Friday, June 23, 2006

and knowing is half the battle

Today I heard my alarm go off and it seemed louder than normal. I tend to make poor choices when it comes to my sleeping habits so the 4 hours of sleep I had gotten by the time the alarm went off did not seem like enough. You would think eventually I would learn that my body does require sleep and I should give it what it requires. I tend to ignore that...repeatidly, but appreantly that's just who I am. I need people and sometimes that means not getting sleep.

It came as no surprise to me last night when I took a personality test and it told me how much I need to be around people and in groups and how much I depend on my friends, etc. These are things I know full well. There were a few of us taking this test and reading all that we could find about our strengths, weaknesses, how we work in relationships, what we will be like as parents. Why are we all so fascinated with these things? It didn't tell me anything I didn't already know about myself. I like business, I like to be in charge, plan things, I'm trustworthy, dependable...and then came the harsh ones...anal, stiff, feels like they are always right. It was interesting to see how we were each different, but how were each necessary.

As I was driving home I wondered how much of who I am is my responsibility. Once you reach this age of awareness about yourself and you've spent enough time in counseling and analyzing life with friends that you know your querks and what makes you tick and who you clash with, how much of who you are do you sit back and accept and how much do you take on the responsibility to change? Like, if you know these are weakenesses wouldn't you want to try and work on those? Or do we just like to use those as excuses.

I know that I will continue to change a bit as life happens and Christ molds me into being more like Him, but I'm happy to say that I kind of like who I am. Granted there are weaknesses and there are traits that others have that I wish were mine, but I'm learning to accept me. If we were all alike than life would be no fun. I think it's important to know yourself, I think it's also important to know you will change.

One of the most fascinating papers I wrote in college was my senior year for an entrepreneurship class. It was this giant self-assesment that was pages and pages about myself, my core values, and my dreams. There was one part where we had to get an outside opinion. The assignment was to ask 4 friends to tell you something about yourself that you didn't know. The things people said to me I still find to be on the forefront of my mind. They had a great impact in my life. If your friends are willing I encourage to do the same...see what you find out, it could be interesting!

Monday, June 19, 2006

pale in comparison

I woke up this morning not ready to start a new week. I wanted to sleep the day away but couldn't get back to sleep at all. I had a lot on my mind and was grateful that at least last week was over with and this one should be more enjoyable.

Each Monday morning we have our staff meeting. It starts with everyone going around saying prayer request, followed by a devotional usually given by our president, and then everyone's schedule for the week regarding if they are in or out of the office. Today I asked for prayer for my upcoming mission trip to Moldova. I couldn't be more excited. I have wonderful people committed to praying for me daily while I am there and I trust that God has amazing things planned for me to see and do. Other people's requests included sick family members, sick friends, friends who had loved ones in car accidents, people looking for jobs, etc. Our devotion today was by one of my co-workers (a woman who I have grown up with and actually babysat her kids a few time when I was younger). She had just gone with the youth from my home church on their mission trip/choir tour to New Orleans. She began to tell stories, describe the scenary, help us get an understanding of the vastness of the devastation still there to be dealt with. All of a sudden my life and my worries seemed to be such a waste...I know they aren't, but they seemed so small when it came to people dying, people trying to adopt kids, people with no home, the entire city of New Orleans.

Today I heard God try and tell me how big He is and in His hugeness how much He still cares. "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." 2 Corinthians 4:17 My troubles are momentary. My God is forever.

Friday, June 16, 2006

to be a kid again

Today I heard one of my co-workers say, "They are just smelling themselves." This was in reference to middle schoolers, you know 12 and 13 year olds. We all thought it was hilarious. My boss says, "oh yeah, when my son was 13 we used to say, 'don't mind him, he got a hormone.' " You never know what will be discussed around Friday morning breakfast with the co-workers. I'm just glad I'm done with that phase....gosh!

The conversation started because I was talking about working VBS all week. I was the lead teacher for the 5th and 6th grade bible study. Needless to say this was quite different from the Team Games track time I was originally supposed to lead. Anyway, it turned out to not be all that bad. I had such a great team of teachers that were so flexible and ready to do whatever! The kids were good too. As much as I don't want to be in 5th and 6th grade again...since majority of them were "smelling themselves" but they did teach me some things along the way. It was nice to read back over some of the "classics" in the Bible and try and think of fun ways to memorize scripture. I'm glad it's over but I'm just as glad that it happened!

I pray that each of you has the courage to speak out. They seem simple and somewhat childish...but I realized this week that I was trying to teach the kids these things I needed to be teaching myself.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

graveyards and the D.A.R.

Today I heard my brother tell me briefly about his most recent trip to Louisiana. Let's stop right here and get everyone on the same page. 1. My brother: Stuart, he's great and you should all meet him. I feel like if I ever happen to say anything remotely funny or sarcastic then I probably learned it from him. Smart, amazingly witty, the best trivial pursuit player I know, and all around good guy. 2. My family is from Louisiana. Both sides. My mom's side is more central Louisiana and my dad's is up north. Now...back to my brother's trip...

As long as I can remember my dad has been fascinated with family heritage and lineage and stuff like that. Considering that my dad and brother have what I feel like is all the same interests my brother has recently become interested in our family background. A few months ago he was going down to visit our grandparents. On his way he stopped at this graveyard where our great grandparents, great great grandparents, and some others were burried. He began to tell me that he this "moment" of standing there seeing all this...Is it odd for me to say that he was excited? Because he definately was. My grandmother ended up taking him to some other graveyards where other family members were burried while he was staying with them. This past visit however he said he stopped at 7 different locations where our ancestors were burried while he was with my mom's parents and then when he went up to my dad's parents he and my aunt went to 12 different places in north Louisiana. I asked him if I should feel bad that I wasn't as excited about all of this and he was. My brother doesn't spend time on anything he doesn't think is important so for him to dedicate all this time documenting, researching, traveling, etc. I knew it was a big deal. He said I shouldn't feel bad, most people our age aren't interested in this stuff.

It made me think about family and family history and my ancestors. Come to find out I can be a member of the D.A.R....who knew? Apparently you have to have really accurate documentation to prove that you really are a Daughter of an American Revolution Solider and Stuart said they found of picture of one of my relatives with a D.A.R. certificate and it wouldn't be hard to trace me back to her. SWEET!!!! Anyway.....I don't think I will ever be all that interested in my family tree and who is connected to who and where everyone is burried like my brother, but I don't think that means I don't care about them...right? I hope not. I do care about my family. They are wonderful people. I think it's interesting how we each show our appreciation, love, and loyalty to our families differently. I would rather make everyone in my family a card, a personal card, and give it to them with a treat or flowers or something. That's how I would show I care. My brother would rather visit gravesites with my grandparents and learn about who is burried where and why and such. I think both are great. I think families are interesting. Everyone's is different yet we all have the crazy cousin, or the side of the family we don't talk to as much, or the aunt that moved away, and it goes on and on.

all this to say....I encourage you to appreciate your family, however that looks to you. After all...they are family.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

these are the days of miracle and wonder

Today I heard a friend of mine say to me, "You are making such fun memories!" I smiled because I totally agree. I had grabbed dinner with this friend and then took her over to a house where I spend a lot of my free time. It's a nice home with wonderful people there. Hopefully in a few months I'll be in a house with wonderful people...I'm real excited about that. Anyway...there was a strange since of relief when she confirmed what I already knew to be true. A lot of times I watch my friends who get married, move away, go on travel endeavors, etc. and part of me gets slightly jealous or somewhat anxious about when it's going to my turn to do those things. I felt at peace about all of that last night. I was reassured that my time will come and if for whatever reason it doesn't I am making some of the best memories of my life!

Sometimes I get nervous about growing up. I'm not sure if I know how to do it or if I will make the best decisions. Praise the Lord I'm not the one in control! I've been listening to song "Mended" by Watermark a lot recently. The chorus says,
"You've got all this suspended, all things connected
Nothing was forgotten because Your love is perfect.
You are our healer and You know what's broken.
We're not a mystery to you."
I find it comforting to know that the God who created the universe, created me and cares enough about me to not forget me and the plans He has for me. So I can fear not about the future because it will be full of great memories day after day!

It's summer. That's always a great time for making more memories! I'm excited to see what's in store!