Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fear Factor

Give me a microphone and I will stand in front of a large crowd of people and belt out a song.

Give me a microphone and tell me to SPEAK to a large crowd...? That is "Fear Factor" level for me. I've always known this.

Today I experienced a new fear that took me by surprise.

For work I was assigned to write an article for a publication. It's been looming over me for 2 weeks now. It HAS to be finished by Wednesday. No if-ands-or-buts about it.

Some of you may laugh at this next statement, but writing is not something I have ever enjoyed doing. I write in my journal, and I write on this blog....But for any topics other than that.....I'm pretty much less than adequate.

I don't consider myself to be a good writer. I know I probably write, even on this blog, in such a way that drives people crazy.....Especially with all my "..." and such.

So today as I turned in my 1st (VERY ROUGH) draft to another coworker to get some help/insight/rescuing, my eyes welled up. Yes. I cried over a freaking paper! And not the first time, either. (Ask my parents, or my English teachers, Mr Phillips or Mrs. Evans/Davis.)The longer I am at this job in Florida, the more I realize how UNPROFESSIONAL I am. (Tears....really, Minda?!?!) The more I LOVE my job, but I am certainly learning more about myself than I ever wanted to know.

There's something to be said, though, about facing our fears, right?

If this is true, someone, please tell me what it is that is to be said.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Spin the wheel

Upon moving to Florida, I somehow had a new fear instilled in me.  A fear of alligators.

I've never seen one while living here. And I hope to never see one.

But still, I am VERY afraid of them now.

So much so, that every time I see a busted tire on the side of the road? My first thought: It's an Alligator.

A big stick? An alligator.

Trash on the side of the road? An alligator.

And this morning, the best one yet.

A mutilated pine cone on the ground: Must be a baby alligator.

Aside for THAT craziness, this morning on Kidd Kraddick I heard a random phrase that sent my mind spinning. The only phrase I heard was this:

"A wheel of body parts. Spin the wheel to see what you get."

I turned off the radio, but the thoughts that followed were this:

Hm. Can you imagine when God created us if He thought "I'll give every person ONE body part that is absolutely perfect. And in order to choose which part, I'll spin a wheel."

Obviously, when He created Carrie Underwood, the wheel landed on "legs."

or Celine Dion "vocal chords."

Patrick Dempsey clearly had the wheel land on "hair."

Sucks to be the person who had the wheel land on "appendix."  Or "tonsils." Even better, "wisdom teeth."

All that to say, I'm glad it's Friday.  And I'm glad God didn't create us that way.

Welcome to my crazy brain.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ten. Years.

Grew up in a small town - And when the rain would fall down - I'd just stare out my window - Dreaming of what could be - And if I'd end up happy - I would pray

Trying hard to reach out - But when I tried to speak out - Felt like no one could hear me - Wanted to belong here - But something felt so wrong here - So I prayed I could break away

I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly - I'll do what it takes til' I touch the sky - I'll make a wish - Take a chance - Make a change - And breakaway - Out of the darkness and into the sun - But I won't forget all the ones that I love - I'll take a risk - Take a chance - Make a change - And breakaway
(Kelly Clarkson, Breakaway)
10 years ago, this month, I graduated from Prairiland High School. (And yes, I spelled that right- according to our school, anyways.) At times I can't really wrap my mind around that particular thought...Then at other times, it feels as though it could have been 20 years ago. 

As I watched the season finale of Glee, I will admit. I cried. A particular conversation between 2 characters had me hit pause and think for a bit. One of the girls, Quinn, was saying how someone had written in her yearbook "Don't ever change!"

That same phrase was written in my yearbook as well. Several times. 

I'm glad I didn't listen to their advice. 

Because I allowed myself to change, I am the woman I am today. 

When I walked across the stage at my high school graduation, I'm proud to say I did it with honors, barely. :-) I was 7th in my class of 70. Making me a part of the top 10%. Barely. And top 10% in Texas gets automatic acceptance into the state college of their choice. 

When I left high school, I was a naive, awkward, dressing wayyyy-too-old-for-her-age- girl who needed some life experience only to be offered in places other than East Texas. And I'm not kidding about dressing too old. Some of the girls that ended up being my best friends throughout my college experience even told me how during Freshman orientation, they remembered seeing me but thought I was someone's mom. I'm not kidding. Praise the Lord, my sense of style and fashion has changed.

When I left high school, I thought I would go to college, get my nursing degree, meet the man of my dreams, and start having babies. 

None of those things have happened. My dreams have changed (and are STILL changing).

When I left high school I had rose colored glasses on. I thought as long as you were obedient and made Jesus happy - life would be smooth sailing.

Those glasses are gone. My view of life has changed. 

When I left high school, I knew who Jesus was and loved Him. 

I know Him more today and love Him more today than I ever thought possible in High School.

My heart has changed. 

I have changed. 

And I'm glad. 

I'm glad I grew up in East Texas. I'm glad I have roots there. I wouldn't change that. 

I'm glad I attended the college I did. Even if I didn't get the degree I'd planned on. The people I met there during that time were worth every second.

I'm glad I stayed in Dallas after graduating. I know it was right. 

I'm glad I moved to Florida 7 months ago. I know it was right. 

The last 10 years of my life have been full. They have been FULL. I have lived life to the best of my ability. I have changed.....for the better. 

I've heard it said - That people come into our lives for a reason - Bringing something we must learn - And we are led - To those who help us most to grow - If we let them - And we help them in return - Well, I don't know if I believe that's true - But I know I'm who I am today - 
Because I knew you

Like a comet pulled from orbit - As it passes a sun - Like a stream that meets a boulder - Halfway through the wood - Who can say if I've been changed for the better? - But because I knew you - I have been changed for good

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Psalmist, Dave Bell.

Received shocking news today of an old family friend who passed away from a heart attack.

He was close to 55 years old.

Dave Bell was the worship pastor at my original home church in San Antonio. My family moved to East Texas when I was 5 so I can't really say I knew Dave....Ok, not at all but my parents did. We moved to East Texas to be the pastors of a small church in East Texas where Dave's father and grandfather had grown up. That's some back history, but whatever.

Dave Bell's music is the first worship 'tape' I remember having. I know every song on that album inside and out. I know them on the piano, I know them in my sleep. We listened to his tape/CD "The Lion of Judah" like nobody's business. Remember this post where I shared about Saturday morning cleaning? This CD was always the music we'd listen to.

This morning, before I'd heard the news, I was getting ready for church and thinking about how short our lives are. Really. We've got, on average, about 80 years here on Earth before we pass on to the next life (and I believe in Heaven and Hell- and that we will spend eternity in one or the other.)

To get the news of Dave Bell's passing affirmed what I'd been thinking earlier this morning.

But then.

I went to iTunes to purchase "The Lion of Judah" album since it has been YEARS since I had heard it. As I opened up the files, with EACH SONG, there was no doubt I knew every word- every rift- every ad lib- every inch of those songs.

But it took me back. It took me back to being 8 years old. (The album came out in 1992) It felt like AGES ago since I was an 8 year old girl singing along with those songs using my tennis racket as my 'guitar.'

How is it that at times our life feels SO SHORT and that time speeds past us- but at other times we feel as though we've been around forever?

Friends. Make your life count.

If you have 10 years to live or if you have 110 years to live. Make it count.

Dave's lyrics are lyrics, that over the past 20 years, I have sung to myself during different seasons of my life. There are songs of joy on that album, songs of faithfulness, and songs of adoration to a King who is deserving of all we can give. Dave was the first worship pastor I ever sat under. I may have only known him when I was 5, but his songs made a difference in my life. Thanks, Dave, for teaching this girl how to worship a King.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

It was a fake.

Every morning when walking to my car at my apartment complex, I pass by an apartment that makes me smile every time.

This particular unit has an outdoor patio with quaint, white chairs and table. The table holds a vase with yellow flowers on it. The blinds are open, the apartment seems cheery. The curtains are pulled back and each morning, usually before the sun is up, I try to peer in and get a glimpse of the sweet couple I’ve imagined living there. I picture them inside drinking coffee while enjoying the cool breeze of the morning.

I’ve lived in this apartment complex for 6 months and have yet to see the ‘couple’ I’ve dreamed up, but I just knew they were there drinking coffee in the mornings sharing sweet stories with each other.

Yesterday I found out the apartment is the ‘model’ home they show to people who are considering moving into the apartment complex.

My heart fell.

Now, while I don’t blame the devil for making that apartment home look so inviting, isn’t it just like him to do that with other areas of our life? To give us glimpses of things which appear to be perfect? To make us envious of what we do not have for ourselves? To make us think what we have is not enough?

Imagine how stupid I felt when I realized that my imagination had drawn up this whole story and it was all fake? It would have been one thing to find a strange family living there, or a single girl with a dog, or an elderly lady by herself.

But to find out that NO ONE lives there. It’s all a set up. It’s there to entice you. To make you want to live in the apartment complex.

What else do we let entice us? What else looks amazing from the outside but in reality is empty? Marriages? Kids? Jobs? Friendships?

One thing I know. The Gospel is real. In its entirety. It's not to entice us. It's not fake. If you were to 'go inside' you would find that it's not a set-up. Realizing more and more these days that The Gospel is the only thing I need.

The one about moving to a new city

Moving to a new city is not for the faint of heart. Moving to a new city as a single adult is for SURE not for the faint of heart. I&#...