Saturday, August 30, 2008

Clean Hands

I am standing right now in awe of the goodness of the Lord.  He has been so kind to me in my life. It has nothing to do with my ability to perform, or to earn His love. Its His kindness that draws us to repentance. I am in awe of the change of the seasons, and how quickly they can indeed change. I didn't believe a few months ago that I would ever come out of the previous season (which seemed like a never ending winter) I am being drawn back to my first love.. He melts my heart like wax.  Its so good. 
I've been thinking so much lately about the day the Lord first met me when I was 18.. I was ambushed by the LOVE of God in a place of complete rebellion. I was throwing a fit, trying to get my way, and I got completely gripped by love. And I've realized that the most amazing feeling about that day that I met the Lord (7-8-00) was the overwhelming purity that washed over me. Everything was pure. And I had grounds to be pissed off. I had just watched my dad slowly for the last 3 years.. I hated church, and thought that God was a fascist dictator who threw lightening bolts and was sending me to hell with a smile on His face... This is what I learned in church, people! So when you get a real encounter with the LIVING God, it changes everything. I would sometimes just sit when we would have movie nights, and daydream about the purity of the Lord, and how I was still in shock months later of how clean I knew I was. Thats what happens when He takes up residence in you. He moves in. Never leaves. Thats what we really want. We want people to loves us, and to never leave.  He's the only one who can really live up to that standard. I am so thankful for clean hands and a pure heart. And He even stays when we go out and play the harlot and chase after other lovers. He is in His love for His children. 
I don't even know if many people read this, but I encourage you to take a moment today and meditate on what He has rescued you from. You overcome the enemy by the blood of the lamb, and by the word of your testimony. You never know.. Your words over someone elses life could potentially be the thing that breaks off the power of the enemy. If you're reading this and feel like you're stuck and have never heard from God, just do what my friend John did many years ago.. Say "God, if you're real, show yourself to me." He really will.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pinotage and Trust

     Well here I am at 2 in the morning, awake again. Surprise, surprise. Here was my day in short. Woke up from the first incredible nights sleep in weeks. Ate Cream of Wheat (gotta get the iron somehow) Went to the gym and decided after 15 minutes on the cross trainer that today was just not the day for it. Cut Deborah's hair. Went to work. Tasted some killer wines from South Africa. Watched The DNC and am SO ready for someone to get elected, so I can stop hearing about it all day long. (besides hillary, it is such a man sport) had dark chocolate espresso beans.... And am sitting here WONDERING why I'm still awake.. Hmmmph..
     The Lord is good.. He's in control. He is teaching me once again, how to trust... lean... rest.... Its hard to do when the world teaches you that you've gotta "get yours" and manipulate all situations.. Its much easier to do that.. But so much more rewarding to trust. So heres my toast to trusting.. Amen, Im off to dreamland.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Trusting and Shopping

     I am awake at a weird hour once again, so I guess Ill take advantage of the time and update this thing.  It has been an interesting week. Lots of swirl going on in my brain. Mostly the swirl is really good, most intriguing to me. The other part of it that I would usually call bad, is mostly a place that is learning how to trust that God is REALLY in all of it. Like, to the very fiber of my being in it. I have a hard time of that sometimes. Its much easier to control things than to relinquish our control to the Father, and believe that He really does order our steps. Actually in the long run, its much easier to just trust Him and get on with it, than to control your own life. What does that song say? "I give up control of my life and my destiny, I give up control right now." Its true. And its also easier said than done. 
     My day off yesterday was very chill. I got stuck at Concord Mills in a torrential downpour for like 3 hours. So I just wandered around and dreamed about fall weather, and listened to the interesting array of "mall selected mid 90's music." In the meantime, the dead sea lotion people mercilessly harassed me to buy their miracle lotion and nail buffers about every 50 yards. Then there are the people 50 yards further than those 50 yards trying to grab your hair and convince you that the flat iron that you own is a piece of crap, and that try and demonstrate by giving you this look that signifies "your hair looks awful" to try and lure you in to their $100 flat iron.. I laugh now when I walk by. I'm like, dude, I do hair.. I have a GHD.. And FINALLY, they have started to leave me alone. Just don't tell those people if you own a Chi Flatiron.. You will be toast for sure.
     I spent some time with Mandy at Levi and Heathers with an assortment of lovely Cranes. It was fun.. I gave Heather a foot massage trying to trigger pressure points in her feet to send her in to labor.. Guess we'll find out soon enough! Well, peace out, I'm awake, so I might as well go out to breakfast and read. Have a wonderful day, to all who are reading this.

Friday, August 22, 2008

foot and mouth

     I have been recently pondering how much my thoughts, opinion, and yes... even my heart can change so very quickly... overnight, even.  The subject of this "foot and mouth" blog, is addressing the southern region of the United States of America, and how my heart has changed toward it in recent months.
       You see, there are things about those of us being raised anywhere north of Kentucky, that can potentially baffle you when you take the plunge in to the great land of pickled eggs and fried okra.  In fact, I'm still not sure what vegetable family that okra is related to... Can someone shed some light on me? You see, I was raised in the land (or household) of spinach salad with strawberries and balsamic vinagrette with wild caught salmon with asparagus, and I was suddenly thrust by the Good Lord in to the land of collard greens cooked in bacon with cornbread and okra! And boiled peanuts.. we can't forget boiled peanuts.. (for the record, to anyone reading this that is from the south, I have a point, and will eventually bring it all back home for you)  Fried, fried, everything fried.. I have found out since being in the south, that you can fry anything.. Even a twinkie.. No joke.. Back home, if you go out to dinner and ask for iced tea, they bring you unsweet tea with a caddy of sweeteners... HERE, unless there is a detection of a southern drawl, sweet tea is a given.. And heres the thing about sweet tea.. Its, well.... really sweet. And the scarier part? Its really good.. In fact, looking back on my time in the south, the first part of my southern conversion has been my occasional glass of sweet tea..
One day a couple weeks ago, I even decided to give the cajun boiled peanuts a try.. Once again, it was a party in my mouth. Oh crap, what is happening to me? I AM FROM THE NORTH LORD!  I think one of my biggest pet peaves was the dreaded accent.. Okay, I don't mean dreaded... not really.. I just didn't quite understand the progression of the syllables and the conjugation of the verbs.. Let me use one of my favorite examples.. "How are you?" Sometimes I would encounter someone and would hear "Hawrrrryuuuu?" And then there was "I appreciate you" I would consistently get "Preccciatcha." So you get the point.. I had an opinion.. I formed a judgement.. A very inaccurate judgement over an entire region of the country.
So let me bring this ship back in to the harbor and make my point... My bias northern heart has been melted like drawn' butter by the south. It seemed to happen over night. I find myself doing things lately that I would have never done. I'll give you my list of examples..
1.  2 weeks ago I purchased my first proud jar of pickled okra, and ended up falling in love.
2.  Yesterday I bought a jar of bread and butter pickle and onions, and almost ate the entire jar. (scary, its a nice size jar)
3.  I don't despise southern accents anymore. In fact, they've grown on me at an alarming rate.
4.  I have (on occasion) allowed my taste buds to adapt to collard greens, strange and anonymous types of peas, beans, and other unidentified sources of protein.
5.  I have eaten more parts of the pig than I would want anyone to know about in the north.
6.  I am now an avid believer of the statement, "You can fry anything" Its true, its true, we can even fry you..
7.  When I catch a y'all slip out of my mouth, I don't beat myself up about it anymore.
8.  Boiled peanuts are off the chain when theyre done right (cajun style)
9.  I am 100% confident that bacon really does make EVERYTHING better.. 
10. Charleston.. And the Charleston accent.. Its amazing.
So here I am with my foot in my mouth once again.. And I am happy to have it there.. Its good to have a changed heart.. And to grow in love with a place that wasn't originally your #1 pick. You will be given stories.. Memories.. Biscuits and honey.. Less of what you wanted, and more of what you needed.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Armor All

     Okay, so I guess this is my first "for real" post.  I woke up this morning in a very organizational mood, and decided to tackle my car with the shop vac and the armor all.. It makes me quite happy with its glossy finish, and "new car" appearance.. One day soon, I will be cleaning a for real new car, but for today, my increasingly ghetto Corolla will have to suffice. 
     It has been a really awesome couple of weeks around here.  If nothing else, there has been an increasing lightheartedness taking root in me that I've been asking the Lord for for some time now. Its funny how we ask, and we wait, and we ask, and we wait... and then we hit that point where we don't ever think its going to happen.. And then it comes and you start to wear it and step in to it... and you realize that the change is real and lasting.. not the change that I try and strive for out of performing.. but the change that only comes from putting myself in front of God and admitting that I am helpless to change without Him.. And that it really doesn't have a whole lot to do with me.. I love that about God. His ways are so other than us.. We try to wrap our minds around it, but we never quite make it all the way around. Its pretty incredible.
      My beloved Summer Olympics are coming to a close.. Well, the gymnastics anyway. It was a love hate relationship with Beijing. The judges sucked, the chinese girls were like 11, and 2 of our girls got robbed.. BUT the beam final made it all worth it. I think I may have had tears in my eyes I was so happy. I NEVER get worked up over a game, but I guess when you play a sport for half your life, and its part of your childhood.. ya know.. 
     Well, the grand and final conclusion of this blog, is that I need to stay as far away from Target as I can. You can't go in for "just a shirt." Its impossible.. And I'm usually really good with money.. So I'm staying away from there.. Okay, gotta get ready to leave.. Grace and Peace.

Oh, Blog...

Well, I feel such a sigh of relief in having a blog that is outside of myspace.  I'm always seeing everyone's lovely blogs, so I decided to start one of my own.  I will do my best to clearly articulate my thoughts on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.. Oh blog, I will try not to let you down.. Peace out.