Saturday, April 24, 2010


I cannot blog about anything this week! If I do everyone at the conference next weekend will think that sounds a little familiar! ha! My brain is filled to overwhelmed with so many great God things. I cannot wait to share about the Indwelling Life of Christ, The Covenant Promises of God and A life of willing obedience to the Lord. God is so, so faithful and I've just been reminded over and over again lately that He is worth it. If He is all we ever have in any way-our cup overflows. I'm so grateful to be His and I cannot wait for Him to show up next weekend and change our lives for Him! So, I'm not blogging this week, but I'll be back next Monday to tell you all about it. Thanks for your prayers that we'll never be the same! Have a great week!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Ahhhhh life - you're killing me.

My tendency to be unstable makes me nuts. Do you like how I followed a peaceful, beautiful post on the Abbey of Gethsemane by an in depth look at my real life (insanity)? Yes, me too. Those of you who thanked me for keeping it real - you're welcome. Those of you who think I should hold on tighter to Jesus? Believe me - any tighter and He wouldn't be able to breathe. Which instantly makes me wonder if Jesus breathes. I don't know.

In case you're not bored to death with my so called life already - here's the update. The lights came back on. I now own SEVERAL copies of my house keys and everyone I know owns their own set too! (Anyone with a set who wants to surprise me by coming over and cleaning my house-the pine sol is under the sink!) Garage door might get fixed if I remember to call the people to come look at it. It will go down if I hold the button FOREVER. And just to be fun it goes up with the push button in the car thingy. I don't know why. TV remains deceased. And now the DVD player has apparently died of a broken heart just this morning. Other than that the house is still standing which is something.

Had a great week of marathon training! 4 really good workouts, new work-out clothes and new running shoes. I'm hoping it's because we're getting better, but I feel certain there's a correlation between the new stuff and the good workouts! :)

Filed an extension on the taxes. I don't know what I think that's doing except postponing the inevitable, but it makes me feel somewhat powerful right this minute.

And other than that it's almost the weekend. Not feeling ready for it at all, but it's coming nonetheless. I'm giving myself permission to drink all the starbucks non fat iced latte's I can hold. Sometimes happiness is found in free refills. Just sayin.

Have a good one friends!

Friday, April 9, 2010

One Latte away from a total meltdown

If one more person tells me I should have seen this onslaught of disaster coming I'm going to smack someone and then immediately apologize and tell them they were right. And I should also say for crying out loud it's nothing major. It could be much worse. I KNOW! But, it's my blog and I feel like whining about it so there ya go :)

First of all, if I listened to Satan, which I try not to, I feel like he would be screaming in some sneering voice - You totally suck at life. I just feel like everything is falling apart around me and when you're all you got-it's pretty much your problem!

I got home last night with an incredible plan to accomplish a lot. I was excited. When my garage door wouldn't go up I realized I was locked out of my house for the 2nd time in 2 days!! Ugh. My non-helpful neighbor said, 'Weren't you JUST locked out of your house last night??" Well yes, yes I was. Several hours later and a trip to 3 stores to find a new battery for my garage door opener I was still not inside my house. Frustrating. Finally found a key in my car that unlocked the deadbolt on the man door in the garage and I broke into the bottom lock. The storm fried my TV and knocked out 6 fuses and the garage door still isn't working right. I knew I was teetering close to the edge of losing it when my dog Ella was whining and I explained to her we couldn't go for a walk because it was raining (?). She didn't get it. Overall though, I totally handled the whole thing relatively well. I was even moderately impressed with myself.

Then today I got in a bunch of conversations I didn't mean to. One about weight. One about exercise. One about work at the hospital. None of any of it mattered. None of the problems with any of it are going to be solved today. None of it, but it pushed me over the edge. I just spent 3 wonderful days identifying so many ways I'd like to change, so many things I need to work on, so many ways that I'm far away from the mark. I left so motivated to make big changes, but now I just feel a bit overwhelmed by the whole process.

Someone said to me this morning about a whole bunch of things in my life, "It's not always going to be this way." THANK YOU! Just what I needed to hear. God is not forever going to leave me seemingly a mess in a whirlwind of confusion. I am on the right path as long as I'm headed home to Him. I am making progress as long as want to more than anything be like Him. And I am clueless how He will get me from Point A to Point B but not being the first human he's taken down a path, I feel certain He knows the way.

So, I'm going to worry about not being able to run fast enough BY JANUARY another time. I'm going to worry about not being the ideal weight another day. I'm going to clean my house Monday night instead of last night when I couldn't because I was soaking wet trying to get into my house. I'm going to file my taxes where I owe an incredible amount of money another day. I'm going to give myself a break because sometimes I'm really handling everything I can hold. I'm going to try to remember that I'm never going to have all the answers for everything. I'm going to trust that a relationship with Christ is developed in the process. I'm going to believe that if I never make it to church again and all I ever have spiritually is Him, I will have everything I need.

And with that I'm off to work the weekend. Several weekends lately have been rough. I'm praying for the opportunity to do my job well without additional chaos and stress. The opportunity to be there for people who are hurting and comfort those in need. To help those in far greater predicaments than I could begin to imagine. To be the hands and feet of Christ to those with no desire to be here another moment. To trust that whether I'm holding the hair of an addict while they're sick with withdrawals or pulling someone off the proverbial ledge, I can find eternal purpose in those moments.

And for enough latte breaks to keep going :) If you're still reading this you get a big fat A+ for sticking with it! And I promise to find something helpful and encouraging to say next week. Talk to you Monday. Have a GREAT weekend friends! :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A trip to the Abbey

First of all, I am not and never have been Catholic. I am Protestant to the very core of who I am and as soon as the Baptists create retreat centers like this-I'll so go there instead :) Just kidding. I have always loved the Abbey of Gethsemane. I stumbled upon it mostly by accident and fell madly in love. It's just "my place." I love the people, and the grounds and the beauty of it. It was interesting to go during a time when the Catholic church is under so much scrutiny which I may address at another time, but it's very sad to me-all of it.

The view from my window

The air is different here. The way of life is simpler. The people are kinder. The atmosphere is God soaked and fearless. I always feel like I take deep breaths there and not shallow, must hurry onto the next thing bits of air. I feel like I can think there. I find my prayers are less blah, blah, blah and more intentional encounters with a living God. I stayed at the Thomas Merton Institute this time and it was fabulous. Above was my view every morning. The weather was open the windows at night and sleep like a baby with the breeze perfection.
The main house at the Thomas Merton Retreat Center
The people who run the retreat center are Catholic. They were VERY excited that a priest was staying in one of the cabins and would do mass for them "on site" the next day. "We're very tired. Easter's a big time for us." I thought, "Yes, us too." I would have loved to have been able to spend more time just at the retreat center. So many very interesting people. I was amazed that they have been booked solid for months as people are genuinely stressed to the max. So, I spent Monday night there and then went to the Abbey VERY early the next morning. I love the entrance to the grounds. Everything there is so simple. God alone. Yes. God Alone.

The gate to the monastic areas

It's so quiet there. Tuesday morning I went on a 6 mile hike with some people and the only topic of conversation was kindness. The entire way we learned about kindness to and from God, to each other, and to ourselves. I will do a full post just on that another time. It was so life changing. I thought about it most of the way home and have not stopped thinking about it since.
The walkway to the main chapel
If you are Catholic and go on a retreat here it is suggested that you follow everything exactly as the monks do. If you're Protestant-you can just play along at whatever point you'd like :) So, I did NOT go to prayers at 3:15 a.m. (yikes!), but I did go to the 12:15 prayers after the hike. Something in me is so drawn to the praying of the hours, not because they're scheduled, but because they're anticipated. I know we can and do pray all the time. I know we certainly don't need an appointment to spend time with the Lord. I know. I do. But there's something about knowing you're going to meet with Him at certain times that I think is soothing to the soul.

The Abbey from the Trails

I was struck again at how self sufficient the monastic way of life is. They do not rely on the government or donations to meet their needs. I was in the bookstore there and a lady was asking the clerk if she could donate some money. The clerk said, "Of course you can. We will see that it gets to people in the community in need." Incredible. Everyone has a role and they are performing it to the best of their ability in the name of Jesus. I wonder how our lives would change if we did laundry, did our work and just went about our lives as if every action and every opportunity was ordained by the hand of the Lord who has a plan for our lives. I wonder how our performance would change if we were convinced every action was making a difference for eternity.

The main chapel at the abbey

I spent A LOT of concentrated time with the Lord. The details right now are not important. I may blog about them later. It was good. Really, really, really hard-but good. I'm finding the Refiners fire to be blazing hot lately. I'm a runner by nature so coming face to face with some things is not my idea of a great time. But it was good. And who better to come face to face with than the One who already knows and who loves us in our weakness. My love for Him was renewed in these days. A precious gift.

The gate to the trails where the statues are on display.

The Abbey is so big. It takes over an hour to walk all around it without the trails. I love the cemetary there.

I always feel like the sun dawns with hope at this very spot.
New mercies for sure.

I snuck away Tuesday evening for a few hours and went to Lexington. I went to college there and had just enough time to visit all of my favorite places. I spent an hour at Coffee Times, wandered through Joseph Beth Bookstore and ate a fabulous salad from Whole Foods for dinner. It was such a nice evening and fun to reminisce!
I will blog more about what I learned there and the ways God is working very soon. Until then, it was wonderful. We can never encounter the living God and stay the same. I have no intention to.

The Abbey at night.
Peace for today.