Monday, March 29, 2010

Winning...deja vu...

Winning...deja vu...

Winning is fun.
This is all feeling so familiar...hmmmm...
Because IT IS!!!
Yes! I just won something AGAIN!
I am on a roll, people!

I just won four tickets to a lecture given by the Apollo 13 Team!!!

For those of you who are thinking...
Lecture?  < yawn >
Apollo Who?  < yawn >

Go ahead.
I don't care!

Because nothing is going to slow down my  enthusiasm train!!!
Chugga! Chugga! Chugga!
It's picking up speed!

Gaining momentum!!!

Choo! Choo!
You can't even BUY these tickets!
They are distributed by The National Air and Space Museum through a ticket lottery arrangement for their more popular lectures. Which means... your name goes in the hat and soMeBoDY else  always gets to go.

No. We will not be seeing Tom Hanks and Kevin Bacon.


Seriously. What could be better than seeing these guys???

                                             Apollo 13 Picture

( Ok. Besides the great giveaways that you all have done, of course! )

And actually...
A blogging reunion where I could meet all of you lovely people...yeah. Now that would be better.

Living in a country where the government is of the people
                                                                 by the people
                                                                 for the people...

that sounds nice too...
but like I'm getting a little bit Off Track.
(Houston..."We've got a problem here.")
I have always loved the planets! the astronauts! the space program!
I have long enjoyed a twist of envy and pride for Dr. Sally Ride, our first female astronaut.

                                                 Sally Ride

( we have already attended a lecture by Sally Ride. )

(excuse me? did I just hear another yawn?)  

Chugga! Chugga! Chugga!
Just wanted to share The Fun!!!Come on.
Get on board!Celebrate with me!!!

Choo! Choo!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Queen Esther, Atlantic City and Egypt


I recently participated in Beth Moore's Bible study on Esther.

I recently visited Atlantic City, NJ.

Sub Shop Monopoly2

Those two pieces are only connected because both are a Big Deal in my life right now.

(Although I do believe that if King Xerxes were my contemporary, he would have totally hosted his stupid little pageant thingy in Atlantic City.)

Beth Moore taught.
God spoke.
To me.
Right where I am at.
Oh. It was good.
I was encouraged. I laughed alot.
I was challenged, confronted and convicted.
It was the kind of good that was h.a.r.d. too.
It squeezed on the inside real tight, till tears ran down the cheeks of this girl who really doesn't like to cry.

I cried for the little girl with the broken heart.
The orphan girl.
The girl who was asked to keep a secret.
The girl who was picked to be queen...

Which really didn't seem to mean much more than
having a title, wearing a crown, hosting a party every now and then...
and moving from one part of the harem to another.

I cried for the girl who had not been called by her husband in thirty days...
The all grown up little girl...who now had One More Hard Thing to do.
That One Thing she could not do.
That One Thing that could cost her, her life.

I cried for the other all grown up little girl with broken heart pieces too... me.

I cried because of my own One Thing.
All of them. Because I have had many, many One Things.

It may be as distant and brief as the day's tragic headlines.
Something heartwrenching. tragic. awful. unbearable on this planet.
Oh God. You know. That is the One Thing that I cannot do.
I'd never survive that.

It may be as close and long and hard as a dear friend's broken heart.
And again, I find myself
~ rolling my eyes skyward, as if God lingers casually in some far-off heavenly peripheral ~ 
announcing, "That's the One Thing I cannot do!"

"And don't you test me on this!!!" 

I have taken my fears, my painful realities, my many One Things,
going to Him
not as needy child 'casting my cares' on a Loving Dad,
but demanding
that He be my God this way
Or that way.
MY way.
On this side of the line that I have drawn.I can and will trust you here...but not there.

Because God. You know. That is...these are... the One Things that I cannot do.

"To the devil, the irony is delicious: Our distrust of God tattles on us, telling our enemy exactly how to get to us. Many of us habitually rehearse," If _________happens, then I'll just_________." Our fears become like long bony index fingers pointing at our vulnerabilities. Once Satan sees what we believe would be the end of us, he threatens and torments...Our conditional trust not only makes us an open target for enemy torment; it positions us as negotiators and beggars before God instead of secure children who trust their lives to their Faithful Father."

"Those times when our fears become reality we feel devastated. We think that God is unfaithful, and Satan essentially gets what he wants---us to believe that our life is over. Unless our belief system changes, for all practical earthly purposes, it is. After all, as a man thinks, so is he (Proverbs 23:7) "

"Don't misunderstand. I'm a huge proponent of praying against what we fear and for the desires of our hearts. I also believe that we're free and safe to voice our worst nightmares to God. In times of crisis and demonic attack,
however, our vulnerable souls need something more. the most critical breakthrough of faith you and I could ever experience is to let God bring us to a place where we trust Him ---period. We don't just trust Him to let us avoid what we fear most. We determine to trust Him no matter what, even if our worst nightmare befalls us. We have no greater victory and can render Satan no harsher blow."

"No one welcomes suffering. Equally, no one can wholly avoid it. Though most of what we fear never happens, our lists roll out so long that some of it probably will. Our only steadfast defenses against life's certain uncertainty is unconditional trust in a Savior who loves us more than His own life."   

"As hard as trusting can be, living with constant fears is harder." (Beth Moore)
Because with all of the One Things that really don't happen? I am living as if they will.
Atlantic City is a One Thing for me.
It represents one of the One Things that I said I would never do.

I always said that I would never contact my biological father.
I would never voluntarily stick my neck out for that kind of rejection.
Why would I set myself up for more pain?!
Just let me entertain an imagined happily ever after story.

I could not survive more rejection.

Who knew that Atlantic City is located just outside of Egypt???

Egypt for me? Bondage.
I started calling "it" Egypt, after hearing Sarah Grove's song,
"Painting Pictures of Egypt."
My bondage? Fear.
Fear of rejection and subsequently desperately. seeking. the. approval. of. man.

Leaving Egypt required dying.
 A dying p-r-o-c-e-s-s, actually, and yet I am to go on living.
~the death of my good ideas. my dreams. my comfortable arrangements. my line in the sand.
and much, much more than I can possibly write here.

"Anytime God calls us to die, His purpose is to reveal larger life." (Beth Moore)
And it took me to Atlantic City.
My biological father grew up there. It was home to him.
I know that now because last summer I contacted him. for. the. very. first. time. ever.

So I have been walking tripping and stumbling thru my greatest fears... some of those One Things...
Sometimes they make Egypt look better. And I start "painting pictures."
Sometimes...alot of times...I am telling Him that I didn't want larger life forcryingrightoutloud.

But I have found ~am findING.
Have learned ~am learnING...
that He is not crossing His arms, with a loud disapproving sniff, raising a superior eyebrow, waiting for me to choke out some kind of cheer about dying...
His arms are just closed...Around Me.
I am Held.

I am held.

I am held.
And while this may bunch up someone's theological pants,
Having faith... for me... right now... is looking up at Him,
in this stinkin' hard desert place that I am at
gathering manna
for the day.

Hoping for hope...and the Promised Land.
That is all.

Our hearts will never be at rest
away from the One who made them
~ St. Augustine

Wednesday, March 10, 2010



Winning is fun.
I know that now.
Because the girl who said she never, ever wins, actually won!!!
Yes! That's right! Me!!!
I won Hutch5's give away recently.
Give aways are just plain fun, aren't they? And winning them is too!

Thanks so much Amber! I love it!

IMG_5041  IMG_5040

IMG_5044 IMG_5055

Can you tell that we get ALOT of mileage out of a prize in the mail?
The bubble wrap!
The box!
The contents!

The words.

Sorrow looks back
Worry looks around
Faith looks up

Looking back, looking around... even looking ahead...
may suggest that I am looking at circumstances.
Or people.

Of course we do that.

Looking up... is looking at Him.

Before anything else.

And Up is not as far away as it may Feel.
Up can be right here.
Right now.
Because He is.

The imagery of Up...
is that He's got it... and me... covered.

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord,
He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I will trust."    Ps. 91:1,2