Archive from February, 2013
Feb 27, 2013 - My Story    1 Comment

Wild and Precious

wild and precious life

This has probably been around for some time, but it is new to me. And it descended like a bomb! I’m at the age now where I thought I’d have my life together and know who I was and where I was heading. When I think of my fifteen year old self projecting into the future, my life is nowhere close to what I’d planned (or schemed!). Playfully, I’m not married to JC from *Nsync. Truthfully, I’m not married. Playfully, I’m not a Nobel prize winning scientist. Truthfully, I have hard days at work and wonder if many of my patients really want my help.

I feel so much differently than I thought I would.

Here is an excerpt from a journal entry I made just a few days ago:

“I want to feel confident and beautiful in my own skin. I want to feel content and hopeful in the future. I want to feel that someone gets it — and gets me. I feel lost in the waiting. Waiting for the perfect life situation. Waiting to be pursued. Waiting on a family. Waiting for life to really begin.

But my life has begun. Life is here and now. It does not start with job titles or vows or pregnancy. Nor do those things “fix” the waiting. My life is full, truly, not what I’d planned, but more wild and precious because of that.

My life is wild. My life is precious. What do I plan to do with my one wild and precious life? Yes, Mary Oliver, what indeed.”

_____________

What are you waiting on? What do you want your life to look like?

Feb 24, 2013 - My Story    2 Comments

My Main Squeeze

There’s a boy in my life.

He’s super sweet, and way cute, and loves me lots… and he’s three years old.

My friend’s son, Valor, is amazing. First of all, he’s a genius. He has a vocabulary that rivals kids triple his age. For instance, he can name and identify not just the typical fruits and veggies, but also avocado and kumquat! Secondly, he’s in love with life! He sets up elaborate, imaginative situations all over the house. The current favorite is “car party” where all his Hot Wheels are invited to have a drive in and eat at the buffet. Thirdly, even though we live states apart, he remembers me and always wants to chat with me.

Kelly and Valor

 

The last time I saw Valor in person was in April of last year — that’s right, almost a year ago! But I get random texts from Abby, his mom, saying, “Valor was talking to you this morning on his play phone and invited you to the party.” Or, “Valor drew this stick figure of you. You’re very tall and green.”

It warms my heart when I get messages like that! I have enjoyed putting together birthday and Christmas boxes for this family and filling them with toys for the kids. Anytime I see something fun, I pick it up and save it for the next big occasion. Cars, play food, and even a monkey puppet have made the long journey from Florida to North Carolina over the past few years since his family moved.

I talked to Valor yesterday via Skype. Here’s how our conversation went:

Kelly: Hey Valor! How was your nap?

Valor: (excitedly!) Hi Miss Kelly! Wanna see my car party right now? (Takes iPad to party central)

Kelly: Sure! Oh wow… that’s a big party!

Valor: There’s Lightning McQueen and Snot Rocket and (…lots of other cars I didn’t catch the names of…) and they’re all here for the party!

Kelly: Wow! That looks like fun. Valor, I’m so excited that you wanted to talk to me! We haven’t seen each other for a long time and it makes my heart happy that you remember me!

Valor: Oh yeah, Miss Kelly, you got me that monkey puppet… (reflectively & appreciatively) Man, I just love that thing.

I love that even though I don’t have my own children that I get to see my friends’ kids and be a part of their families in some way. I learned in college that mothering could look very different depending on your stage and station in life. I “mother” the college girls I meet with and disciple. I “mother” some of my patients, thought their age supersedes my own. I “mother” Valor because I get to see him grow, learn, and play. I get to be a part of his life even though he’s not my own child and I don’t even live in the same state. I get to enjoy his funny antics and zeal for life. His excitement makes my ovaries twitch with joy! Man, I just love that kid!

And that monkey puppet…It might just be the best $5 I’ve ever spent!

Feb 22, 2013 - Devotional, Exegesis    1 Comment

Work vs. Toil

How do you feel about work?

Whether it be your job, vocation, career, chores, duties, or responsibilities, how do you feel about your work?

Do you love it? Is it rewarding? Would you, as my high school guidance counselor always hoped, work even without pay?

Or is it a drudgery? A necessary task to earn money? A prerequisite to leisure time?

I’ve been thinking a lot about work lately. I’m currently writing a Bible study on the Sabbath and I’m coming to understand more and more than without a proper understanding of work, one cannot have a thorough understanding of rest.

So, what’s work?

work in progress

First of all, work was not designed to be evil, a punishment, or a drudgery. To put it another way, there was work before sin entered the world. Read this nugget of truth from the Dictionary of Biblical Imagery:

“The first image of human work in the Bible stresses its perfection. Work existed in the time of human innocence in paradise, as the Protestant Reformers never tired of pointing out. The notion of work as part of God’s perfect design for human life is captured in the majestic simplicity of Genesis 2:15, ‘the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it’ (RSV). Here human work is shown to have worth and dignity as a service to God and as something that gives purpose to human life. Work is here a creation ordinance, a God-appointed necessity for human life…[W]ork does not originate with the Fall, as is often and erroneously claimed. The Fall neither cancels God’s command to work not does it introduce work into the world. What is new is work as a curse and as toil–something that must be accomplished against the hostility of the environment.” (Ryken, et al. Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, InterVarsity Press Academic, Downers Grove, IL, 1998, p. 966).

Dictionary of Biblical Imagery

 

There is a difference between work and toil. Work is good! It is an act of worship. It was designed to be good. But now we live in a marred world. We experience toil. Our work is not fulfilling. It is full of the thorns and thistles of inefficiency and disillusionment. The crops don’t harvest what we’d wish. Those people don’t return my phone calls. The house never stays cleaned. We live in a cycle of toil. But that is not the way it was meant to be.

Therefore, know the difference and seek to work, worshipfully and whole-heartedly, and not to toil, tirelessly and tediously!

Feb 20, 2013 - Humor    2 Comments

How to Write a Worship Song

In FIVE MINUTES OR LESS!!!

No joke.

I got this video from a bonafide worship leader who writes his own fantastical music that I get to enjoy weekly.

Glad to know his secret, but I hope he uses other methods as well…

Remember, something always has to be in flames.

Woah.

Feb 18, 2013 - Devotional    4 Comments

Recreation vs. Amusement

Lately I’ve been studying Sabbath as I spend time at my unassuming Holy of Holies. I came across this gem of a quote and wanted to share it with my faithful readers:

Perhaps we can see the difference between God’s true rest and our “rest” by considering the difference between the words recreation and amusement. Embedded in the word roots for recreation and amusement are vastly different concepts. Recreation is the state of being re-created. It is something we do or choose that fills our soul and body so that we are stronger and richer as a result. Recreation nurtures us. Amusement, on the other hand, literally means “not to think.” When we choose amusement we shut down, we disengage. Even more pointed is the ancient meaning of amusement: “to deceive.” Could it be that we are deceived when we think that the answer to our weariness is amusement, not recreation? Life is not meant to alternate spasmodically between exhausting frenetic activity and mindless states where we have no energy for anything. We must learn to say no to relentless schedules and cultivate places in our lives for true recreation. Only we can make choices for what refurbishes our souls and our relationships.

You think about that.

Excerpt from: Choosing Rest by Sally Breedlove, Pg. 142.

Feb 16, 2013 - Devotional, My Story    2 Comments

My Unassuming Holy of Holies

Today my coffee table made me cry.

orlando grace church IMG 4771 300x225 My Unassuming Holy of Holies

No, I didn’t stub my toe on it while walking past. And no insensitive message was carved into its surface. I cried because of what this table means to my soul. I sat staring in awe at our old, worn, chipping coffee table. Its underside has crayon scribbles from the children of its previous owner. Its surface is riddled with imperfections and dented from repeated placement and removal of coffee mugs, computers, piles of books, and the occasional board game.

orlando grace church IMG 4772 300x225 My Unassuming Holy of Holies

But to me, this is the Holy of Holies. It is where I commune with Jesus.

I often sit at this unassuming table during quiet times. Today I am surrounded by the memories of piles of books and commentaries, of carefully underlined scripture passages. Today I hear iPod playlists and the clackity-clack of computer keys as I record what I’m learning.

I read. I write. I pray. I fall in love.

This is the place where I’ve fallen into the ocean of God’s sovereignty with Jonah. Where I’ve gleaned  truths about God’s providence with Ruth. Where I’ve learned to love the imperfect, and at times infuriating, church with Paul. And where the Lord meets quietly with me. It is my special, set apart, holy place. My temple. My altar. My Holy of Holies.

This is the place where I can write in my journal and express thankfulness and joy. It is where I can ask, “How long, O Lord?” and “Why have you forsaken me?” And it is where I wait for His answers. It is where I sit amazed that I can enter in to my very own Holy of Holies constantly, not just once a year. It is where I am reminded that Jesus constantly intercedes for me. It is where I am reminded of God’s constant pursuit of my heart.

This is my small, rough, chipped, wooden altar of blessing. It is the space where the sacred meets the ordinary.

My unassuming Holy of Holies.

orlando grace church IMG 4769 300x225 My Unassuming Holy of Holies

Feb 14, 2013 - Crafting, Humor    2 Comments

How MacGyver Saved Valentine’s Day

I Love MacGyver. In many ways he’s my inspiration in life.

MacGyver

This year he saved Valentine’s Day.

Not just because he’s dreamy, with an endless supply of girlfriends, and a waterfall of mullet-y locks. His inspirational ingenuity got me out of a tough bind.

I love being creative and making do with whatever I have in front of me. For the past several years, I’ve made it a commitment not to mope on Valentine’s Day. It’s too easy to get sucked into thinking about what I want and don’t have. Instead I’ve purposed to make someone elses day. I’ve offered to babysit for friends so that they could have a nice dinner out. I’ve sent cards to all my rad single friends. Here’s the story of a well-intentioned, sweet Valentine’s gift gone awry and saved by my mad MacGyvering skills!

A little background:

This is my friend, Tracy. She’s rad!

Jingle Jungle 5K

We go way back and have had many adventures together. One of which was running in my first ever 5K. While picking up our packets before race day, we saw these super cute sequined running skirts. Since we already had some homemade bling for the race (it is Disney after all!) we liked the skirts and wanted to see if they’d add to our running ensembles. Only they were $65! No deal.

So I figured I could make one. I’m crafty! I can figure stuff out. How hard can sewing be? I went on a (seemingly daily!) trip to the craft store and picked out these beauties for about $15.

Fabric uncut

I measured, remeasured, and did the math to make my own pattern. I then sat down staring at this terrifying beast. (Play theme to 2001 A Space Odyssey here)

sowing machine

I had a crash course in sewing machine parts, sequencing, and pitfalls and got to work. The only problem was that the fabric that I’d chosen was so porous the stitches wouldn’t hold. And the sequins just sort of gummed in the machine. I did half a dozen test strips which all ended up like this:

messed upA whole lotta nothing.

So I scrapped the sewing machine and pulled out another idea: Safety pins! I liked this because it would still make a clean hem and hide the frayed edges of the fabric. But upon second thought it was a running danger. I’d like to run faster, but not because I had a pin repeatedly poking me in the bum. Plus it actually added a significant amount of weight to the fabric. So I scrapped that idea as well.

safety pins

Next up, my tried and true, MacGyver-worthy, ever-present friend: DUCT TAPE! Tracy introduced me to the joys of MacGyver so I figured this would be a fitting tribute to her. I went to work attaching the panels in sequence.

two panels, duct tape

Then I made the a waist hem and threaded and elastic band through.

waist band

This seemed to be working! The tape was holding at least a against a decent tug and added almost no weight to the skirt. A big plus for me especially while running!

Here’s how it turned out:

skirt completed Oooooh! Shiny!

I liked it so much, I made a second with left over fabric for me!

two skirts

 

I am very happy with the result. I did this, after all, not to make a perfect skirt, but to show love to my friend, Tracy. Valentine’s Day is often filled with chick flicks, tissues, and bon-bons. I wanted to remind my friend that she’s loved, appreciated, and rad. I giggled my way through the whole process, picturing Tracy’s face when she received this crazy skirt and a link to this post in a package with no other explanation. I am happy to share with her (and the world) just how MacGyver saved Valentine’s Day!

Finished Skirt

Pretty spiffy, no?

Feb 13, 2013 - Humor, My Story    1 Comment

Space Available…

Ah, Valentine’s Day, my old friend, you are here again.

I don’t know why it bothers me, but it always does. This day reminds me that I am single. It doesn’t highlight the beautiful, free, unencumbered parts about singleness, instead it highlights the negatives. At least in my head it does.

If you know me, you know that I use humor to diffuse situations. Here’s this year’s installment:

Space Available

Tune in tomorrow to see how I deal with Valentine’s Day in more productive ways!!

Feb 10, 2013 - Exegesis    3 Comments

I like big BUTS and I cannot lie…

Catchy title, eh?

I really do. I love BUTS. Changes in attitude and direction. They’re important. It is helpful to recall where I’ve been and where I’m headed now.

The Bible is full of big BUTS (snicker if you must, then note the one T.) The phrase, “But God…” is one of my all time favorites. It is common throughout scripture, particularly in the Psalms where  authors often spend the first half of the poem rehearsing the terrible predicament in which they find themselves, but then, suddenly, they remember the Lord.

Phrases such as: But the Lord is at work. But God hears my cries. But God is good. But God cares for His Beloved, etc are common in the scriptures. So common that sometimes we overlook them.

Here’s just one example from Psalm 73: “My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Those two words: small in size, large in meaning.

Those words are powerful breaking through the darkness like a beam of light. They shine hope.

Light and trees

 

When I am surrounded by troubles and trials, when my friends have left and my enemies increase, when I think no one hears my cries or sees my grief, I can cry out, “BUT GOD! sees, hears, rescues, strengthens, and loves me!” As my friend often reminds me when I get in a cycle of stress or doubt, “You have a father who loves you and watches out for you.”

It’s true. I like BIG BUTS and I cannot lie!

Feb 8, 2013 - Exegesis    1 Comment

Psalm 4

I’ve been camped out in the Psalms lately.

Feeling the emotions. Soaking in the goodness. Quenching my soul.

In the midst of life’s trials, the Psalms are my salve. They remind me that someone else understands. That someone has been through uncertainty, discomfort, and grief.

Here’s what I’ve been thinking about today:

“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8

David writes this from experience. He’s been through loss, abandonment, and war. He knows the anxiety of feeling unsafe at nearly every turn. He was the smallest of his brothers, underestimated, and under utilized. He was blessed by the Lord, but this fact did not ease his troubles. He was pursued by Saul, forced to hide in caves, running for his life.

He lived perpetually in peril.

And yet he can still pen these words.

There is hope for me!

 

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