Hurricanes and Stuff

Me and my laptop and phone calls and hurricanes and stuff…

Here I sit, alone in a quiet house.  (I know, how did THAT happen???)  My youngest is at a birthday party and my oldest is at youth group.  I’ve done everything I can do for work today to prepare an assisted living for the coming hurricane.  Yeah, sure, why not a hurricane?  Just another layer in the pile of losses and challenges this year has brought our way.

Some moments, I feel like Lieutenant Dan in the movie Forrest Gump, climbing up to the lookout of the boat and shouting to the storm, or to God, “Bring it on!!”  I could probably do with a good scream out in the middle of a whipping wind and driving rain.  (If any of ya’ll hear me tomorrow night during the hurricane, just keep on about your business.)  For real, this year has been no joke for any of us.  For me, just like everyone, it’s been one wild challenge after the next.  

Sitting here in the quiet, this passage of scripture becomes very real to me.  “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  James 1:1-3

Trials of many kinds… I’m pretty sure those verses were written with the year 2020 in mind.  No matter how I dread the fact, these words just hold true.  The testing develops perseverance.  I used to have a “weak stomach.”  I once fainted during a simple blood test.  Then I became a mom.  After giving birth, a small needle stick no longer seemed so daunting.  Once I faced and survived major pain, the smaller, annoying pains just didn’t phase me like they once had.  Except teeth.  I still can’t deal with teeth.  Thank God my kids are past that stage!  But I digress…

Ya’ll, let’s not lose heart.  We are developing perseverance.  We can look forward to maturity and completeness, and the peace of the knowledge that even when we seem to lack everything, we are actually not lacking anything.  We can have joy, even when the world is in chaos and life is a mess. This isn’t Pollyanna talking.  It’s just a girl with a lump in her throat and tears in her eyes, but a stubborn belief that these words are real and these promises are true.  If not now, when?  If I don’t develop more maturity this way, then how?  I’m giving myself plenty of grace, plenty of rest, icing down the emotional “muscles” that are getting overworked during these perseverance sessions, and reminding myself that growth isn’t comfortable but it’s worth it.  This problem will make me better at surviving the next problem without losing my sparkle.  Not. Lacking. Anything.

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Resolution

It’s a new year!  And I’m kinda scared…

Just telling the truth.

I’m having a hard time being positive.  Do you ever feel like that?  Like you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop?  Like you know everything’s good but are ever looking for whatever might lurk ahead?  Like you can’t fully appreciate the beauty of now because you let imagined and real fears steal the moment?

Just me, huh?  🙂

I’ve been thinking about resolutions and wanting to make some and yet have felt kind of paralyzed by the what-if’s of 2015.  It’s a new year.  A new slate.  Another gift.  And yet what if if holds things that hurt?  This is so depressing isn’t it???

This morning I cried while telling my husband how I feel like I should be past this.  I feel like it’s a rookie faith mistake and like God deserves better from someone He’s brought so far.  I mean at some point, faith comes outside the Sunday School and enters the everyday choices of a believer’s life.  That’s when the real adventure is.  I’m not a rookie.  I’ve been following Jesus a long time. So what do I do?

Here’s what:

1)  Reflect on where I’ve been with God.  See, God and I have been some bad places already and He was enough.  He will be enough no matter what the future brings.  I have His impeccable track record to go by.

2)  Release my grip.  Even in the face of fear, I can make a choice to open my clenched emotional fist and let go of my expectations, good and bad.  I can choose to trust Romans 8:28 and believe the truth of it.

3)  Run toward my life.  Once I’ve made a choice to trust God, I am free to embrace life and not resist it.  I don’t need to back up, or even walk timidly forward.  I can RUN right into my great big overwhelming life.

Fear happens.  Sometimes the feeling is more intense for me than others.  I think it’s not the presence of fear, but how we deal with it that makes the difference.   So even though I feel like a big chicken, I am not going to BECOME a chicken.  Chickens aren’t really notorious for joyous living, ya know?  True believers on the other hand… well, they ARE.  So I’m gonna go ahead and resolve away, alright??  Alright.

2015 Resolutions:

* Make some basic doctor appointments and dental appointments, (Another fear to overcome)  and keep working toward a healthier life by continuing my exercise and continuing to practice balance in my diet.

* Do something I’m not sure I can do.

*  Laugh more.

*  Unplug one night each week.

*  Take a family vacation.

So there they are, out there for the world to see.  My resolutions for the year 2015.  Bring it on!!

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Guess What I Did??!!

I biked to work!! Yes, that’s right friends, I put my big ol’ hundred-and-however-many pound self on a bicycle for the first time since I was about 12 years old and pedaled myself to work.

This is me, arriving at work:

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This is me, a few minutes later, all cleaned up in my professional businesswoman costume!

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I’d like to thank God, my mama and daddy, and especially my dear and wonderfully insane friend, Bex Goodwin. Bex…an accomplished bicycle commuter who rides to the ferry, crosses the Mississippi, and continues her ride to work in downtown New Orleans.  Bex, who met me for the first time in a Starbucks when I, in the midst of hair-coloring process, had walked in with bright purple goo all over my head and she still decided to be my friend.  Now that I think about it, the purple goo is probably WHY she decided to be my friend.  She loaned me her first bike, Pearl, and gave me the kick in the butt needed to do this.  Bex, my bike mom.

Yep, I looked ridiculous.  I was scared outta my mind and pictured myself being run over about a hundred times before I got to work.  But I did it. 

Guess how I’m getting home?

 

 

 

 

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