Thursday, May 31, 2007

I was tagged... forever ago.

This is a little late...


Kansas Bob tagged me, asked me to give “8 Random Facts About Myself” and gave me the following instructions:
  • I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
  • Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
  • People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
  • At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
  • Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
All about a very uninteresting me:
    1. Food: As a corn-fed Nebraska girl, it will always be a steak for me. Nothing fancy, just a good cut of rib-eye or filet mignon and I'm happy. However, I can't cook one to save my life. But I'm great with chicken.
    2. Family: Love them more than anything. The best parents anyone could ask for and they just celebrated their 40th in January. I have two older brothers who also live here in the Husker state. One's a farmer (like my dad) and the other is a banker. I am single and will probably remain that way for the rest of my life. I have no desire to have kids. I have enough friends and family that do have children to know I would be a terrible mother.
    3. Exercise: I loved to go hiking back when I lived in Colorado, but that's obviously not anything I can do here. My friends and I love to walk downtown - if only to get a latte at the local coffee shop. I really love to play pickle ball. (It's like life-sized ping-pong on a tennis court. Our team kicked butt at the last Community Olympics.)
    4. Profession: My full-time job is Graphic Design at a lighting company. I also have a part-time job directing the worship ministry at my church.
    5. Obsession: Music. Any kind, at any time, no matter the style. I play it, sing it and listen it to it just about 24/7.
    6. Faith: My faith is in Christ alone. He is my light, my strength, my song. See? I told you about the music.
    7. Ailments: I haven't been to the doctor since I sprained my ankle while performing in a community theatre production of "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas". That was about 5 years ago. I can always tell when the weather's going to change as a result of it.
    8. Games: I have a very competitive family when it comes to playing Spades. It drives them nuts that I don't get as fired up as they do. My friends and I are Pitch players, and one friend in particular is so competitive it can get a little uncomfortable, yet still a lot of fun. And I love to watch football (that was born and bred in me of course.)
See? I told you it wasn't interesting.

I now hereby tag the following: Scott, Tony, Lindsey, Eric, VLR , Ariah, PTG, and Amy.

Digging my way out



It's been a complicated couple of weeks for me.

1.) I applied to seminary - and I allowed the application process to drag on and on. The personal statement hitting on 4 major points in under two pages was a bit of an issue for me. I think part of it was just wanting to write about the best parts of my walk and my experience in ministry along with the best sentences. I didn't want it to be cookie-cutter, and I didn't want bad sentence structure. I don't look at that enough here, and I'd hate for that to carry over into the rest of my life.


2.) I've been dealing with some major changes in the worship ministry I lead. They are good and difficult changes all at the same time. And the entire time I've had to look at from this perspective: "What if I'm not here in three months?" The entire 7-year experience of building the worship ministry at my church was astounding, heart-breaking, wonderful and complicated all at the same time. I'd never done anything like it before, and as I focus on passing the baton to the next leader (and figuring out who that leader will be) is also wonderful and hard - and again, something I've never done. And my stupid desire for perfection is just one more hurdle to jump over during this process.

3.) I lost my uncle last week. He was 52 years old, in good heath, and died suddenly from a heart attack. To put it succinctly: last week sucked.

4.) A dear friend moved to Omaha - why does the western part of the state get all the good people? That also sucks. I miss her.

5.) I cut off my hair. I recognize this isn't that big of a deal to most people, but I am a girl and well, now I have to re-learn how to fix it. It's been a while since my hair's been above my shoulders. (1997, I think) So now? It just looks messy as I've been trying a new product called "Surf Hair". At least it smells good.


I've had many ideas in my head I've wanted to explore with no time to sit down and let them spill out of me. If I can remember all the ideas, I won't give up and will make time to write about them. For now, it's necessary I clean out my inbox and figure out what I've missed while dealing with reality.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Farm Tragedy

Agnostics and Christians alike have asked the following question for centuries: Why does God let bad things happen to good people? Instead of delving into that topic for the evening, I would simply like to ask for your prayers due to a bad thing that happened to some very good people. My parents have life-long close friends who suffered a tragedy last night. One of their hired men died - most likely from suffocation. They found him after they cut through one of their corn bins.

These close-friends of our family are the kind you really do have for life. My brothers and I were the same age as their kids; we grew up together. We played hard and worked hard on the farm together. We went to church together. We even dated each other. Our families were not only fellow farmers, but we once owned a ranch together up by Westerville. They are the kind of friends small towns provide. And this afternoon when my dad called one of his closest friends after he heard the news - his friend broke down. An old-school 60-something year-old farmer broke down.

Corn bins are scary places to be. When a chute gets stuck, someone has to go up there to fix it. Unfortunately, he didn't tell anyone where we went. He fixed the clogged corn, but never made it out. He had a broken leg and arm - and the bin was already 2/3rds full at this point. They are assuming he slipped off the ladder and his leg caught on a rung to cause the breaks. Probably immobile, it only takes a few seconds before it's too late.

This young man worked for these friends of ours for nine years. He was a member of their family. He was single, and the rest of his family still lived in Mexico. They adopted him as one of their own, and he was one of the hardest workers they'd had. Typically, a hired man on a cattle/corn farm doesn't last longer than five years. So nine? Is pretty much unheard of.

Please pray for the family of the victim. People pray for our friends. They are all hurting, and rightfully so.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

An Evening of Fine Television

...Ah, Gilmore Girls. I got cable just for you, and now your show is over.

I've had a bit of a love/hate relationship with this show over the years and I nearly gave up halfway through season 6. But I just had to know how it was going to end. From 7 to 8 tonight, I said at every commercial break "I'm so going to miss this show." Not so much for the plots (they were nothing to write home about.) For me, it was more about the quick wit and charm of the writing, along with the very fine acting chops of Lauren Graham and Scott Patterson. (Those two actors are very over-looked.) Then the blessed TWoP recaps kept me in stitches for years. Thank you Pamie and Al Lowe! Lots of nostalgia for me tonight because this show, in the way it portrayed a realistic mother/daughter relationship, was ground-breaking to me.

I'm so going to miss this show.




Then in a huge surprise, Veronica Mars and a plug for one of the best causes I've discovered in the last year: Invisible Children. I first became aware of the organization last year at a Third Day/David Crowder Band concert where the documentary was shown. And what a worthy cause it is and deserving of television show's endorsement.

See? Sometimes the CW uses their power for good.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Wounds

My pastor preached on John 15 last Sunday, and if there is any chapter that I identify with the most in scripture, it's this one. Pruning is harsh, and it really hurts when it happens to you, especially when you don't want the pruning to happen in the first place.

The things of our past make up who we are today. Even the bad stuff, and that's what I hate. I don't want the bad stuff to stay with me, and I realize I shouldn't. I know I need to let it go, and most of the bad stuff I have. But I have some major battle wounds I'm not sure will ever go away. Some of them resulted in God doing a lot of pruning in my life, and it's those times of pruning that left me with some wounds.

I have a scar on the lower part of my neck, under my chin. How I got it is a really stupid story, so I won't bore you with the details. It happened about 6 years ago, and though the scar has faded over time, it's still visible (and reminds me of my own stupidity, which you would understand if I told you the story... but as I said, I'm not going to. Not that I have any problem blogging about my embarrassing moments). And in reflecting on last week's sermon on pruning, I got to thinking about wounded people - emotionally wounded - and the long term affects wounds can have in our lives. They say "time heals all wounds" but isn't it more like the scar on my neck? It fades over time, but may never go away?

There are many people with deep, deep emotional scars that have overcome to live happy and even fulfilling lives... and I'm envious of those people. I have too many scars I've been unable to get past.

They are deeply-rooted in my heart. They are quite comfortable in the dark corners of my mind. They've been there a while and for some reason, I'm unable to let God heal them for me.



If you skipped over the video to this sentence, please take the time to watch it. It's a little over 5 minutes, but it's important to the rest of my post.

Although I wasn't a cutter as a young woman, I did find other ways to physically hurt myself. And as I contemplate and write about pruning, wounds, and scars I realize I cannot ignore this part of my life. I'm past it - it has not had a huge long-term affect on me, because the despair that cutters feel is so much darker and deeper than mine. But the feelings that caused it all? Sometimes come back. And it tends to affect my everyday life. I'm overly sensitive to rejection, I'm moody, I'm extremely guarded... just to name a few. It's immature of me to blame my behavior on my scars; I know this. I do consider myself a work in progress, so I know I don't have to be perfect. But I also know that I haven't allowed God to heal that part of my life yet.

To Write Love On Her Arms is an organization committed to helping young people who struggle with depression and cutting. They travel around with mostly Christian hard rock acts, and talk about these issues to the audience between sets. I discovered their cause about four months ago, and reading the stories of the people they've helped brought up a lot of memories from my childhood. Here are some quotes from their website to give you an idea of who they are:

It is estimated that 15% or roughly 17 million Americans suffer from depression.

They do not recognize the illness, and see it as a weakness or personality flaw.

Untreated depression is the most common cause of suicide.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people.

Depression is treatable.

Cutting was very much a mystery until 1996 when Princess Diana admitted that she had struggled with it.

Self Injurers use physical pain as an attempt to calm or numb the psychological pain or stress. They injure the outside in an attempt to release the pain on the inside.

Self Injury is an attempt to stop the hurting, an attempt to be clean.

Self injurers believe pain is their only option, using greater external pain as a relief from the pain inside.

There is hope.


I suppose recognizing my inability to let God heal me is the first step in recovery. Restoration is a big deal to me, as you may remember. Now it's time for me to stop ignoring the restoration that needs to take place on the scars deeply-rooted in my heart.



Wednesday, May 02, 2007

please, please, please



Why do we feel the need to apologize for not being enough?

(...this is not a rhetorical question, btw.)