as you restore the wasted years

December 20, 2006 at 7:12 pm (Uncategorized)

You give us Your best,
for what we thought was better…

i got offered a job last week.  a good one…at a non-profit organization…good benefits, great money.  it was completely out of the blue…based on recommendation and word-of-mouth.  the timing was interesting, i’m not going to lie.  i told her i needed a few weeks before i gave her an answer.

toys for tots was this past weekend.  it is literally my favorite thing all year.  it wore me out and it was a lot of work, but it was completely worth it.  i sat in the soundbooth sunday night and watched several adults give their lives to Christ.  i was overwhelmed.  i almost felt as though i was intruding on something private.  it was a divine moment and God allowed me to watch…Christ changes lives and i watched Him do it.  in a moment of grace, their eternity changed.

i had the privilege of spending time with my dear friend, katie, this week.  i had so many expectations of what the weekend would hold and so many ideas of what i thought i needed.  i expected us to talk for hours and to uncover all of these dark secrets and to pray thru them…but none of that took place.  instead, something even more powerful happened.  i got to serve alongside her.  we got to do ministry together and play with kids and meet families and watch people give their lives to Christ.  we both sat in that sound booth and cried at the beauty of the moment.

maybe my job isn’t perfect.  and maybe i don’t get paid hundreds of millions of dollars.  and maybe i don’t have the best hours.  and maybe i’m not great at it.  but i have the privilege of spending each day doing something that impacts eternity.  i get to stare at a computer screen with bible verses on it and write curriculum with my bible in front of me and tell my coworkers how God is working and be honest in my shortcomings and my failures and my mistakes and know that God has called me to live in His grace and to work in His Kingdom.  sometimes its hard and sometimes its emotional and sometimes i get upset and throw fits and do silly, girly things.  but God is right in the middle of it, waiting for me to look at Him and be reminded of why i am here.  i’m here because He rescued me…He saw me in my depravity and sang healing over me and asked me to spend the rest of my life dancing in His grace…with Him leading, of course.

we will dance as You restore the wasted years

and You will sing over all our coming fears
and we’ll stand grateful for all that has been left behind
and all that goes before us…

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December 7, 2006 at 9:07 pm (Uncategorized)

Fun Christmas Survey:

Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate…Nestle Chocolate made with milk instead of water…its heavenly.

Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? Santa doesn’t visit our house…he isn’t allowed.

Colored lights on tree/house or white?  white on the tree and colored on the house

Do you hang mistletoe? nope…but i definitely like standing under it at other people’s houses (haha.)

When do you put your decorations up? normally the day after thanksgiving…this year, i needed it a bit early so we did it the first week of november.  christmas is cheerful…i needed that.

What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? noodles.  my mom makes homemade noodles and she learned from my grandma and they are wonderful and we eat a lot of them.

Favorite Holiday memory as a child: probably the year we bought live lobster and kept them (alive) overnight and cooked them on Christmas day…i threw up.  they lived in my refrigerator and we played with them.  and then killed them for our sick pleasure.  i stopped eating meat for a year.  but it was fun!

When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? my parents were southern baptist…as soon as i came out, my dad named me and then told me santa didn’t exist…but we weren’t allowed to spoil other people’s christmas so we never told anyone else

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?  nope…but every year we beg to start the tradition.  begging is kind of a tradition in and of itself.

How do you decorate your Christmas tree? each of us have ornaments for every year we’ve been alive, signifying something  important from that year, so we decorate with those.

Snow! Love it or Dread it?  love it.  even when it keeps me inside.  i love to eat it.  a lot of it.

Can you ice skate?  yup.  and good too…coordination is definitely my thing…spins, jumps, tricks.  i rock.

Do you remember your favorite gift? yeah…my life long dream was to be a doctor (somedays it still is) and my uncle recognized that.  he got me 2 huge books on pediatric oncology and told me he believed in me.  i went to my room and cried…it meant a lot.

What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?  family.

What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?  my mom makes an almond breakfast wreath pastry thing.  holy moly.  its so good.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?  there are so many…my favorite family tradition is my dad reading the christmas story on christmas morning.  my favorite personal tradition is my quiet time on christmas eve.  there’s something powerful about having it the night before His birthday.

Turkey or Ham on Christmas? turkey.  hands down.  and we make at least 2.

Which do you prefer, giving or receiving?  giving. by far.  i love shopping for people and i love wrapping presents.  and i have to give the best gift…i’m competitive.  it takes a lot of thought…that’s good for me.

What is your favorite Christmas Song?  blue christmas (its my ringtone during the holidays)

Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?  yum!  all kinds, all flavors, all sizes, all the time!

Merry Christmas and Happy Friday!

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persuasive speech final

December 5, 2006 at 9:25 pm (Uncategorized)

Imagine something with me.  Imagine you are 10 years old and you live in Uganda.  You live in a one room hut, with grass walls and a grass roof and dirt floor.  You worked 10 hours today…hauling water for your mom–she is in the advanced stages of AIDS and can’t work anymore; hunting for your dad–he died several months ago and he taught you how to do it, so now hunting is your job; and burning fields to plant the crop next month.  As the sun sets, the children of the village drop what they are doing.  They clean up and put away their tools, even if they aren’t finished.  You and your siblings run into your hut and gather a few things.  You wrap them in a blanket and, since it is your turn to carry it, you throw the blanket over your shoulder.  You set out on the 2 mile journey to a nearby city.  You’ll be joined by several kids on the way…the same kids that join you every night.  As you enter the city, you make your way to the bus station.  You’ll sleep on the floor with hundreds of other children from surrounding villages.  The manager knows you…he knows why you are there…he considers himself your protector.  You snuggle in between your best friend and your baby sister, and sleep for a few hours.  As the sun comes up, an alarm sounds.  You and your siblings gather your things and begin the trek home…simply to start the process all over again.

This may be difficult for you to imagine, but unfortunately, this is the reality for hundreds of thousands of children in Uganda.

I went.  I saw.  I experienced.  The African bush is a dangerous place to be at night.  Not just for me or my team, but for the children that live there.

Why do they live like that?  They choose this lifestyle out of their fear of insurgents.  In 1987, several men formed a group with the sole intent of other-throwing the Ugandan government.  This is the longest documented uprising in history.  The group is now known as the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).  Their army is primarily made up of children who are abducted at night from villages and displacement camps.  Young girls are kept as sex slaves; young boys are taught to fight, told to kill, and used as soldier sacrifices (a child is put on the front lines to slow down the enemy…who wants to kill a child?).

Children are safer in nearby cities…not safe, but safer…because of the limited police presence.  Every night, hundreds of thousands of children walk several miles to sleep in safety.

What can we do?  We can act.  We can go.  And when we can’t go, we can send.  We can send people.  We can send resources.  We can send money.  We can send World Vision.  World Vision is an organization that began in 1950 with the intent of helping the children who were affected by the Korean War.  They were so successful that the organization grew to other countries.  Today, World Vision is in 49 countries and is sponsoring nearly half a million children.   World Vision is “dedicated to working with chidlren, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the cause of poverty and injustice.”  World Vision fights on behalf of children against wars and insurgents, poverty, hunger, and the AIDS epidemic.

How can you help?  You live in Tulsa.  You make enough money to support your family, and pay your bills, and pay for college.  You live 5000 miles away from the problem.  You are one person.
Ok.  Let’s do it together.  If we can’t go, we can send.  We can send resources.  We can send money.  We can send World Vision.  Sponsor a child for $30/month.  $1/day.  $360/year.
You can make a difference.

Truthfully, you aren’t 10 years old.  You don’t live in Uganda.  You don’t haul your water or hunt your food or plant your crops.  You don’t travel every night to sleep.  You aren’t unsafe.

But you are something.
You are capable.
You are capable of protecting.  You are capable of hearing their cries.  You are capable of seeing their pain.
Visit http://www.worldvision.org and sponsor a child.

Let’s help them fight.

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oh crap

December 1, 2006 at 8:01 pm (Uncategorized)

i am probably losing my mind.  i’ve complained for the last 6 months that i needed a vacation.  now i have 2 free days off, and i’m complaining.  however, i’m not sure being snowed in (quite literally) with no place to go and no one to talk to except the same 4 people (i do love them) qualifies as a vacation.  and, i made the mistake of bringing my computer home…so really, i’m stuck at my house with nothing to do but work.  ok  so it isn’t a vacation.  but i’m still going to lose my mind.

boredom makes me do crazy things.  i read a book yesterday…a whole one.  it was good.  and i started another one today…i’ll finish it, i’m sure.  i’ve watched movies and friends and cleaned and vacuumed and baked and ate and played in the snow….and its only 8:01.  i don’t know what to do with myself.

i bought a plane ticket.  to california.  i’m pretty excited about that…i tried to calm myself before i did it so that i would make a wise choice about the dates…it didn’t work.  i have to be in LA for 3 days for a wedding, so i was attempting to work in a short day trip to santa barbara.  now, i’m staying a week.  i can’t complain…i love santa barbara.  but every so often, i miss it just enough that staying too long is kind of like playing with fire after taking a bath in kerosene.  you know…not that smart.  but i’m going for new years and i’ll be there a week and i will happily come home and jump right back into work and school.  happily.  i’ll come home.  after i lay on the beach for a week.  i’ll just come back to good ole’ tulsa and my land-locked life.

i can’t even sit still.  i’m highly considering going to running.  on ice.  in 21 degree weather.
hmm.  for now, i will venture downstairs, catch up on grey’s, and dye my hair…we’re mixing some colors, so i’ll let you know the end result.

i should not be allowed to make decisions when i’m stir crazy.

edit:
its a nice color.  it works.  i don’t look 12.  that’s what counts.

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