Sunday, July 22, 2012

My "Needs"

Wow, it has been close to FOREVER since I posted here. I don't know what keeps me from being here. I suppose I think I am just too busy. We are now business owners, I still work my full time job and I teach Zumba three nights a week. There just is not enough time! Ha, who believes that? We make time for what is important to us. I find time to be on Facebook and Twitter, I have plenty of time to satisfy my addiction to reality TV and whatever else may grab my attention, Army Wives, Grey's Anatomy, Scandal (yes, I am very well aware that I watch entirely too much TV). Some of the things I do are out of necessity, like my job, which I also happen to love. Some things are my way to cope or release stress, TV and Zumba. Some are trying to prepare for our future, like becoming new business owners. I am so busy, I am probably not doing much of anything very well. I believe the majority of my effort goes into my regular job. Everything else gets what I have left. Some days that isn't much. Something is missing.... OK, I've got my job, my exercise, my entertainment and my future that I'm working on. I do manage to get some rest most nights and I am eating pretty well. What am I missing? After this week, what I'm missing became very clear. In the midst of a crisis, when I was going to have to do something I REALLY didn't want to do, I laid my head down and, through tears, begged God not to make me do it. I explained that I just wasn't strong enough. I actually begged for quite some time. Even though i didn't want to do this, I knew it was the right thing. When the time came for me to tackle this obstacle, I took a deep breath, tried to muster up the courage and strength this was going to require and.... Nothing! I didn't have to do anything. God had already taken care of it. Slapped in the face with an answered prayer. I was suddenly so sad because God was something that had just been getting my leftovers, even though He was the one I expected to help me out of a tough situation. For the biggest part of the last year, I have not been making God a priority. I have lumped God into "church" and have stayed away from both. I am still taking my drive to work to have that intimate conversation with God, but that's pretty much it. He is part of my routine and not part of my life right now. I talk a lot about things I "need" to do. I "need" to find a way to serve, I "need" to find a way to teach the grandkids, I "need" to get off my butt and be the light! I "need" to live my life in a way constantly makes God proud. I "need" to be an obedient child. Guess what, talk IS cheap. I am waiting on others to lead me. Exactly why am I doing that? So I can blame someone else when I start to feel guilty? That is a cowards way out. I am using my feelings about "church" as a cop out and have become lazy! I also am so worried about offending others, I am staying quiet when perhaps, that isn't the best thing. Now what? Well, this last week has been confirmation that God is always here with me. Now I "need" to make Him the priority in my life. I "need" to listen to Him and stop worrying about what others may think. I "need" to step up to the plate and be the person God created me to be, to use the gifts He gave me, whatever they are. If I just listen, He will not mislead me! God, please give me the strength and courage to listen to you.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Luke 12:29  The Message
What I'm trying to do here is get you to relax, not to be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God's giving.

This was part of the message today. It still has me bumfuzzled. See, I DON'T relax very well. There is just too much to do. Surely you understand, there is landry to do, meals to cook, dishes to do. I have to work and I have a family, we have small group, we have friends (yes, I have friends) and my sweet hubby and I try to find time to spend together, usually Friday night is date night. I have to find time to exercise and time to catch up with everyone on facebook, of course!

On top of all of this, I am an organizer, so not only do I have to do all of these things, I have to GET READY to do all of these things. You know, I have to sort the laundry, make my meal plan, wash the dishes so they can be sanitized in the dishwasher. I have to spend at least 30 minutes every night getting "ready" for work the next day. If I can't organize, I guarantee, I can make a list about it! I live by my lists, notes and reminders on my phone.

So, exactly how do I relax when there is so much I need to do.

The problem with blogging, 'I' is always capitalized, so "I" don't know how to emphasize that "I" am realizing that "I" am depending on myself to get all these things done and actually, "I" am not even sure these things are all necessary. 'I' am working my tail off trying to be as close to perfect as 'I' could possibly be and 'I' am failing miserably!

So I read Luke 12:21-30, I have to admit, it is a toughy. I am generally pretty hard on myself. I don't usually like what I see in the mirror, I have a bad case of the "if only's". You know, "if only" I could lose 30-40 more pounds, "if only" I were taller, "if only" I wasn't looking so old, "if only" my eyes were more blue, "if only" I had beautiful. straight hair. I could go on and on, I think alot of us could.

I see in verse 24 about the ravens, which are ugly, nastly birds actually, but they are "carefree in the care of God". Then, in verse 27-28, I read about the wildflowers, most never even seen, but are all so beautiful even though they don't fuss over their appearance. God will attend to me, take pride in me and do his best for me.

It all sounds so simple but my brain is already going, BUT......

So, in verse 31, it becomes more clear. "Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met".

Not only my needs but my human concerns. I will have to think about this one. My human concerns, does God understand how my brain works? Is He sure he wants to handle all my 'human concerns'? This is one of those things that will keep me up at night. Trying to figure this all out. See, this is how my brain works, I have to try to figure it out and totally understand it. In the end, I know I will simply throw my hands in the air and say to God, "the only thing I can do is assume you know what you are doing". He will then have me exactly where He wants me, totally trusting Him.

Today, I pray that it will not take me long to get to the point I just trust God to attend to me, take pride in me and do His best for me. I pray I stop playing the "if only" game and know that, even though I am not a size 3, God sees me as beautiful. I pray that my "human concerns" are for my fellow humans and not just for myself. I pray that I can "be generous and give to the poor". This is when I feel the presence of God most in my life, I think this may just be what God has called me to do, help make a difference for those less fortunate. Thank you God for that blessing! Today I pray I can relax and respnd to God's giving!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What would it take?

Why can't you see what is waiting for you if you just open your heart. All you have to do is be willing to ask. When can you take the time to find out what it is that has some people all amped. It is so simple. Just let God's grace make you over!

You know, all the "christians", they have it all figured out. They keep their "happy face" on at all times, they have no worries. They go to church every day. When asked, they smile and say, "we are just fine".

People are singing songs about it, why can't you understand. The preacher is preaching and the christians are smiling. Why can't you see? When will you care?

I am preaching, I am smiling, I have it all figured out. Why can't you see? When will you care? I know some bible verses and I know all about grace and mercy. When will I accept it?

What will it take. If all the good Christians preach at you about your clothes and your tattoos and your inappropriate behavior and your children born out of wedlock and your smoking and drinking and your bad decisions and your past relationships and your pre-marital sex and all the times you put everything before Jesus. If they preach loud enough, if they hit you over the head with that bible enough times, will you get it? Will you understand? Or will you turn and run away, hoping to never be like "them"?

How about some brutal honesty. What if I tell you how broken I am and about the horrible decisions I have made in the past, about lies I've told, pre-marital sex that cost so many so much, about smoking and drinking and drugs, ways to self medicate after years of abuse and self hatred, about tattoos that I love and more I will probably get, about raising my boys without teaching them who Jesus is, about living my adult life as a non-believer. If I told you all of these things and told you this was barely scratching the surface, then would you get it. Would you understand? Would you be interested.

Would you accept God's grace and understand there is nothing you can do that will make Him love you any less? He knows all your secrets and he loves you. He wants to show you nothing but kindness even though he knows everything about you. Would you want to know more? Would you fall to your knees and confess. Would you live your life differently?

If you let Him get hold of you, I can almost guarantee you would. As hard as I fought it, I did. I am a different person and I pray every day to become more different. I just want to be content in life and knowing that Jesus is mine. He is my saviour and He is my love. He is the only one I actually need. He will see that my needs are met. He knows all I think and feel and He will take care of my heart. He would never hurt me and He will be there to pick me up when life knocks me down.

Just thinking, I never, ever measured up to the "good christians" at church but, guess what, Jesus DOES NOT CARE. He wants me, honest and broken. He wants me to share that honesty and he wants me to shine His light. He wants me to shine that light so brightly that someone will be curious. This is what I want to do. I don't want to preach or thump my bible, I just want you to see how broken and battered I am and know that Jesus loves me. Honest truth is, if you know how screwed up I am and realize He still loves me, that could be very powerful. As much as people will judge you, I guarantee He will love you, all you have to do is ask!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I came across this verse the other night and it just won't leave me alone.

Psalm 119: 174 - 176    The Message

I'm homesick God, for your salvation. I love it when you show yourself. Invigorate my soul so I can praise you well. Use your decrees to put iron in my soul. And, should I wonder off, like a lost sheep - seek me! I'll recognize the sound of your voice. A pilgrim song.

I love when I open my bible and something speaks to me so loudly. The writer of this psalm must have been thinking about me, must have known me personally. This is ME!

Some days, I am so very homesick for God's salvation and when I slow down enough and can manage to be quiet, I do so love it when God shows himself. He takes me by surprise so often and I can't sing his praises loud enough. He knows just when I need encouragement. He also knows when I am wondering, when I am not listening, when I am being a disobedient child. Then he calls my name, he gets my attention and yes, I do recognize the sound of his voice. Then I remember He only wants what is best for me, He has a plan for me and wants me to get back on track.

I love when I actually realize that God does not need me but He loves me and yearns for me. Loves me unconditionally and just wants me to be His!

God, I am yours and I am so thankful that you waited for me, that you sought me when I was that sheep that was so terribly lost! I love the sound of your voice and I love you.

Monday, November 1, 2010

I'm Fine!!!!

How many times in my life have I answered the question, "are you okay?" with "I'M FINE". I did it just today. What exactly do I think that accomplishes? If someone asks the question, do I not owe them some sort of a truthful answer. Even if it is just, "I don't know" or "no, actually, I am not". What would be wrong with saying those things?

Well, I don't know about anyone else but there are a couple of reasons I can think of that cause me to spew "I'M FINE"! One, I sure would hate it if anyone knew I might have feelings or a weakness or worse yet, emotions. Two, I struggle with anger and if I answer that question honestly, then I just might blow a gasket. I never really learned how to "use my words". Ha, that is what all my grandkids get told when they aren't making any sense with their gibberish, you know, when they are trying so hard to tattle but just keep stammering over their words or when they just cry or whine and point.

It just dawned on me, I act the EXACT same way when someone asks me what's wrong. I act like one of my grandkids when things aren't going their way and they just don't know how to express what is wrong. Difference is, I am not a child! I should be able to be honest!

That would require me being honest with myself. That sucks, just in case you were wondering how I feel about it! I would rather run miles upon miles than be honest with myself. Why is that? When I know what I am, when I know who I am, why am I so afraid of just admitting it to myself. I guess because I know who I am and I know what I am. I can't imagine anyone understanding me much less wanting to be with me. I am complicated, I am simple, I am deep, I am shallow, I am so many different things, I can't even understand me most of the time!

So, my answer is, I AM FINE! That makes it all okay. That should make anyone quit asking questions. Problem is, it doens't make me believe it. It also doens't make God leave me alone, He is constantly there, asking me "what's wrong"?

Why can't I get it? God knows who I am and God knows what I am and yet, He still wants to know, "what's wrong"? Could it be because He knows everything about me and sees no wrong. Even though he sees every scar, every hurt, every tear, every hateful, hurtful thing there is to see about me, He can't understand why I feel like there is something wrong. He keeps no records, He just loves me.

I will still constantly try to figure out my own emotions. I will always try to come across as the strong chick, the one with no worries or concerns. I will always be afraid of things going bad but am getting better at just letting things be what they are. I am also trying harder to see myself through God's eyes more often and not through the eyes that are so terribly scarred by my past.

What's wrong? Actually, nothing, I am fine. Just ask God!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I've Never Been To Jail!

Wow. tonight I am thinking about going to jail. I hope this doesn't happen but I am fully prepared for it if it does. Let me guess, you just want to know what I've done? If you know me very well, you are probably imagining ALOT of things that could send me to jail.

Well, I haven't done anything yet. I am hoping I don't have to do anything! If you have been reading any of my facebook posts or some of the blogs I have written, you know I am passionate about our homeless community. Tomorrow morning at 7:30, our city council will present two city ordinances that essentially make it illegal to be homeless.

I don't really know where this thinking comes from or how it makes any sense, but that is where we are. I am praying that the ordinances are tabled and we are given an opportunity and time to come up with solutions. I am praying the council will see that there is no way to come up with a solution unless they are willing to zone a building for a shelter. I am praying alot of things just finally come together and we will all find it in us to do the right thing.

I am praying for all of these things but am fully prepared for the council to be a little more stubborn than this. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst I suppose!

THis passage speaks volumes to me about being homeless!
1 Corinthians 10 - 12  The Message

 9-13It seems to me that God has put us who bear his Message on stage in a theater in which no one wants to buy a ticket. We're something everyone stands around and stares at, like an accident in the street. We're the Messiah's misfits. You might be sure of yourselves, but we live in the midst of frailties and uncertainties. You might be well-thought-of by others, but we're mostly kicked around. Much of the time we don't have enough to eat, we wear patched and threadbare clothes, we get doors slammed in our faces, and we pick up odd jobs anywhere we can to eke out a living. When they call us names, we say, "God bless you." When they spread rumors about us, we put in a good word for them. We're treated like garbage, potato peelings from the culture's kitchen. And it's not getting any better.

There is something moving in me, actually, it is past moving, it is literally churning inside me. My heart knows without a doubt that I am supposed to make a difference. I am praying for direction and guidance and I do believe I will get it, but I will make plenty of mistakes trying to get it all right. As of now, the only thing I know to do is support my friends that are less fortunate. I will do that by being fighting city hall, by providing for whatever needs I can provide for and by participating in a non-violent protest that may actually get me thrown in jail. I'm okay with that because I know God is using everything for good. I will do my best to feed Him when He is hungry and give Him a place to lay his head when He is homeless. I will do that through people like Carey, Jack, Red, JP, Luis, and so on. That's what I will be doing, protesting the inhumanity of telling someone they are not allowed to sleep, anywhere.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I suppose I am writing this simply because I don't know what else to do. I have cried, I have vented and I am PISSED!!!!

I received in my e-mail today a copy of the ordinances to be discussed at the city council meeting this Thursday. It seems the City of Lubbock is going to make it illegal to be homeless.

I understand that the majority of people believe the homeless community are not exactly the most beautiful people in town. They wear tattered clothes, they suffer from addictions and mental illmess. They panhandle for money and they urinate in public. I suppose this is just too much for some people to handle.

My husband and I have been involved with the homeless community for about three years now. we have volunteered at the prayer vigil, we have a monday night bible study and we take food to the library on occasion. We provide sleeping bags to as many people as we can and we are truly blessed by the friends we have made. The church we attend has set aside part of their missions budget to help with our passion. We have loads of friends that are right there in the trenches with us.

I realize the general concensus is that these people are all "bums" and the will never amount to anything. Let me tell you, alot of the homeless are there simply because they have hit bottom and are trying to climb back upl. We know of men who were at the prayer vigil because after they paid their child support, there was no money for rent. A dear friend worked as an electronics technician for over 30 years at the same company. He lost his sight and lost his job. He is one of the kindest people I have ever known and he is truly a minister to the homeless community. Another friend is mentally disabled but he works at Gardsky's as a bus boy. Could you pay rent and utilities on a bus boys salary? These people are just that, PEOPLE. How can our city build a huge, new jail to house criminals and spend millions of dollars to assure stray animals have shelter but leave our brothers and sisters to freeze to death?

Imagine, just for a moment, you have no clothes, except for the ones you have on your back. Imagine suffering from bi-polar disorder or anxiety or even high blood pressure or diabetes, and not being able to get your medications. Imagine not having money to even buy a burger off the dollar menu. Imagine the humiliation of having to urinate in public because you have no place else to go. Imagine not being able to shower or brush your teeth. Exactly how do you go to a job interview? Imagine the only place you have to lay your head at night is on the pavement at the Mahon Library. Hopefully with a sleeping bad to keep you warm. Maybe your belly is full but quite possibly, it is empty and you have no idea when it will be full again. If you could possibly imagine these things happening to you, just think how horrible your days would be and how frightening your nights would be. If you could possibly imagine this homeless person being a loved one, then would you be willing to do something. Would you be willing to force the city to stand up and lend a hand?

Is there NOTHING we can do?