Monday, August 23, 2010

Austin, TX

This past weekend I headed to Austin to attend a going-away party for my sweet friend and college roommate- Leticia.  She's lived in Austin for the past 6 years and is headed to NYC for seminary!!  I'm so excited for this new season of her life and all that the Lord has done in and through her over the past 8 years. My life has been immensely blessed by knowing her.

I knew the weekend in Austin would be an interesting one…I was carpooling down and then turning over my keys to my friend Aaron who would be using my car to get around for the weekend.  I was prepared for some down time- but was not prepared for all that would happen while there.

On Friday night- we pulled into Austin and I was dropped off at the going away party.  So many people were there to celebrate Leticia.  It was so evident that she has impacted the lives of MANY people in Austin Texas!  That evening- after the party wrapped up- we headed to Mandy's house.  Mandy was an amazing and gracious host!  She and her husband just recently bought a house and it allowed me the opportunity to stay in Austin for FREEEE……and not only that- but with much better accommodations than any hotel could have offered.  Seriously. That first night- I crawled into bed and was giddy with how amazingly comfortable that bed was!!! Sheeesh! They sleep WELL in that house!

The next morning, Leticia, Mandy, Camille, and I all got up and headed for breakfast at Kerbey Lane…One of Leticia's favorite breakfast spots. We enjoyed coffee, pancakes, tacos, and queso (yes! all for breakfast) and had sweet conversation.

I have to say. One of my favorite things about being a girl is the way we connect.  Girls can go have coffee and sit and talk for hours upon hours.  Literally. I didn't know Mandy or Camille before this weekend.  And yet we sat at breakfast with our friend Leticia and had amazing conversation.

After breakfast/brunch- Leticia and I headed into downtown where she dropped me off to wander around while she met up with some other friends to say goodbye to them.  I made plans to see my friend Keegan that afternoon and after realizing I didn't really want to wander around- I made my way over to Starbucks (surprise) and sat down with my journal and pen.  I didn't really even have much to write at this point. I think I just sat for an hour just staring at a blank page.

One of the reason's I'd been looking forward for this trip was specifically that reason. I knew I was going to have some down time and I really wanted that time to disconnect.  I had no one with me for several periods of time- and no car- and it was too hot to walk around- so I just sat.  I feel as though I was able to make sense of some things that I've been working through and it is amazing the clarity that we receive when we disconnect.

At 4pm- I walked over to my friend Keegan's apt & thus begins the best evening I could have hoped for!

First of all.  Keegan is one of my most favorite people.  EVER. He makes me laugh more than anyone probably ever has and is the best story teller.

I met up with him over at his place and we went poolside for the next 1 ½ hours.  He moved to Austin last year (used to be in Dallas) and so the catch up time was awesome. We had lots to chat about and the pool was probably the most relaxing time I could have asked for.

Keegan invited me to have dinner with him and some friends and I gladly accepted..(remember- I had no car with me and was just kinda flyin by the seat of my pants for the weekend.) We went back upstairs to get ready for dinner when there was a change of plans. Keegan informed me that instead of dinner- some people he works with would be going to the Texas Roller Derby Playoffs….

Let me first say- I had NO IDEA what Roller Derby was. But. I was in for a HUGE shock.

If you don't know what it is- google it.  And then imagine me- with a bunch of dudes.  And a wild turkey roaming the building.  And men with crazy long beards.  And pillow fights. And fishnet tights.

A good night of fun and laughter, for SURE.

After the roller derby- we all walked over to eat dinner and meet up with more friends.

Keegan dropped me off with my friend Leticia later that evening and we headed back to Mandy's place. Sunday morning was spent in a coffee shop reading/journaling….then walking around for a little bit again in downtown before sitting again at a coffee shop for another hour or two.

Sandi (another Austin friend formally of Dallas) and her fiancĂ© Kyler met up with me around 1pm. I wasn't sure if Sandi and I were going to be able to meet up since our schedules were a bit off- but we did! And that was a delightful treat!!!  Kyler and Sandi made lunch for me and it was so great to catch up with both of them.  Sandi- I'm so excited for you and Kyler and I loved the way you two are together.  You are a great match and I'm so excited for you in this season! You are living life well and you are such an encouragement to me!!! Thanks again so much for giving up part of your day to spend it with me!!!

My chauffeurs arrived to pick me up around 3pm and we headed back home to Dallas.  Aaron and Scott….you two sure do know how to make a 3 ½ hour long drive memorable AND enjoyable!!! Let's hang out again soon. I think I've figured you two out and I can join in on the craziness that is what you two call conversation. ;-) I think I've got it down now!

Even when I got home from Austin- my mind felt so much more at peace.  There had been so much going on in my heart/mind for the past 2 weeks that I finally feel as though I was able to make sense of so much. I was grateful to come home to a roommate that was excited to hear my stories and listen to what all the Lord is doing.  Thanks, Hailey for being my roommate….I love coming home to you and sharing life with you….

 

And with that…..Keep Austin weird.

 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Be You.

I LOVE meeting new people.

LOVE IT.

It kind of gives me a high.

….ok, so I honestly shouldn't write that- cause I have no clue what a 'high' feels like…..but seriously…Something just happens in my heart when I meet and connect with new people.

Asking questions is one of my favorite things. I initiate conversation well.   I know a lot of the 'right' questions to get people talking….and honestly- let's face it. People love to talk about themselves, so if I ask questions about themselves- they'll talk, right?

Most often- if I meet someone for the first time- I'll have to cut in on myself at some point and say "I'm sorry! I'm not playing '20 Questions' with you or anything….just trying to get to know you!"-because I will have asked so many questions and that could be overwhelming.

And most often- the response I get is "No! It's totally ok! I love it!"

One of my favorite things is meeting someone and asking questions and after hearing their response- being able to say "Me too!....oh my gosh…me too!!! No way! Same for me!!!"

Have you ever had one of those moments?  You just connect with that person. You could talk for hours upon hours with that person and feel like you've shared the same life experience.

I love connecting with people.

But do you ever feel like there are certain areas of your life in which you feel NO ONE connects with you?  No one gets it? That there is a particular chapter(s) of your life that no one shares? 

Sure, those are the things that make us unique and individuals- but sometimes it would be nice to hear that someone is walking the same road you are walking. That they get it. Cause they are typically the most personal/vulnerable areas of our life.

I had one of those moments this morning. I wish someone could share this season with me. And know exactly how I'm feeling. What I'm thinking. Why I'm thinking the way I'm thinking.

But.

I'm learning to appreciate those things about me that NOONE else can relate to.  Those are the things that make Minda "MINDAAAA!!!!!"

Far too often than not, I tend to see those things about myself (they can be great things!) and think negatively about them…..because they make me feel so different. So unlike anyone I know. So different.

Trying to embrace my differences, today….and just be me.

 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

113 degrees.

Yes. 113 degrees. That is what my car informed me when I got in my car after having played ultimate frisbee for 2 1/2 hours today. INSANE HEAT!


On my way to play I blasted Christmas music in my car in attempts to make me think it was cooler outside than what it really was. I think it worked ;-)

And on top of that- I'm in bed now (yes, at 8pm) listening to more Bing Crosby and others singing Christmas carols.

Speaking of which....132 days til Christmas ;-)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Moses

Ok- so for the past week- I've been reading in Deuteronomy.  Have read a lot about Moses- and this morning I ended up in chapter 31-in which basically- Moses has just finished writing down all the laws that the Lord had given him.

Let me back up and give a REALLY quick rundown of Moses for you.

Moses- the baby that floated down the river in a basket.  We've all seen those water color pictures in kids bibles, etc….

Ok- so that baby is our man.  (By the way- his story starts in Exodus chapter 2 if you'd like to go read it)

So.  (remember, I said I'm gonna go quick- missing lots of good juicy details- but giving you enough to understand)

-Moses- baby in basket-floating away to escape death of all baby boys

-Found by Pharaoh's daughter.

-He grows up

-Goes out one day to where he sees the slaves (his true family) being forced into hard labor & he kills an Egyptian

-Flees and becomes an alien in foreign land.

-Lord appears to him in a bush (yeah, you gotta read the story)

-God talks to Moses and tells him that He wants Moses to go rescue the Israelites from under the harsh hand of Pharaoh

-God also tells Moses that He wants to bring them out of Egypt and into a 'good and spacious land flowing with milk and honey'

God and Moses have a great conversation at this point- but what you need to know for now is that God made this promise to Moses. 

Fast forward a little through some great things like frogs, blood water, locusts, sea's parting…etc…

And we end up in the desert with Moses and the Israelites.  They've all been set free from under the hand of Pharaoh.  They are drinking water from rocks, receiving manna (bread) from heaven….(seriously- instead of it raining water….*or men* ;-)) ….they received a 'rain' of bread).

In the desert.  Definitely not a place of flowing milk and honey.

Now- I'm gonna skip over a LOT.  But basically they are in the desert for 40 years.  Circling around & around. And making idols, and doing bad things….and forgetting that while they may be in the desert- they were not slaves anymore!

So. While they are being bad- The Lord decides to put the people under His law.  And gives Moses the 10 commandments.  (stone tablets and all….10…let's count 'em!)

All the while- the Lord is reminding Moses "The Lord Your God is bringing His people into a good land"

Following me here?

Ok. So let's go to Deut chapter 3.

A lot has happened….the people are unruly- and Moses is told by the Lord in verse 27 "Go up to the mountain and look north, west, south, and east. Look at the land with your own eyes, since you are not going to cross the Jordan."

Screeeeech. Wait. What?!

Yeah.  Joshua is going to be the one to lead the people across now.

Not Moses.

Fast forward a little more to chapter 31. In this chapter- the proverbial 'baton' so to speak-is being passed from Moses to Joshua.

Moses summons Joshua and tells him to be strong and courageous, for he must go with the people into the land that the LORD swore to their forefathers to give them…. Moses tells him over and over- be strong and courageous!

He finishes by reading the Law to all the people- and then recites the words to a song in front of the entire assembly of Israel.

Now. Back to the beginning of this blog.  That's where I am today in my reading.

My heart aches for Moses.  I wanted for him so badly to be able to see the land flowing with milk and honey.  But yet in his song that he recited- here are a few of the words:

"I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he."

At the end. When it's all said and done for Moses- those are Moses' words. That is his heart.

So, this morning- I sent out the daily morning verse (if you want to be a part of this- let me know) and I wrote "Thinking about Moses…The Lord told him he would NOT be the one to lead the people into the promised land…but yet- at the end of his life- he was found singing."

As I sent it- my heart was a bit heavy.  (not thinking it was much of an encouragement)

Then my friend Anna responded with this "Amen! That's good!!!!"

I responded with "Moses doesn't have the most encouraging ending in his life…but he was found faithful."

To which Anna responded "And isn't it encouraging that his reward wasn't the promise but his reward was God."

My heart skipped a beat.

Yes.  His reward was even GREATER than the promise.

His reward was the Lord.

What promises are you holding on to? Would you be willing to let it go and receive God as your reward instead?  Or are you holding on too tightly to a promise?

He is our reward.

 

Thanks, Anna. I needed that today



--
Never doubt in the darkness what you have seen clearly in the light.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Escape?

Sooooo.
 
A lot of stuff is going on.
 
And in attempts to not deal with it- I just continue to fill all of my spare time with episode after episode after episode of "24."
 
Healthy?
 
No.
 
But working?
 
Yes.
 
Sometimes I wish I could leave my brain at home for a couple days and not have to deal with thought after thought after thought that races through my mind minute after minute.
 
Am I being vague?  Yes.  Sorry.
 
But that's all.

Quote

"If He commands you to act, and if you will trust Him, you will see all of creation move in concert to accomplish in you what you were created to do."
-McManus

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

your name....

This week I've been spending time in the morning reading in each of the gospels- the burial and Resurrection of Jesus.

While I've read each of these many a time.....I decided to go back and re-read after having my moment this past weekend (see this blog post http://marypoppinswasntperfect.blogspot.com/2010/07/do-you-really-believe.html )
 
In Matthew- I read in chapter 28 how an angel was sent down to roll back the stone and he popped a squat there on the stone and got to tell the good news.  What an awesome assignment for an angel, right??? How cool did HE feel??  Made me start thinking about how often I find my self in a season where I'm sitting...and waiting.
 
I have not necessarily considered my season of sitting...'awesome'.....but it could be.  As long as I'm sharing the good news and chillin out- what's to be upset about?? :-)
 
Also- in Luke- Jesus has been raised, he's appeared to the disciples, and shown them His nail scars. Luke 24:45 says "Then He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures."  I just was realizing how important it is for me to ask Him to open my mind before reading His Word. So often I've found myself reading and words just kept passing before my eyes....words words words..... But if He opens my mind to understand it- the revelation of His Word will start DRIPPING off the pages.
 
And this morning....In John.  First of all- I have to say I find it hilarious that John always refers to himself as 'the disciple that Jesus loved'.....
 
Even more funny is he says in chapt 20- (they've just gotten news that the tomb is empty)....v.3 says "So Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, started running for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went in. ....v. 8- Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first....saw and believed."
 
I think John would have been a good nertz card player....He seems to have had a little bit of a competitive edge to him ;-)
 
But seriously...Ok- so as I continued reading, I read a verse that made my heart stop.
 
"Then the disciples went back to their homes, but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw 2 angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, "Woman, why are you crying?"  "They have taken my Lord away," she said, "and I don't know where they have put him." At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
Ok....First side note- I just imagine Mary being such an emotional wreck....She's crying....her eyes are puffy.....she's got snot running everywhere- but she doesn't care.  She is just so sad.  I know that I've been in a place in which I was doing the 'ugly cry' and I was so upset that I wouldn't be able to see anything going on around me.....where I was just so undone and a wreck.....I can imagine that's how Mary was.
 
Verse 15- "Woman," he said, "why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?"
 
Thinking he was the gardener, she said "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him."
 
 
Jesus said to her, "Mary."
 
 
 
All he had to do was say her name. 
 
I love that. He just stated her name and immediately she knew. 
 
When I read that verse this morning- I knew what was coming- but all I could see on my page was this:
 
 
Jesus said to her, "Minda."
 
 
Do you need to hear Him say your name today?
 
He's there. He's not dead.  He's not in a tomb.
 
He's alive.  And He's calling your name to let you know He's there.
 
Listen for your name today.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, August 2, 2010

I'm ready...

I have an overwhelming urge to go buy as many school supplies as possible today.....
 
A pencil bag....fun pens.....possibly even a trapper keeper......a new planner.....
 
Agh.  I love everything about new school supplies.
 
Maybe I'm just wishing mostly for cooler weather.
 
I'm ready for scarves, sweaters, sweatshirts, and hot coffee.
 
I'm ready for leaves to change color.....for leaves to fall on the ground and become crunchy so I can stomp on them.
 
I'm ready to retire my summer clothes and pull out my winter stuff.
 
I'm ready for gray skies and brisk wind.
 
I'm ready for fires in the fireplace.
 
I'm ready for Saturday mornings to be spent in bed with a cup of coffee and a good book.
 
I'm ready to start pulling out my homemade soup recipes.
 
I'm ready for Fall.

The one about Jaryn

The year was 2011. I needed a job and m y friend Grace was aware of this. I received a call from Grace and she said, “How do you fe...