I officially like niche record labels better than powerhouse companies. In other words, record labels like Fearless who deal in certain genres and don’t have like 60 bands on their artist pages. They are easier to deal with, friendlier, less annoying, and seem to have a better grip on the changing music industry. So awesome record labels, I salute you…by throwing back a pixi stick.

I was Gilly from SNL for Halloween at work yesterday. My vocabulary consisted of 3 words.

I think the orange pixi stix are my favorite.

Tomorrow I will be dressing as a pirate for Trunk or Treat. I have my pirate jacket and pirate boots…but I can’t find my pirate pants. Pretty sure no one wants to see a pantsless pirate.

Haha…I love alliteration.

For some reason unbeknownst to me (yes, my spellcheck underlined unbeknownst, but I don’t care), I decided to try to correct one of my legalistic Christian acquaintances when he said that we shouldn’t celebrate Halloween. I don’t know why I even bother.

We’re up to 31 pixi stix. I won’t be going to bed for a while.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Weekend with Roni

Shaun and I got to chill with my cousin Roni for a few hours today! Roni just turned seven, and she's a pretty cool chica for one so young. Heck, she can burp on command. She's my new best friend. We spent some time at the park, ate at McDonald's, and spent some time boogyin'. That's what I call a good Saturday!

We spent some time chatting at the park. That buffalo was surprisingly well behaved ;)

I wanted to swing while she pushed me, but somehow that didn't seem very "grown-up" of me...

 Tire swing! There was a surprising amount of lost socks around this area. Like the considerate person I am, I checked Roni's feet to make sure she still had hers before we left.


Sunday, October 10, 2010


This weekend we picked up all of Mrs. Lawrence's swords and her dance stage to take to my house. Mrs. L has been teaching dance classes in her studio/garage since 1965, and she's had the stage since 1970.

This stage has been the platform for at least one dance competition, numerous medal tests, and hundreds of dancers. She's taught several world champions, numerous national champions, and a host of other fine dancers. This stage has seen dance history in the making, and it's the place I feel most at home.

Throughout the years I've pounded out my joys and frustrations on that stage. I remember learning the Strathspey and Half Tulloch in Mrs. L's studio and constantly saying "corner, corner, front, corner" to myself. I remember making Mrs. L laugh at the way I kept messing up the arm movements for the Hornpipe.

Now the stage is mine. More memories will be made and Scottish dance will carry on.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hello, I love you

If you haven't checked out Agape Attire yet, you should! They're an awesome Christian company. They have some great designs AND they happen to sponsor my three all-time favorite bands, Blessthefall, A Skylit Drive, and Memphis May Fire. Last time we saw Matty Mullins he was sporting this shirt:

I think I need it.

Check them out, yo. Spread a lil love.

Agape Attire 

Too much of a good thing

I'm one of those people who usually thinks you can't get enough of a good thing. Heck, I'm the person who has been listening to the Blessthefall Witness album at least 10 to 12 times per week since May. However, I think this week may just change my mind.

Tomorrow Shaun and I are going to see Anberlin and 30 Seconds to Mars. Friday we are going to see The Word Alive and some other bands. I may die. I usually walk around zombie-fied the day after a concert, and I have two back-to-back this week.

This was a bad choice.

In other news, I officially start working full-time at Tate on Friday. Yippee!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Best night ever? Quite possibly!

It is entirely too late at night for me to put together a coherent sentence, but I don't care! I'm too excited to sleep. Shaun and I just got home from the Blessthefall/Underoath concert. It was amazing! Both bands are so talented, and so NICE! It's great to get to see good guys getting recognition.

I got to interview Chris Dudley from Underoath and Eric Lambert from Blessthefall, and I feel so blessed to have some time to chill with them. They're a reminder to stay upbeat. They are on tour all the time, they're away from their families, they're exhausted, and they have to deal with nosy journalists such as me :), but they are still positive and have a great sense of humor. Plus, I always love meeting a fellow hugger like Eric!

Maybe there isn't much point to this blog, other than to pass on my tidbit of knowledge about the character of these two bands. I love listening to music that has great men behind it! We need more great Christians like them around.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Corners of my mind

Do you ever have something really big that you're just dying to tell someone, but you can't? I'm totally having one of those weeks. Well, one of those months really. I'm definitely not the type of person who can handle keeping anything on the down low. When Andrew plotted with me to surprise Sunny with an early return to Oklahoma, I nearly died. I successfully kept the secret, but good grief was it hard!

This time around I'm not really keeping other people's secrets, just something that affects my future. No biggie, right? Quite the opposite! Okay, okay, don't freak out and think something bad is about to happen. I'm actually really excited and I can't wait to see how the next few months go.

In other news, I'm feeling incredibly bogged down by all the stuff I need to get done. My to do list seems to continually get longer, and I'm not checking off enough tasks to balance it out. My mind is on a never-ending roller coaster. In an effort to ignore the roller coaster, I've been listening to a whole lot of A Skylit Drive and Blessthefall lately. Somehow I feel calmer when I'm blasting some crazy music. It drowns out the noise in my mind. That's funny...I drown out one kind of noise with another. That probably qualifies me as some sort of crazy. My life is never quiet.

I've also developed my own personal brand of sleeping disorder in recent times that resembles a reverse version of the insomnia I had back in the day. Instead of being unable to go to sleep, I wake up early in the morning and can't go back to sleep since my mind is racing ninety to nothing. It's quite annoying, actually.

Here's to hoping life goes back to normal soon...or as normal as life gets for a weirdy like me. In the meantime, I'll be singing random ASD lyrics.

"The city only breathes through you, and all the cracks that you've fallen through."

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Further From Myself

I really don't know what to write about tonight, but I do feel the urge to write something, so here goes:

* Shaun and I came up with an idea for a short lesson series in 20something that has been on our hearts for a while, and I'm really excited about it. Seriously, I'm so excited that I find myself daydreaming about things we need to remember to put in the lesson plan instead of paying attention to rather important things. I won't tell what the idea is's a secret!

* I've been working at an amazing company for 90 days now. I'm so blessed. The people I work with are wonderful, and the opportunities I've been afforded are once-in-a-lifetime.

* I've been reminded of an old Pillar song a lot lately. It's called "Further From Myself," and whenever I'm being selfish it always seems to pop into my head. Part of the lyrics say "and I admit that when I submit to You, I can see all of the selfish things I do." I wish I could take that song and blanket the U.S. with it. We all need to hear it so much. We take part in selfish, destructive behaviors that ruin relationships and cause lives to implode, yet we can't see that the solution is to let Christ become greater in our lives and let ourselves become less. Even when we do realize that, it's easy to say and hard to do. Okay...I've run out of thoughts for now.

"Further from my future
Further from my past
Further from the starting line
Further from the last
Further from my doubts
 Further from my fears
Further from temptations that I faced
Throughout my years
Further from agitation
Further from distraction
The reaction of dissatisfaction of others' actions
Further from myself
Further from my flesh
Further from my birth
And I'm further from my death

I'm further
Further from myself
When I'm next to You
When I run to You."

Friday, June 25, 2010

I'm just chatty

What? Three blogs in three days? "That's crazy!" you say. Well it's true! :-)

I suppose the reason I've blogged so much this week is simply because it helps me get all my ducks in a row (even the ducks I don't write about!) when I'm so busy that my head seems to be spinning. I'm the type of person who needs to write things out or say them aloud to keep things organized and logical. I think God made us that way on purpose. Conversation is the bread that keeps our minds alive and well, if you think about it, and the conversation that will feed us eternally is the one we have with God.

My constant need to communicate, my need to "get things out of my system" comes from my need for God. I can't remember the exact verse, but in the Old Testament it says that God puts eternity in every man's heart. In the same way, He puts urges in our hearts that He can use to draw us closer to Him. I need to talk about the good things and the bad to be able to work through them and understand their purposes, and God made me that way so I could learn to lean on Him through prayer. It's amazing how He works. :-)

We went to see The Karate Kid this evening, and I loved it! Jaden Smith is such a little picture of his father. He has a lot of the same little mannerisms that make Will Smith who he is. Those similarities are no accident. He got that way because he's around his dad all the time. In the same way, the more time one spends with God, the more one starts to act like Him and see the world through His eyes. Without constant prayer and study, that's impossible. I think that's why God made me so that I have to talk about everything. As a flawed human, I stink at praying sometimes, just like everyone else, but when I'm not busy being stubborn, God can use my habits for His glory. I'm in awe.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

It's been quite a while...

I hadn't realized how long it's been since I last blogged! In the past month I've been working and keeping busy with a lot of extra projects. I am officially exhausted, but most of it has been worth it!

Shaun and I got to go see Blessthefall, Demon Hunter, and As I Lay Dying last month! BTF and DH are two of my all-time fave bands, and they definitely didn't disappoint! I wish I could see them again. I also got to meet Beau Bokan, the lead singer of Blessthefall :)

We finally got to see our friend Jose's band, Boy Wonder! They were really good! I miss Jose. A lot.

This week we got to see A Skylit Drive, which is another one of our fave bands! Normally when I go to a concert I get shoved around half the time and I rarely have a clear view of the stage, but for the last half of the ASD set I got to stand really close to the stage AND I had an uninterrupted view. It was exciting! Really, this month might have been entirely too exciting. :)

In other news, I'm working on a new magazine! It's good to be writing again. It's been kind of hard to get back in the groove though. I suppose it may take a while! It's a blessing to get to use my talents again.

Aaaaaand...I can't even remember what else I've done this month. So that's all for now!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Refined in the Fire

I'm starting to realize how twisted our view of love is, especially God's love. When something doesn't go our way we think God must not love us or we're outside His will or something like that. We want to believe that God loves us so much that He doesn't ever want to let any harm come to us. He wants to keep us safe. Cocooned.

The problem is, God loves us so much that He DOESN'T want that for us. We are precious, like gold, but gold must be refined if it is to be beautiful and useful for anything.

How is gold refined? In the fire. Gold must be heated, melted, to remove the impurities. In the same way, we have to let God melt us to remove the sin. Only then can we be molded for God's purpose.

God doesn't want us to be safe and sound, where all our impurities, our sins, will be safe with us. No, He wants us to go through the fire and come out pure and strong. To strengthen us so we can pass through the fire without facing destruction He has given us His Holy Spirit. Just like the time some of His believers were thrown in a furnace, He is there with us.

It's a hard lesson to learn, but I'm starting to realize how thankful I should be that God loves me enough to refine me in the fire.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Perfume, and lip gloss, and skirts, oh my!

So I'll tell you right now that today's post will be completely different than the rest you've read from me lately! I've been feeling a lot girlier than usual, and I've decided to let it out! That means that this blog is basically pointless, but I like to write what I feel, and today I feel pretty. lol

For starters, Raina came over on Friday and I got to buy an awesome Mary Kay set that comes with all four of their perfumes, a lip gloss, and a connector that puts the lip gloss and a perfume together so it'll be a handy-dandy purse staple! Normally I hate perfume because it's all entirely too fussy smelling to me, but I ADORE every MK scent. All you ladies HAVE to try them (and Raina is the coolest MK rep in the land. Try her out)! That's girly point numero uno for my weekend.

Girly point number two: I dyed my hair for spring. Normally my hair is black or dark, dark red. Now it's a lighter auburn, and I love it! For some reason all this just makes me want to go shopping (girly point number 3)!

Lucky for me, Shaun and I have planned an all-day shop-a-thon for Good Friday. I've already been scoping what I want to buy. I've decided that this season there must be a fashion guru somewhere with me in mind, because I'm finding all sorts of floral prints online that I can actually wear with my multitude of black shirts. Let's face it, it's hard to reconcile my Hot Topic-friendly wardrobe with anything pretty or sophisticated, but I think this is the year for it!

Alright, onto another subject. This Saturday at 7 we are having a 20something/Elm Street Bible Study party at my house! I'm seriously excited, and I hope a lot of people show up. It'll be nice to get to socialize outside of church and Bible study!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Any questions from the monkeys in the back?

Most of my posts have a point, but today I feel like being completely random! I found my old Xanga and started reading posts from when I was a freshman in college. I feel like if I met freshman me, we would act like two different people. I was so carefree and goofy! (Alright, I'm still goofy sometimes lol) I'm pretty sure we could be friends though. :)

I know I'm supposed to be "grown up" and all that jazz, but there are times that I wonder if freshman-year-me is the way things should really be. I had things that I could have worried about, but I didn't. Sure, I have more things to worry about now, but if I could take a lesson from me several years ago, it's that when I trust God to take care of things, He will, and I'll have a lot more fun in the process!

It's amazing how we as adults should be taking cues from younger people. Kids take pleasure in simple things, worry about little, and trust easily. In the same way, we should take pleasure in what God gives us without wanting that which is bad for us, avoid worry because it is unnecessary, and easily place our trust in God. How hard should it be? I fear that the older and more "sophisticated" we get, the more complicated we makes things on ourselves. We pride ourselves in being mature, but really we're all mixed up and we put roadblocks between us and God.

Alright, so maybe I did have a bit of a point!

In the spirit of goofiness and being carefree, I'll leave you with a few quotes from my Xanga, most of which are from my beloved OSAS:

"Excuse me, we are the mafia."

"Any questions from the monkeys in the back?"

"Jay attacked me in true squirrel fashion."

"I got blamed for a small food fight that I didn't start and accepted an award for a person I didn't know."

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Paid in Full

"Carrying His own cross, He went out to what is called Skull Place, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. There they crucified Him...He said "It is finished!" Then bowing His head, He gave up His spirit." John 19:17, 18, 30

Our King Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for us on a day long ago. He was led like a lamb to slaughter, but unlike an ordinary sacrifice, He did not stay dead. Death could not overcome Him. Death could not hold him prisoner.

As Easter approaches and I ponder the magnitude of what was done for me, I am drawn to my knees in humility. I, who commits selfish acts daily, was bought and paid for by the selfless one.

When Jesus said "It is finished," He was using a common accounting term. Literally translated, it means "Paid in full." The debt is canceled. When the money was paid to fulfill a debt, this is what was written on the bill. In essence, Jesus was saying "I have fulfilled the debt my beloved one could not pay."

There is none righteous among us, and none who can pay the debt we owe for sins committed. Without a Savior who has stamped "paid in full" on my bill, I'd be screwed. I'm so thankful for the God who loves me so much that He sent His Son to be beaten, bruised, and crucified so that I may live debt-free.

To loosely quote John Newton, "I am a great sinner, and Jesus is a great Savior."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Our Lord Reigns: God's plagues versus the Egyptian gods' power

Alright so this blog is actually a little bit of a lesson. In my Bible study we are currently studying Exodus, and this week we started reading about the plagues. I found out that each of the plagues attacked the powers of at least one Egyptian god, so I thought I'd play a matching game and figure out which plague goes with which god! Here's what I've got so far:

1. Nile River Turned to Blood:
For starters, the Egyptians worshipped the Nile itself, because it was the center of their lifestyle. By ruining the Nile God proved his superiority over Hapi, the god of the Nile and one of the major gods in the Egyptian pantheon, and over the other lesser Nile gods. He also killed all the fish of the Nile, thus defeating any gods or goddesses associated with fish, including Hathor and Neith.

2. Frogs:
Several Egyptian deities were thought to take the form of frogs, therefore the frog was considered sacred. Egyptians considered an abundance of frogs to be a sign of plenty (it makes sense that an large number of creatures who prefer moist environments would be revered in a culture that lives in a hot, dry climate), so the appearance of thousands of frogs should have been a good sign. Unfortunately for them, the frogs all died. This  was definitely a hit on Heket, the frog headed goddess, and Isis, who sometimes took the form of a frog. These goddesses represented fertility. The death of their symbol represents the complete opposite, showing yet again God's supremacy.

3. Lice:
The lice were created from the "dust of the earth." This is a clear attack on Geb, another of the major gods, because not only is he god over the dust of the earth, according to the Egyptians he IS the dust of the earth. His body was the ground on which they walked. To make his body into the lice that made each and every Egyptian unclean is a definite insult to the Egyptian religion. This also insulted Seth, an earth god, and Kheper, god of beetles and flies.

4. Flies:
This one is another insult to Kheper, who did not answer the Egyptians prayers for a respite from the creepy-crawlies. It also attacks all the gods of the air, many of which reportedly used flies as their ears. The flies attacked everyone but the Hebrews, which is a clear sign of holiness.

5. Death of Livestock:
This plague came with awful consequences to the Egyptians and created doubt in many gods, from Apis, the sacred bull, to the Hathor, the cow-headed goddess. It also created a huge economic disaster, since it left them without food, transportation, military supplies, farming animals, and other economic goods produced by livestock. Meanwhile, the Hebrews are doing just fine.

6. Boils:
Imagine the emotional and physical scars this left. In ancient Egypt, medicine and magic were considered the same, so the fact that the magicians fled from Moses' sight because they couldn't get rid of the boils is a huge blow to the Egyptians. These men and other healers were considered conduits of Thoth, the god of magic and healing, Isis, goddess of medicine, Hike, god of magic, and many others. If they are powerless, so are the gods they serve. They couldn't even offer sacrifices, since only the clean may serve the gods. Boils represented punishment from sin in Egyptian society, but did Pharaoh, the living god, not think that keeping the Hebrews was right?

7. Hail:
This plague destroyed all the barley and flax, the crops that the Egyptians used in libations (alcohol) and clothing, but left some of the wheat, which was purely for food. This took away the comforts and vanities of the Egyptians, but still gave them the option of surviving. It also proved God the true deity over Nut, the sky goddess, Reshpu, the god of rain, and many other gods, including Shu and Tefnet. This also destroyed trust in the weather shamans who called on these gods to make the weather constantly favorable. Of course, this lie was easily sustained until this point, since Egypt had the most predictable weather imaginable. The hail ruined that illusion of the shamans' power.

8. Locusts:
When Pharaoh still refused to let the Hebrews left, God took away the Egyptians' sustenance with locusts. All the prayers to Seth, god of crops, and Min, protector of crops, fell on deaf ears, proving once more that the Hebrew God listens, while the Egyptian gods either do not listen or do not exist. In essence, Pharaoh's stubbornness led the Egyptians to the brink of starvation.

9. Darkness:
With three days of darkness, God proved that He reigns supreme over even the highest of Egyptian gods, Re. He was the most worshipped of all, yet he was powerless to stop the Hebrew God from covering his light. To the Egyptians, darkness represents hopelessness. They could not even trust Pharaoh, the "son of Re," to save them. By this time the Egyptian pantheon of gods is completely crushed.

10. Death of the Firstborn:
The firstborn of each family were considered the most important and most blessed of the children. They were dedicated to the gods. This plague was a clear affront to Pharaoh's own divinity, since he could not even save his son, who was also considered divine and therefore protected by Re and various other gods. The pantheon of gods is destroyed, and the leader of Egypt is disgraced.

Through these ten plagues God proved His sovereignty. He proved that He is the sole God. He proved that His people truly are set apart from the world. Not only has He proved his power to those who enslaved the Hebrews, He reminded His people that He is in control. It's amazing how we forget that, even today.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

God at Work

It's amazing how we talk about how good God is all the time, but we don't really realize it or comprehend it. I JUST realized how good He was in an answer to my prayers (and surely the prayers of many others) in the past few years.

God not only answers prayers, He goes above and beyond any expectations we, in our tiny minds, could possibly imagine. Several years ago a friend of mine just dropped off the map. She was at church every week, then she just...wasn't. There was no one I felt I could ask about her. I heard somewhere that she had moved out of her parents house (she was still in high school), and I didn't know where she was or what she was doing. All I could do was pray that wherever she was, God would be working in her heart.

She moved back in with her parents, and that was that. I was glad she moved back, but I never thanked God for that miracle. I am now, because I see that He not only worked in her heart to bring her back home, He has made her into a leader and an inspiration for others. He has blessed us with her presence and I could not be more thankful for that. I never thought that simple prayers for a prodigal daughter to return home would be part of such a rich and beautiful chapter of God's story.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I am constantly made aware of small ways in which followers of Christ are made ineffective. I see these things in myself, then I turn and see these things in the church in general. It's amazing how tiny things, especially words, can make us into worthless witnesses.

For example, take the word "mistake." I hear everyone from pastors to newborn Christians use the word mistake in place of sin, as if the two words are synonyms. The definitions of the two, however, are quite divergent (if you haven't noticed yet, I really like definitions lol). A sin is a "willful or deliberate violation of some religious or moral principle or law." A mistake is "a misunderstanding or misconception."

To replace the word sin with mistake is to downgrade the magnitude of the action. A sin is to act against God that requires full acknowledgment and repentance from the sinner. On the other hand, a mistake seems to lessen the burden on the shoulders of the perpetrator. By saying we made a mistake, we merely say "oops, sorry God" rather than dropping to our knees and asking forgiveness when we know we do not deserve it.

The worst part about our easygoing approach to sin is the damage it does to our personal view of Jesus. It's so hard to appreciate a Savior if we downsize that from which He saved us. We make mountains into molehills. When He came to earth, He came to save us from mountains we could not move ourselves. Mountains that stand between us and God. Molehills never kept a traveler from a destination.

If we continue to talk about "mistakes" we made in the past, what kind of Savior do we present to the world? I'd rather present the true One, the One who died to save us from our sin, not from simple mistakes. In the process I must own up to my sins, but that is a small cost.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A reason to celebrate

I've always felt like that one weird kid on the outside edges of everything. That person always looking in the window. At school, church, dance, everything. I've never been at the heart of a group. Turns out I'm not the only one.

On Wednesday I got together with Justin, Jessica, and Steven to talk about starting a Bible study for college and post-college people looking for peers with whom they can grow in Christ and fellowship while we're at it. Some of us have felt like we're not part of the central group at our church and are looking for a group not only to call our own, but to open wide to any and all who wish to join. It's so exciting to know that while all four of us have come to this situation through very different walks, we're all in the same place and we're all willing to do something about it.

I'm looking forward to getting this started. I pray that this will be a great opportunity for those of us who began the Bible study as well as the post-college community around Yukon.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I love a good story

Yesterday my Mom and I went to my Great-Uncle Jerry's funeral. As I said in my last blog, we had been praying for him for many years, as had Oliver, Dorothy, Darlene, and many other family members. The minister at the funeral was Jerry's step-son, Michael, who let us all know that Jerry had given his life to the Lord in 2008. Michael would go to Jerry's nursing home every Friday to preach, and one Friday he found Jerry very lucid and knew it was his chance. He was able to lead Jerry in becoming a Christian, and two minutes later, clear-thinking Jerry was gone. Michael said he never saw Jerry like that again. God rolled back the confusion Jerry felt from Alzheimer's long enough for him to do the most important thing he would ever do. I am so grateful that our prayers were answered, and I am so grateful that when I get to Heaven I will see Jerry's radiant smile.

While I was in Arkansas I also got to see my cousin Erin for the first time in nearly 20 years! She's my only cousin that's the same age as me and I wish she lived closer. It'd be nice if I could see her and Trystan every now and then, or if they both lived closer!

Cousins in sunglasses!

The farmhouse my great-grandparents lived in. I thought it was gone!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Another year gone by

It's 2010 and everyone is talking about new starts, leaving the past behind, all that jazz. Some of us realize a new year really isn't any different. You just buy a new calendar.

So far this year I've sat by my dog, Emma, while she died. I've heard that my Great-Uncle Jerry died. The first 10 days of 2010 have been more of an end than a beginning in many respects.

I loved Emma like crazy. She was a Pets and People rescue and she was the most thankful dog ever. She loved unconditionally, like we humans should but never do. I think Emma had her priorities set straighter than I do. She wanted to spend every waking moment with loved ones. Even when I came into the garage that last morning and she was in so much pain that she yelped constantly, her tail started wagging when she saw me. Her pain didn't keep her from showing her undying affection. I hope that someday I can be that selfless.

My Uncle Jerry was 74. I think he was the youngest out of all my Grandpa's brothers, and definitely the funniest. His goals in life were to tease you endlessly and make you laugh as much as possible. Every time he smiled or laughed, so did you. That's just how infectious his joy was. Mom told me once that at Will's funeral she and Scott talked to Jerry about becoming a Christian and he told them that he had done too much bad to be forgiven. When I was little he would chill outside St. Joe's Freewill Baptist Church while the rest of us were inside on "Decoration Day." He never went in. The last time I went though, Mom and I had wandered outside for some fresh air during the afternoon and ran into him. He insisted we go inside with him to hear his sister Sybil sing. I was dumbfounded at the time, but now I think it has a lot to do with Darlene, the woman he married a few years ago. She's pretty boisterous, and just the type he needed to keep him in line. I prayed so hard for him, hoping God would push him to his knees. I don't know if it happened, but hope when I go to heaven he'll be there to greet me.

During all this junk, I've been searching diligently for a job. I've been the bum in the family for so long. I know I'm a drag on our finances, but no one wants a fresh-out-of-college 22 year old who looks 17. It's painful being rejected since I felt so sure I should succeed. I graduated with honors, my former employers have always been very pleased with me...I should be a shoe-in, right?

I applied for a receptionist/assistant job at my church and got to be one of the final two in contention for the part. Out of all the jobs I've applied for in the past months, it's the one that I desperately wanted. It was right for me, and I was right for it. I was the most qualified for the position, since I have a wider computer knowledge and a lot of communication know-how, but I lost out to someone who had more "experience" than me. My whole job search has been one blow after another, but that one knocked me to the ground. I prayed so hard and felt so confident. I never had that nagging doubt I get so often that says "God's got something different in mind." It never happened.

So far, 2010 isn't working out so well. My comfort is that Jesus never had it easy. Neither did Paul. He spent years in chains, years being dumped on. His response was to use those years to win thousands, including members of Caesar's own family, to Christ. I hope I can be diligent like he was.