Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Its positive post tuesday, so here goes:

Friday night was Marvin Renslow's Memorial Service aka: Celebration of Life. Captain Renslow was the pilot of the plane that crashed in Buffalo, NY on Thursday, February 14. His family attends services at my church, and they are an integral part of the body of believers there.

During the service, his 12-year-old daughter stood up and sang "I Believe". How she kept her composure the whole way through the song, I have no idea. As if that wasn't enough (not many dry eyes at that point) she then spoke about her dad at length. Her words turned those of us who were still dry-eyed into blubbering babies. Her composure and courage were astonishing. Her final words will forever ring in my ears: "I often wonder what God has planned for all of this, and some day I will get to ask Him why He took my dad so early. But, all I know right now is that I will trust the Lord always."

In the face of this statement of Faith, how can we think our problems are too big to carry? God holds us in the palm of his hand. He tells us he "will never leave us, or forsake us". Kaley, thank you for the lesson. No matter what happens to me, I will trust God.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

most peaceful high ever

so its positive post tuesday (per brody harper) and i'm going to talk about the BEST date ever.

Two out of five days I get to go home to my complex and watch the sunset over the water. I am so busy most days, I never stop to appreciate the small things. Every Tuesday; however, I rush home from work, change into sweats, walk over to the Bay wall in my complex, and take a front row seat to watch the greatest artist ever paint just for me.

Its the best date ever! I talk to my Daddy, release my worries, and relax. It slows me down for the rest of my hectic week. Tonight I went to the wall and fell in love again with my Redeemer.

The sun was still fairly high in the sky when I arrived. It was warm, and I sat on my sweatshirt, sipped my wine and watched the mullet jumping, their soft splashes in the still water lending lovely ambiance to the scene. The water is reflecting the blue sky and yellow sun. I let go of my hectic schedule and begin to relax.

My friend, Mr. Fisherman, comes down to the water in his waders and heads out into the water with his rod. I tell him the fish are jumping, and he tells me they are mullet. They won't bite the bait he is offering, since they are vegetarian. He leaves me sitting there, curious, but enjoying the sight of three fishermen in a boat gliding gently across the bay, shadowed against the sun, and pelicans sailing silently just above the water looking for food.

I love the way the colors of the water change as the sun sinks lower on the horizon. Bright yellow, to gold, to pinks and oranges. From the time I arrive at the wall, to the time the sun actually sets, approximately 45 minutes flow past. I talk to my Daddy, Creator, Lover and Friend. I tell Him my hopes and dreams, and I KNOW He holds me securely in His hands, and that he LOVES me. I sit, bathed in pink, orange, and purple hues, surrounded by love, and I know that all my past pain brings me a greater appreciation for present and future happiness.

Thank you, Daddy, for the beautiful date. I will talk to you every day, and I will see you at work again next Tuesday.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Its not about me...

This has been a week of extreme highs, tempered by a very low low. The week started out with a sick day. From Sunday afternoon until Monday evening, I battled fevers off and on, and experienced some severe insomnia.

Tuesday I was back to work, and happy to feel good again! When I picked up my mail I noticed I had a thick envelope from my credit union. I dropped everything on the living room floor when I walked in the door to open that envelope. It was the title to my car!! I was sooooo excited. This was a huge milestone in the debt payoff journey. One less thing to worry about!

Wednesday I gave my 10th speech at Toastmasters. The speech was to be inspirational and last 8-10 minutes, no notes. I talked a lot about the past year, the things I have learned about myself and how you never know how tough you can be until you are called on to be tough. I received so much positive feedback from my audience. It was worth going out on a limb to talk about that raw of an experience if that experience can help one other person.

Friday I had lunch with my accountability partner. She is such a blessing to me!! She shared how being accountable for reading is helping her to be less reactive in some of the negative situations she encounters, and how she handles those situations so much better than she has in the past. Best of all, she is now sharing with her mom, and her mom is growing too! How awesome is GOD??

Friday we also received notice that one of our employees was on board the flight that crashed in Buffalo. I recognized the name of the employee, and suspected I had assisted her the day before. I wasn't sure I wanted to know if that was the case, so I didn't try to search for the ticket. Approximately 15 minutes before my shift ended, my manager pulls up a chair. He said he wanted to touch base with me over the news of the crash. He said it was all very sad, and asked me if I realized I had provided support to her the day before. I indicated that I had, and said nothing more. He then said he wanted to make sure I was ok. I said I was. He then said that I had probably helped her with her expenses the day before, perhaps just minutes before she boarded the plane. I closed the conversation by thanking him for stopping by to check on me, but inside I began to seeth with rage. It wasn't that he confirmed what I really didn't want to know, it was the manner in which he did it. I then pulled up the ticket, and the conversation came flooding back.

1. I had helped her with a billing issue, not expenses.
2. I remember initially wishing I could hang up and not deal with the questions she was asking, but forced myself to be patient, and ended by giving her a few pointers on how to locate information.
3. I don't think I talked to her minutes before she boarded the plane, but I did help her in the last 6 hours of her life. I hope that I helped to make her last day a better day.

I left, still a little upset with my manager, but regained my poise when I realized that its not about me. Its about the One who made me, the One who created all life. The One who has the power to give life, and take it away. I went home humbled and really conscience of the fact that we all need to be loving and kind, no matter how badly we want to be rude, because we never know how our behaviour will affect others.

Friday night at home I pulled up my email and realized that I had an even closer connection to that crash than I had realized. One of our church members was the copilot on the flight. His wife teaches sunday school, and his kids are in the youth group. Suddenly grief has a face. More than ever, I realize its not about me. As our church comes alongside and ministers to the family, I am proud to be a follower of Christ, and proud to be a part of a missions-oriented body of believers. I can only pray for the people who are affected by this tragedy. There are no words that can heal the pain; however, kindness, compassion, and love will ease the burden for them. Its not about me, its about being Christ to someone in need.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Random happiness

So I haven't quite gotten the hang of blogging on a daily basis since so much has been happening this year. Which of course means I should be blogging more...but o well.

Recently someone walked up to me in church and told me I looked "radiant". I was blown away by what I considered a wonderful compliment. I realized then that I wasn't as positive a person as I should be. Life was difficult and I didn't hold back when people asked me how I was doing. Scary. I never wanted to become an Eeyore christian. You know, the ones you see coming and you KNOW they will have a litany of prayer requests. Life is never good for these Don and Debbie Downers. They simply thrive on the drama of going through "trials".

Don't deny you know these people! You probably cross the street when you spot them down the block. Go up a different aisle at church to avoid their pew. I had somehow become that drama filled, God is TESTING me, please come soon and put me out of my misery kind of Christians. I started getting tired of my own complaints.

I bounced into a certain amount of euphoria when the tension of my marriage snapped and we finally separated. For several weeks I walked three feet off the ground. Everything that had been a problem before we separated, was suddenly not my problem anymore. It was his. I was no longer responsible for him too, just for me.

During the six months that have passed since he moved out, I have processed a lot of different emotions. I went through the five stages of grief, no doubt about it. I also learned what addition looks like, that I wasn't crazy, he does have a problem -- and no -- I am NOT responsible for his decisions.

Since October, I have felt this press towards prayer. I have finally caved and I am puposeful about getting up in the morning and spending time with God. The results have been incredible. Why, why, why did I NOT do this before?? My emotional rollercoaster is over. When I'm happy, I pray. When I'm sad, I pray. When something or someone is on my mind, I pray.

When someone asks me how I'm doing now, I always say "Fabulous!" I get a lot of very strange looks as people try to figure out if I am being sarcastic or not. Now when I approach people, suddenly its not about me. Its about them. How can I help them, pray for them, encourage them? Life has become focused on God, what He is doing in my life, and what he is doing in the lives of the people around me. To me, that awesome compliment mentioned above meant that I was finally reflecting my Savior as I should. Every day is a gift from God. Even the not so good ones -- the ones that leave me drained. I know my Creator, Redeemer, Brother, Friend and Lover is right there with me. I carry Him in my heart, and so I know - even in the middle of pain - happiness.