This crazy journey started 8 & 1/2 years ago with the words, "Follow Me." I never, ever thought that the Lord would come to me that closely. But He did. In the years following, He has felt both close and far, far away, but I know that the fact remains that He has been present. He has led me, He has challenged me, He has healed me, He has comforted me, He has shown me that He has been intimately involved in all aspects of my life.
We're already 1 & 1/2 months into 2011, and I'm doing okay. I got promoted at work because my partner quit. The administrator in me (who hasn't been very active until lately) is alive and well, trying to create some order in my store.
I've taken on the goal to read through the Bible this year using this reading plan. A friend's blog referred me to it, and it's nice because there are built-in make-up days -- there's not a reading scheduled every single day, so if you miss one, there's time to catch up! It's been really nice so far -- I've missed days and made them up during the make-up time. Built-in grace and flexibility for a plan is good.
D-man and I are headed to Atlanta next weekend for his little bro's wedding. Little bro is marrying my former roomie (in Brasil), so we'll get to see tons of people we've known for years. It should be a fun celebration.
God has been really gracious lately to simply show me that He answers our heart's cry. When we had inclement weather last week, and our vendor order was delayed because of ice, He reminded me ever so kindly, "You could have prayed about this, you know." I have no idea if it would have made a difference in the arrival of the order or not. But I could have made my need known. His word to me since September has been, "Come to Me." What I hear Him saying is, "Ask Me anything. I may not answer immediately, but please feel free to come to Me and ask Me anything. I want that intimacy with you."
My house is a mess. Yet again. I can blame it on Christmas, or the fact that I'm about to travel, or the fact that we're both working like crazy people (D-man got a job a couple of months ago -- yay!). But I won't. I will, however, choose to state it as fact and not as judgement. My house is a mess. Period.
I was talking to a friend the other night and we were discussing the lament of women everywhere: we don't have it all together. That's right. I. Don't. Haveitalltogether. As hard as that is to face some days, it's a relief to see it in black and white. Fortunately (or not), being married makes me realize how true that is. My house is NOT spotless (though there's nothing growing in the refrigerator or anything), I am cranky when I haven't had enough sleep, and sometimes I still like having the house to myself. I can blame my annoyance on D-man trying to talk to me when I'm ready to go to sleep (I do the same thing to him!), yet I wonder if that isn't just the easy way out, because taking a deeper look would mean facing my own issues. Being married really is like looking in a mirror and finding your own issues and worst parts on display. Some days. Other days it's nice to come home to someone who is fully aware that you don't have it all together and doesn't mind, because he knew that long before you did.
Lots has been going on lately -- I haven't had much time to write. Or, more properly, I haven't taken any time to write. What with the emotions swirling around inside my head and heart, I don't really want to sit still long enough to give them headway. Thanks, J, for praying that I'd be more of a feeler. Now pray that I would know how to deal with emotions.
We went camping and to San Antonio over Labor Day Weekend. Stephen F. Austin state park (a short 40-minute drive from our house!) and the Riverwalk make for good weekend spots.
I finally understand why the Alamo was so important, even though we lost bad (read: everybody died).
I have gone from wanting to walk out the door of my job and never come back (several times in one day!) to finally feeling like I have a little bit of traction.
I have one friend who is newly engaged, and am waiting on 2 more in the near future. We have at least 3 weddings to travel to next year.
We are going to visit Big Shady's parents this weekend, and I am so looking forward to what looks to be a refreshing and healing time.
For months and months, I was stuck in John 4. The part with the woman at the well. I was there so long I fell in and couldn't get out. The Lord finally let me move to John 5 a couple of months ago, and I thought it would be really neat to start in Mark, since it's a short gospel and all. No dice. This morning when I turned to Mark, I sensed the Spirit's prompting that I still am not finished with John 5. I went from the well to the pool in a matter of seconds, yet I cannot seem to get up. I am weighed down with the cares of the world, with fear, and with responsibility.
Praises to the Giver of Life, in this world and the next!
We've been in Brasil this week with a medical/construction team, and as much as I've been lazy over the past 6 months or so (I don't like to listen), God has been gracious with me, as always. I am reminded that He always wants to show us Himself, and He is always willing to talk if we are quiet long enough to listen. With the stresses of everyday life (work, keeping a home, paying bills, being married), I have a very hard time getting away long enough to be still. I could come up with a laundry list of other issues, but I won't.
I have spent the last year and a half in a city that is totally different than any culture I've ever experienced, in a job that is, frankly, hard many more days than not, and in a season of providing for the family. And I've complained. Oh, how I've complained. I have worried. I am Israel. I have seen God part the Red Sea, and I've made it to....the wilderness. My memory is shorter than it's ever been, and I have a husband who sees my complaining spirit and still doesn't complain himself. Part of me thinks that this season is to teach me how to be in the wilderness, that I need to know how to be in the wilderness without complaining, for God has brought me here and He has plans for later. For now, this is His plan. He is asking for my obedience, and my flesh keeps objecting.
Being in Brasil has been a totally surreal experience, because I've lived here, but I'm going home. I speak the language, but I'm on a team of people who don't. I realized this evening that I really did leave a life down here -- friends, a routine, an entire ministry. I walked into a life that had been established for me. Now I'm establishing a life for myself (or, rather, we're establishing a life for ourselves). We're going back to reality from a place of rest.
We're headed to Brasil this week for a mission trip. Needless to say, I'm really excited, because it's the first time the D-man and I have been back since we got hitched. He's going to be the construction foreman and I'm going to be the pharmacist. We're working at the leper hospital, in a prison, and in a church.
I have a normal week of work, and I leave Friday night. D-man leaves tomorrow night. I am so excited to see what God has in store for us.
D-man and I are back from a long weekend in Utah. Mike & A got married this weekend, and family weddings are always fun. We stayed at the Snowbird Resort, and there's tons to do there in the summer. Alpine slide, zipline, mechanical bull, hiking, biking, heading up to the top of the mountain (where there was still snow). I would love to return in the winter, to ski and snowmobile. The wedding was at La Caille, where a few scenes in Dumb and Dumber were filmed. It's such a beautiful place, and it houses a winery and restaurant. Peacocks, geese, swans, and ducks all grace the grounds, along with flowers, a couple of ponds, grapevines, and a golfing green. They provided canned champagne for us bridesmaids (one for each of us and the bride), complete with straws. I felt like I was drinking Capri Sun for adults. Now that we're back, I'll post pictures soon. I'm ready for another vacation. One not involving family.
I've been completely remiss in my blogging habits lately, because I've been (gasp!) busy. Busy with work, busy with trying to hold a home and a marriage together (before you worry, D-man and I are fine), busy trying to figure out what the Lord has to teach me. And man, let me tell you, it's glorious.