Wednesday, March 28

Another memory from Germany

On a day like today, I think what is needed is a flashback to a fun-filled moment.
What's going today to make me want this flashback?
Trust me, you don't want the's just usual work chaos.

One of the dorm traditions that I walked into, when I worked in Germany, was Mystery Dinner. A fun-filled, chaotic, silly dinner where just about anything goes and you have to take pictures to prove it. I seem to recall that Mystery Dinner was held on Valentine's Day, my first year there. The reason I'm fairly confident in that timing is because all of our clues were "romance" oriented. So here's what Mystery Dinner is all about.

The staff planned the entire dinner, including a punch and dessert. I think we served spaghetti, with corn and a, pretty good memory! Every single item that was served was given a its own clue. This includes the silverware folks! So, for example, the youth got a card with the following random (and not too obvious)clues and the parentheses is what the actual item was, which only the staff was privy to:

Having the tine of my life (fork)
I blush with love (punch--due to rosy color)
I'd pick you any day (toothpick)
I 'ear that you're mine (corn)
--And so it goes with the pasta, spaghetti sauce, parmesan cheese, roll, butter, dessert, knife and spoon.

Once they have this list of twelve clues, they randomly number the clues however they so choose. Then we (the staff) served them items 1-3 at one time, items 4-6 as the 2nd course, and so on. So depending on how they numbered their meal, they could get spaghetti sauce, butter and a toothpick. Or a knife, punch, and corn. Or whatever!

Much hilarity follows as they would sometimes eat without silverware or have their foods all out of order.
Did that make sense? I realize that it's kind of a strange thing to explain in writing. But hopefully it makes sense.

Having written all this, I think I should throw a Mystery Dinner for some of my friends...adults would find that fun, right? Anyhow, thanks for letting me take a breather from work and a trip down memory lane.

Friday, March 23

All sorts of crazy

The last couple weeks have been all sorts of craziness. And thankfully (hopefully) I'm starting to feel life relax a bit...I feel more "unwound" at the moment, which is good and lovely.

--I have been trying to sell my car, get it ready for sale which included 4 trips to the shop to get one thing fixed, and simultaneously look for a "new" car. Car shopping and car fixing bring a whole level of stress on their I hear an amen? There were a few nights where my dreams were consumed with car details. I didn't enjoy those dreams, as one might imagine. But last week, my boss gave me a lecture (which wasn't entirely appreciated, although well-meaning) but one thing he did mentioned that I've taken to heart is the fact that I don't know what is happening next in my life. And if there's a possibility of me selling any "new" car within months, then I'd be financially better off if I just held onto my current car until then. So that's what I'm doing. My car has been fixed...the check engine light is off for the first time in the 5 months that I've owned my car...glory be! But all car shopping has been put on hold, which brings an element of relief.

--My church has a "missions week" at the end of January when two missionaries are brought to our church for a week of events...truly a highlight of each year. But this past Saturday-Monday, we had another "mini missions weekend." So my Saturday and Monday night, which are generally used for relaxation, were full, which, although I enjoyed and chose to participate in the events, did my make weekend and week feel immensely full.

--Work has been a zoo. I work for a "mom and pop" type of company. My boss really only wants/expects us to work 40 hours/week and because I'm not in-love with my job and don't get paid overtime, I have no problems complying with that. But I have been swamped. Work has picked up, which is a good thing (I suppose), but I'm getting behind on my duties. My job is no longer a 40 hour job but more like a 50 hour job. So sadly, I'm planning to come into work tomorrow for the sole purpose of working on invoices...I'm about 4-5 months behind...eek! I'll bring in some music, make some coffee, and try to make my time here as pleasant as possible...and as short as possible.

--Last bit of craziness is my own future. I'm not going to go into detail at this time but believe me, God is doing and planning something and life-changing decisions are having to be made (one decision needs to be made this weekend!!). So in the spare moments, while driving to and from work, church, or other commitments, I have been thinking over these things and have been shooting off popcorn prayers of pleas for God's wisdom and guidance. I don't know if this is the best way to make life-changing decisions but it's what my life has allowed lately. God can work even in that!

Wednesday, March 21

Stress Therapy

**Feeling stressed?? Well, have I got the solution for you! Make sure the volume is on. Click on the video below. Repeat as many times as needed.**

***In case you are in a place where sound is not encouraged, the below video can still provide therapy by watching it silently. You may need to watch it a couple more times to gain full therapeutic benefit.***

****Yes, I know I've shared this before. But I keep coming back to's that good!****

Monday, March 19

Things I love

Things have been a bit silent over here mainly because I feel swamped. Swamped at work, swamped with nightly activities and responsibilities. And now in the midst of my swampiness, I am faced with not one, not two, but three options for what might be next in life...I think stunned was a very appropriate word on Saturday when I received a particular (3rd option) email.

So anyways, I feel mumbled jumbled and thought in order to provide some sense of intentional calm, I would mimic my blogger friend Jolie who typically does a "what I like" on Mondays.
  1. Every once in a while, I like to dust off my older CDs and pop them in my car. This morning I was blessed with Rich Mullin's Songs...a nice way to start the day, worshiping the Lord. One interesting thing I just learned, while perusing the world wide web, is that apparently, starting in June, they are going to begin making a film on Rich's life!! I'm thrilled and cannot wait!
  2. I love LOVE love that God gave us in Western Washington one last bout of snow before spring comes tonight. I awoke both Sunday morning and this morning with snow on my car and covering the trees and bushes. It was beautiful and I received the surprise with gladness!
  3. I am really enjoying the new Kellogg's cereal Krave, in the double chocolate. Hey, don't judge, it's actually (surprisingly) quite healthy as far as cereals go. How much fun would be it to try to make muddie buddies aka trash mix with this cereal? A bit over the top?? Perhaps! But fun nonetheless.
  4. I have an orchid now gracing my desk. I've wanted one for a little while now but never really wanted to spend the money to buy and then nurture one. But I attended a food show, with my job, at the end of February, and one of our suppliers bought this to adorn her table and then she gave it to me at the end of the show! So now I get to daily be blessed by it.

What do you like or what are you thankful for today?

Monday, March 5

The stupid topic of contentment

So, the ladies' ministry at my church is doing this new thing, this year, offering 4 extra "classes" on various discipleship topics. The first was Silence and Solitude. The second was Scripture Memorization and Meditation. And this past Saturday was Contentment.

Although I went to the first two classes, I had no desire to go to this class and would have probably skipped altogether if the lady in charge didn't contact me to see if I would make the coffee for this gathering. I said yes (because I had nothing better to do, really) and went, knowing that this topic was probably something I needed to hear but didn't want to hear. Anyone with me on this?

(**Side note: It's snowing right now and there's a huge smile on my face and joy in my heart! If only it would stick...**)

Because you see, back on Valentine's Day, not even a month ago, I wrote about being content in my singleness. And while I am still (more often than not, at the current time) content at being single, the one area I am NOT content is my job and the direction of my future; because I'm ready to leave my current job and have no earthly idea what is next in my life.

No earthly idea.

In fact, just yesterday, I was chatting with a woman at church and told her "if you hear of anything, let me know..." to which she naturally replied, "well, what are you looking for?"   Umm...yeah...I have no clue.

I didn't leave the class full of employment-contentment but as expected, I did leave convicted and challenged. The Lord, the same One who has called me and who has led me to this job in the first place, rebuked me regarding my attitude toward the job and various elements that frustrate me. His calling has me here, for this time, for His reasons. One very good reason would be to be a Christian example of integrity and love to my two non-Christian coworkers! And yet, last week, I was two steps away from chewing someone out in a very ugly way (see last post).

It occurred to me in the last week that I should pray for "my enemies" (aka the people who frustrate me) and I figured that God probably wouldn't change them as much as He would want to change me, since that's now He normally works.

So yeah...that's where I'm at. Back at work.
Trying to humble myself to God's will.
Trying to allow God's presence to shine through me.
Trying to love.
Trying to be diligent with the gift (job) God has given me.
Trying to allow for contentment to grow.

Thursday, March 1

Rotten to the core

Up until I was 22, I don't recall having ever truly hated anyone or being very angry. I was fairly calm, easy-going, got along with everyone, a peace-maker.

But one Sunday night, I was at a friend's house for Bible Study and couldn't focus on the lesson. I began to question myself: "what is my problem here? why can't I focus? what is this feeling in me?" Upon asking the last question, I realized that anger seared through me, quickly and heatedly, causing me to want to yell and hate someone, for the first time ever. I left that study as quickly as I could, once it ended, and sought counsel and prayer from a friend that night. But I haven't been the same since.

In the 10 years since then, I have struggled a handful of times with certain people...finding my personality clashing with a few, finding myself want to curse and tear down others, and wondering how to change. Was the girl, prior to age 22, a realistic me? Or is the girl in the last decade the real picture of me? I wonder if the pre-22 me was someone who still had "faith like a child," whereas the post-22 me is more jaded and more worldly. I'm not sure which is an accurate or fair description. But I do know that I'm still struggling with certain people and ultimately, struggling with myself.

I met Person a handful of years ago. I learned fairly early on that Person was not going to be an easy person to interact with. But I was more gracious in those early years than I am now. Where Person demonstrated negativity, selfishness, and even rudeness, I would calmly smile, sympathically listen, and try to offer a positive light on the situation. But as the years have clicked by, the less gracious I have become with Person. Now instead of being calm and positive, I just try to remain silent so as to not lash out with a restless and poisonous tongue.

I HATE this side of me. I hate that I am weak. I hate that I would wish bad on someone.
I hate that instead striving to be an example of Christ and godliness, I find myself striving to just stay silent so not to reveal the extent of my ungodliness.

I am convinced, more than ever, that I am rotten to the core.
I memorized Jeremiah 17:9 as a young child ("The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.") and finally understand its truth.

But despite all this, the post-22 me has experienced God in an immense way that I don't recall in my pre-22 years.
I have learned greatly of what it means that God redeems us.
I have learned what it means that God refines us by fire
And that He is the Master Potter.
That He wants to take that rotted core in me and turn it into something holy.
That where I see hopeless evil in me, He sees a person worth purifying.

And I am humbly grateful.