The truth as I know it:

We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life. But those who make their journey home across time & miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us by God's very own hands. ~~~ Kristi Larson

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Running on....

I feel like the term "run on" is my life-theme sometimes.  Run-on sentences, activities strung together one after the other with little pause in between, etc.  It's been nice to experience a big fat comma in my life while in Hawaii.... but I feel like we are taking that inhaled breath that you take just before you say something.  Because we are sort of starting to prepare ourselves for our return to TN.  I'm surprised at how sad I feel at the thought of what we'll leave.  I love my life at home, I'm sure it will return to "normal", running on and on and on the minute we hit the ground, but there will be things that I will probably spend a second each day missing for the rest of my life.  I'll miss being two blocks from the beach, there's no question about that.  I'll miss a million other things too.  Brian told me last night that I needed to be sure to walk out on the pool deck every night for the next couple of months because I still marvel at the site of moon shadows cast by a palm tree.

Yesterday, while I was running, I hit this song on my playlist and I just love the words to it and thought I would share them with you too.  This is from Third Day, it's called, This is Who I Am:

I'm the son (daughter) of a good man
I'm the child of an angel
I'm the brother of a wild one (I always think of my own brother at that line.)
And I'm looking for direction

I'm the lover of a beauty (strong man)
I'm the father (mother) of blessings
I'm the singer of a lovesong
But is that all I'm good for?

This is who I am, oh this is who I am
So take me and make me something so much more
This is who I am, oh this is who I am
So change me and make me someone better than before

I'm a saint and sinner
I'm a lover and a fighter
I'm a true believer
With great desire (that word desire!  my desire to please Him is so strong, but my actions are not always in line with my desire.  I think that's why this song resonates with me... He won't leave me as He found me.)

I'm a preacher of grace
Profit of love, teacher of truth
I've fallen down so many times
But here I stand, in front of You

This is who I am, oh this is who I am
So take me and make me something so much more
This is who I am, oh this is who I am
So change me and make me someone better than before

So take me as I am 
But please don't leave me that way
Cause I know You can
Make me better than I am today!

This is who I am, oh this is who I am
So take me and make me something so much more
This is who I am, oh this is who I am
So change me and make me someone better than before

Hope you enjoyed it.  I hope you had a wonderful Valentines Day, and I hope you find the strength to "run on" today! :) 

Hebrews 12:1

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."  

Monday, February 07, 2011


Is it just me, or does anyone else go along for great periods of time, heaping things onto their plates and then being surprised to wake up one day and feel no energy or zest for the tasks you've heaped onto yourself?  I think "excitement" of moving and "adventure" of a new place have caught up to me and many things have piled on to my plate to bring me to a point where I am forced to just sit in solitude and contemplation with God (yet again.... seems I am constantly learning this lesson OVER and OVER.)  You see, the decision to move here seemed pretty quick and straight-forward.  Always up for an adventure, I hopped on the band wagon without all that much thought to what would lie beyond the initial excitement of a new culture, etc.  In theory I knew we would all depend on one another more, all learn alot from new cultural experiences, all expand our boundaries and our comfort zones, and that growing pains are always just that... pains!  So intellectually I embraced these things because I knew that on the other side of this adventure, we would all be different and right about the time I came here, different seemed to be a good option for many reasons.

Now, I am in the thick of the season.  Not missing home as much as I once did because I've gotten over the restlessness of not filling my days with the "busy-ness" of life in TN.  But in some ways, more scared than ever.  You see, our stints here come in 90 day commitments.  While this seemed a small enough bite (or is it bight?) to digest back in September, the uncertainty has started to wear on me.  I miss my friends!  Right now we are only signed here through April.  But we were originally only signed through January.  It could be April that we return home. If so, that means only 13 weeks left here and that seems like not much time to spend doing all the things we have come to love about life in Hawaii.  But then again, there's a distinct possibility we will be extended through the end of June.  If that is the case, then I don't feel the urge to start cramming things into life.  And of course, there's always that looming thought, "What if they want us beyond June?"  That bridge is just too far out there to contemplate, but I think if we do reach that point, I need bigger time chunks of commitment.  It's very difficult to live life in three month segments.  On the one hand, if I know I'm here longer, then I begin to put down roots and nourish new friendships and seek out community and establish different lifestyle, etc. etc.  If we are leaving, then I start to disentangle myself from the few commitments I have already made.  I'm sort of caught in this place where I have a foot in both worlds.

So, I've spent alot of time just seeking God's face on this one.  I felt like Jacob several times where I THOUGHT that I was just in the dirt wrestling with the angel trying to not let him go until he gave me the answers.  But... as is typical for me, I was sort of missing the point altogether.  Listen to what Oswald Chambers had to say in today's devotional from My Utmost for His Highest.    "Spiritual lust causes me to demand an answer from God, instead of seeking God Himself who gives the answer. What have I been hoping or trusting God would do? Is today “the third day” and He has still not done what I expected?....Whenever we insist that God should give us an answer to prayer we are off track. The purpose of prayer is that we get ahold of God, not of the answer."  Duh!  I've been looking hard for the answers, not for God Himself!  How MANY times must I learn this lesson, Oh Lord, before you bash my feeble brain in with the message?  Always the answer, Lord, always the answer, and never satisfied just to find You!  Mr. Chambers goes on to say, "If we will only obey, and do the task that He has placed closest to us, we will see Him." (emphasis mine) So, I did not have enough of this by the time I finished with My Utmost... I need more.  Then Jesus Calling for today reads:  "Come to Me for rest and refreshment.  The journey has been too much for you, and you are bone-weary.  Do not be ashamed of your exhaustion.  Instead, see it as an opportunity for Me to take charge of your life."  And I realize that I'm not really weary of the things I have been walking through, I'm actually loving the permission God has given me here to live ONE DAY AT A TIME.  I realize that the uncertainty of having no defined timeline has allowed me to free myself from long-term commitments to committees and responsibilities I would have at  home.  I've squandered much of this freedom, but just because I'm a slow learner doesn't mean I can't learn! :)  Thanks, God, for not letting go of ME (not the other way around) and sticking with me until I GOT the blessing, not until you RELEASED it.  As with so many relationships in my life (and probably those in everyone else's life too) my perspective is always clouded by my viewpoint (looking out from in) rather than trying to see that not all paths are necessarily visible to me, but it doesn't mean they aren't there.  Jesus Calling finished up with this and I absolutely loved it, "This sounds like an easy assignment, but it is not.  Your desire to live in My Presence goes against the grain of "the world, the flesh, and the devil."  Much of your weariness results from your constant battle against these opponents. However, you are on the path of My choosing, so do not give up!"  Thank You, God, that sometimes when I am stubborn and dense, you are still willing to smack me in the head with the message, right there in black and white.  Thanks for coming out for me today and not letting me sit here in the darkness.  

‘If you do away with the yoke, the clenched fist, the 

wicked word, if you give your bread to the hungry, 

and relief to the oppressed, your light will rise in the 

darkness, and your shadows become like noon’ 

(Isaiah 58:9-10)

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Things I love...

I'm not going to bother listing all the obvious things... of course I love my family!  No self-respecting Southern girl would leave Jesus off the list.  Let's just consider those all common denominators and givens. But here is a list of things that might or might not be unique to me....

1.  I love to go barefoot.  Thank you Autumn Petersen and TOMS shoes for creating a national day where I can do it for a cause.  There are people in my hometown who still look surprised when they see me in shoes (that's how much I was barefoot as a child and teen.)

2.  I love flip-flops!  There are times when you can't be barefoot, and for those occasions, I love flip-flops.  (That might be one of my favorite things about Hawaii, I have not had on a closed toed shoe in 6 months except to run.)

3.  I LOVE my coffee in the morning.  Love might not be a strong enough word for my relationship with my morning brew.  I'm completely dependent.

4.  I love to read!  I have three books going right now and it is so great.
     a)  Cane River - by Lalita Tademy.  I am reading this book with an AMAZING bunch of women of very diverse backgrounds and we are discussing it via facebook because we are located across the globe,  many states on that mainland, Kenya, Finland, and beyond....  and it's just exactly what I needed right now... virtual COMMUNITY!  :)  If you like a book to challenge and push you, this is a good one.

     b)The New Eve,

     c) So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore  Wow, if you have a daughter, I encourage you to read this book.  I mean, every woman needs to hear what's in this book, really, but I think for women with daughters, we pass on so many things from our past unknowingly and it becomes a heritage as women to walk through the world with this bag of insecurities.  Anyway, I have wrestled with this book and I'm still only halfway through.  It's painful at many points.  Not because of what she says but because of what you have to face.  But I don't want to carry that bag around anymore so I'm unloading it a chapter at a time... whew!    (and now you know why I'm not blogging much... I'm too busy reading! :)

5.  I love girlfriends.  There's no substitute for good girlfriends.  Really, a good husband is a great thing to have and so important in my life.  But there is really nothing in the world that nourishes my soul the way my relationships with friends do.  Women can just love one another in a different way than we can love members of the opposite sex.  Some of my dearest friends are women I've met through adoptions, some of them I've never laid eyes on face to face.  But the girls who will drop by with a glass of wine at just the right time, the one friend who loves coffee as much as me and we call one another if we're making an impromptu run to Starbucks... that's the type of thing women do for you that is just not conceivable to live without, don't you think?

6.  I love drive thrus.  I will just tell you now that I am spoiled rotten.  I don't want to get out of the car for anything if I don't have to.  I like to buckle my brats angels into their little seats and drive through every errand imaginable without having to drag their sweet little cherub faces out of the car.  They don't have drive thrus in HI.  Seriously!  Not at the pharmacy... not the dry cleaners.... not Starbucks... only one I've found is McDonalds, and even then they aren't very convenient to get into.

7.  Coke!  If I can't have coffee, then give me a Coke.  Give me a Coke product.  Give me anything caffeinated and dark (but PLEASE do NOT make it a Pepsi. As I said to Amy regarding said Super Bowl commercial, "No self respecting Southerner would have a Pepsi.")  My dad thinks I'm crazy, but if I go to a restaurant that has Pepsi products, I'll just drink water.  And after that commercial tonight on the Super Bowl, I'll not be drinking any Pepsi products for life.  Really?  I might have to make a "hate" list if I see this too many more times.  (but that wouldn't be very Valentine'ish of me, would it?)

8.  My husband... because he bought me a ticket to go home next weekend.  I know I'm going to be heckled for saying this, but I really can't wait to put on a scarf and my favorite boots.  I've been wearing the same shorts for six months and I will enjoy some cold weather for a few days. (It's easier to enjoy it when you know you're coming back to 78 and sunny in about six days... )  I cannot wait to get home.  I have been so touched that all my friends have asked to spend time with me and I just can't wait to hug them all around the neck.

9.  Shave Ice... I'm really going to miss that when I get to TN.  I might have to buy a Shave Ice machine! :)

10.  Dogs!  Love me some dogs.  Love most everything about them, but particularly the way they love me back.  I can't really imagine life without one for long.  When you smell and no one else likes you very much and you haven't brushed your teeth or your hair, when you've burned the dinner and yelled at the kids and lost your temper one too many times, your dog will still curl up with you and give you a big fat kiss... especially if you are lucky enough to own a Golden Retriever!  :)  Can't wait to get home and spend some time with Scout (Sonja's dog), Rocky (Sandra's dog), and every one of Shawn's ten or twelve dogs.  :)