Friday, April 30, 2010

Let Dry Eyes Cry

Born into a family of young spurring life
With a kite of dreams and hope to fly
Good intentions and heads in the clouds
Many fights and endless playtimes
All the pure little child-like feelings
Hearts so easily breakable, minds moldable
Nothing much makes sense except love
Swimming around in hearts undeniable
Pliable - life so complicated yet simple
Easily pleasurable, easily irritable
Underdeveloped humans growing...
And suddenly realizations flood in
Reality on a whim
Deflating dreams like quiet sails
Taking it nowhere
The search begins
Trying to fill the chest's gaping hole
Find something to know
Claim anything to stand for
Taking over
Kill the pain, feel the rain
Maybe open the umbrella
Or catch the drops on parched tongue
And speak death or speak life
Go ahead and live or die
Make the choice
Find the voice
And let dry eyes cry

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I Am Bad With Change

My friend who isn't a Christian says to me, "I mean, aren't you supposed to be all like, "Give it to God, He has a plan, blah blah..."?"

Pause...

She's right.

What kind of an example am I being of my faith in God's goodness when I lose control of my emotions over things (even the smallest of things... even when I realize that it's because I'm not good with change)? Why don't I default to a peaceful overwhelming sense of trust and just let go? It'll "happen for me" after a day or so of processing the situation. But after just finding out that something in my life is about to change, no matter how big or small it is, I get in a tizzy.

A week ago it was because I was being told that I'd have to start doing a different department's work that I swore I didn't remember how to do. I was extremely upset over the fact that I didn't have a choice on whether I could keep doing what I had been doing the past 4 months, or would have to change to this other department's work. Then to hear this change is only going to last a while and then I'll have to go back to what I was doing before, just put the cherry on top of me feeling tossed around, uncomfortable, and insecure. Because my friend, my worst nightmare was to be in a "state of training" for months and months of my future, feel unwanted, be a bother, and live at the bottom of the totem pole in each department I was getting tossed to and fro from... and to have to start from ground zero "a million times" over (taking into account what had already been happening the past few months). So I went home noticeably (by my co-workers and husband) upset that day... but I spent 2 hours with God... and the next day I was at peace with it all like a complete 180 degree flip.

Today it was simply: "You're moving cubicles." And again: tizzy.

Why? I mean, as soon as I got settled into my new desk and accepted the fact that I wouldn't be near all of the other people that I'd been close to for months, I was fine! I got situated, realized my lamp looked better in this cube then my last one, and felt fine. I accepted who my cube-mate would be, and was glad to hear she was glad she was put with me.

And all along through every change my brain knows everything will be fine and I will end up feeling fine and God has all of this and that I will be taken care of... and that whatever is happening should be viewed as an adventure and perhaps even as an opportunity for things to change for the BETTER... but my heart doesn't know it. My heart mourns change. Why?

Well, my dad seems to think it's because of he and my mom's divorce that happened when I was 11/12 years old. I don't remember much from that time of my life though these days. And these days I'm actually glad my parents divorced. And we're all settled in life now. We've come a long way... could that really still be affecting me somehow?

Regardless, I don't want that to be my crutch. I am a Believer. I'm a Lover of God and (should be) a Truster of His Great Plan and Goodness. I am a Christian... I should be joyful and peaceful in ALL situations... Now, I am human and so are you. We ARE NOT going to be joyful and peaceful all the time. Big things are going to happen in our lives and we're going to cry and scream and be down on our knees... that is beautiful. But I want to trust more. I want to allow the Holy Spirit's peace that is already inside me because I have accepted Him to blanket my spirit and cause me to have a joy and comfort that only He can give me. It is because I am not trusting Him that I get in these stupid tizzies.

I Am Bad With Change = I Am Bad With Trusting

Lord, help me trust you more.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Talking about cussing again

I've talked about cussing before publicly in the Internet world. I've proclaimed how stupid and horrible I think it is, especially for a Christian to do. I caught a lot of flack for it. Rightly so I think, because I didn't even really understand why I felt the way I did about cussing either. My thoughts were simply: it's just bad and you shouldn't do it. Ephesians 4:29!!!

I started a conversation up with a friend of mine yesterday. She is also a Christian. I asked her why she cusses/why she thinks it's OK. I genuinely just wanted to know what's going on in the minds of Christians who do it.

Her response: I don't think its 'ok' but I don't think it matters in the grand scheme. I think it has to do with the spirit behind it. I think gossip is far worse than using tacky language. Many of the things that Christians consider 'unchristian' in this country are merely cultural anyway. Like drinking and cursing. I don't think these things are good necessarily, but I don't think they are sinful by nature. I curse because it's a bad habit. All of my best friends, even the ones from bible college, do and so it became natural and something I don't think twice about. I like to think my freedom in Christ explains this....everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial. Also, saying crap is the same thing as saying shit. Its the sentiment behind it. Hope that makes sense.

My response:
It does. I say "crap" a lot, even in my prayers. Your logic makes sense... but I also think we as in humanity like to rationalize our behavior. I agree that gossip is just as bad as cussing if not worse and that some people have "unwholesome talk" way more narrowed down than it's meant to be. That's not me. I speak unwholesomely probably every day of my life. It's impossible for someone to always speak wholesomely and only let out of their mouth what will encourage others. But I think it's the same as trying to be more like Jesus every day of our lives. Being more conscious of what we say and how we say it in order to keep our minds and hearts focused on what is right and good and true rather than letting ourselves go somewhere else which will inevitably lead people around us to feel more comfortable with being and thinking and speaking on things less than what's good and right and true and uplifting and encouraging and wholesome.

Just sayin'


You see, I believe it's about setting an example for others. Other Christians and other non-Christians alike, children and adults alike. Whether we're saying a cuss word, complaining, gossiping, or laughing at a dirty joke. We fail every day at living up to our call to be like Jesus. But shouldn't we try our very hardest to? Shouldn't cussing be the first thing to go when we're trying to clean up our verbal act? That's just me.

I'm working on this too. Around certain people, it's hard for me to keep my mind on what's pure, righteous, good, wholesome, and uplifting. It's even hard for me to not fall into the pit of gossip in certain situations. I like to complain sometimes too. I get in mood funks and I'm not good to be around or talk to. But I am a Christian. I believe in forming my life to look more like Jesus' everyday. So without coming off high-and-mightily, I work on these things. I pray about these things.

And I am praying for you too. I pray that Christians in our world will feel convicted about these things more than they've ever felt. I pray that in each individual life, we will strive to portray more and more of Jesus. I pray that we would delight in getting out of the way, dying to ourselves, letting go of control, and trusting God. I pray for those that are not Christians too. That they will not judge Jesus or Christianity based on humans who do not obey God. I pray that people who consider themselves Christians, would delight in obeying God so that people who are not Christians can see a small glimpse of what it truly is to be in relationship with Jesus. We're all flawed and none of us do it right especially 100% of the time. But I pray that we'll feel convicted to try harder every day. Every moment we're here. Go out and be God's light. Be his face, hands, feet, and body in this world. Be his heart.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Inner Workings at Work

God has blessed my soul so deeply today with an amazing........ I can hardly even explain it!

My workplace is somewhere that I obviously don't always enjoying being. It's a place that I'm pretty much every day ready to just get out of. It's a place I sometimes feel trapped and suffocated.

But God...

Sometimes my workplace is church. Sometimes it's a family conversation around the table. Sometimes it's intimate conversation. Sometimes it's food for the soul. Sometimes it's discovery of a new person. Sometimes it's the best medicine for the heart.

Satan can drag me down into this rut like "What am I doing with my life? I don't want to be THIS forever! I'm not making a difference at all. I am meant for so much more than this! This is the worst thing ever!"

But then God lifts me up, "I'm right where I'm supposed to be. I may not do this forever, and that's why the time is so precious. The relationships are so dear. May this be a wonderful learning experience."

I feel like I can't put this into words because when I try to in my head, I fear it could be taken wrong.

I can't pinpoint if this is a miracle or if it's just... normal for God.

When I let go... when I don't think about it so much... He takes me to bigger places and greater heights. When I get out of the way... when I choose one small step at a time to do something that displays love and simply, a heart bent towards being a better and better person more all the time, which translates into... becoming more like Jesus... something like today happens.

A person I never made "a project". A person I only wanted to get along with, get to know, learn about, share things with, talk to... this person today told me they think I'm a catalyst of the change working in their life. I say I don't want any of the credit for anything that's at work right now... it isn't me at all. It's the lack of me in it. It's God.

He is so truly wonderful for revealing His beauty to me in this way. Makes my heart swell. Thank you Lord.

Beautiful, beautiful turning point. I praise you God. Do your work.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Married 6 Months

I can't believe Bryan and I have been married for 6 months tomorrow, already! HALF A YEAR ALREADY??? Holy smokes! It feels like I JUST got over how cruddy my wedding hair was. It feels like I JUST discovered what it even MEANS to be married! It feels like we got married LAST WEEKEND!

Couple weekends ago, I was volunteering with Hope Chest. We went to a couple's house who was donating a bunch of nice furniture and a TV, DVD player, and TV stand that they were keeping in their garage. The woman was mentioning how they'd "just" gotten married a YEAR ago, and that they were melding together their stuff and deciding what of who's to keep. I thought to myself, Now that's funny... she has some impression that she's still a Newlywed or something... they've been married for a YEAR for goodness sake, shouldn't they have already been passed this part? But you know, I didn't realize how long I'D already been married! One room of our house is still in shambles with organizational haphazard-ness and we still have furniture we need to get rid of too! I can see how it'd be EASY to get a year down the line and still view yourself as a Newlywed. I mean, my goodness, I'll probably still feel like a Newlywed for the first 5 YEARS of our marriage at this rate!

Oh to cherish each day.

I wrote Bryan this short simple note earlier today to give him tomorrow when we're on our 6 month wedding anniversary date (OH YES you better believe we're celebrating it. Great excuse to cheat on our diets! Just kidding. We would have cheated anyway... BUT I digresss):

Bryan,

To my dearest sweet husband,

How do I express my love to you? That when I see your face in my mind, my heart flutters with delight? That when I imagine your arms around me my body flushes with hot blood? That when I think of everything we have together my soul twists with sensations I don't understand and overwhelms me to want to be in your presence? That I know these feelings could only be God-given and sustained by Him - intensified by Him. Yes, to be with you is my greatest joy. To be away from you is my greatest sorrow. And to kiss you... Oh! to kiss you with the mightiest of passion is my desire for our every day.

With love from your wife,

Mindi

(And don't worry. I HIGHLY doubt he'll read this before tomorrow night.) ;)

I LOVE HIM SO FRIGGIN MUCH ITS UNBELIEVABLE!!!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Diet

So since my sweet husband became a certified Crossfit trainer, he and I have embarked on the endeavor of healthier eating. We're doing a paleo-ish diet. We're eating mostly meats, fruits, vegetables, and nuts. No desserts, all water, no potatoes, no enriched white flour, no pasta, no candy, no junk food... no crap.

It's been a hard journey for me. I've craved cookies, chocolate, cheesecake, french fries, and mashed potatoes more than ever and it's made me crave things like brownies smothered in chocolate icing, and cake, and candy bars, and a loaf of bread (which I've never craved). It's ridiculous the amount I've whined about not getting to eat this or that... and it's worn on my poor husband who's resolve also daily gets tested. So, today, I decided to QUIT complaining (as much). Haha! I can't be expected to keep totally silent about my struggles with it. Need a listening ear every once in a while. But it's not going to be in a whiny tone anymore.

But I've certainly noticed a difference! Physically: especially in my mid-section. It's flatter. That's awesome. And I'm less sluggish during the work day. Mentally: my concentration is better.

Gonna keep on keepin' on with this change in how I feed my body... and I'll be looking forward to our one day a weekend cheat day EVERY WEEK! Can't help it. This weekend, I don't even know what I'm gonna eat, but it's gonna be SOMETHING GOOOOOD.

Bryan says it's not a whole day of cheating... but I'm begging him otherwise! Wink!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Me and God

I don't look at God as a this person that watches over me. He is someone who lives WITH me. In me.

I can say... there's been SO MANY times when I've prayed and prayed for God to just hug me. Come here and let me feel you! Blow a warm breeze by me so that I can KNOW you're there! I've been so frustrated because I'm a very physically loving person and I can't physically love my God. I can't crawl into His lap, I can't hug him, I can't literally feel him. I have ANGUISHED over that many nights crying in my bed. And has he given me any sign of physical touch/proof/comfort? Never. Instead, he's given me his Word -His Bible- to hold in my hands. I've literally slept with it many nights. Hugged it in a death grip, pretended it was God, and woke up to a ripped, creased, disheveled symbol of my heartache sprawled out in my bed the next morning. He teaches me patience and perseverance because I have to wait until He takes me home before I can run into His arms. He knows, that if He gives me what I ask, I'll no longer need faith, because that will be my 'proof'. And none of us deserve 'proof' that a Holy God exists. He asks us to have faith. Which is another mirror image of the faith/trust we need in realtionships and have our heart so fully exposed to someone. The difference is though, that God will never hurt us, and we have to prepare ourselves to be inevitably hurt by people.

I choose to not be afraid of experiencing emotional pain. I'd never know the sheer joy that I can be given if I couldn't compare it to utter anguish. I've never know the multifaceted beauty of love without knowing the ugly darkness of hate. I'd never know the happiness of sharing so deeply with someone, if I never shared. I'd never want to miss out on such depth to life (that God intends for us to experience) all because by trying to avoid pain (to no avail) I end up living my whole life on a surface level.

Set your heart free.

LOVE

One thing I know is that it's a choice. Feelings don't mean jack crap after a while. The emotions mostly come from excitement, lust, attraction, hopes, dreams, adventure, new-ness, discoveries, you know, all those beautiful butterfly-stomach-turn-y feelings... and when it's love... those feelings grow deep roots. The ultimate telling of real love is the desire for commitment. The desire for devotion of all your life, love, energy, and attention. The desire to accept someone even with all of their flaws. The desire to pour all of yourself into someone and it be completely selfless.

It's easy to like someone a lot. Those feelings come naturally. It's the love that comes unnaturally. It's doing things that you don't want to do. It's putting your pride down. It's learning to be as selfless, humble, gentle, giving, kind, and patient as you can possibly be. Because all of those attributes point to one thing - Love. Love can't be denied when all of the rest of that is present. Love is a natural byproduct of all efforts in every other area in trying to be a good person. When one sets their mind to being loving towards someone, all of the rest of those attributes just, exist. It is then that someone can truly profess that they love someone.

There's no lightning bolt of revelation. No audible voice from your heart to your ear. No pang of realization. It's a choice to take liking someone into the realm of loving someone.

This is why God doesn't want to force us to love him. Love comes as a choice that each individual makes. He loves each of us UNCONDITIONALLY because for 1. He is capable of loving unconditionally (we aren't) and 2. because he wants to. And He wants us to love him back because it's real, not fake. And I think marriage and all the work that goes into that relationship is a beautiful mirror image (practice) for how we are to function in relationship with God.