Tuesday, February 23

superstitious (part 1)

this has been a winter unlike any other i've lived through.

i moved to western new york at the end of december. no, i'm not crazy. i promise. no really. i'm just in love. here's a wastebasket.

in the last month and a half i've become accustomed to the perpetual "chance of lake effect snow showers" and the fact that anywhere from 1-2 to 2-4 to 3-5 inches of snow possible means zilch to the natives up here. however... though there's constant snow flurries or showers, it really hasn't accumulated to much.

meanwhile, back in new jersey in the last couple of weeks, there has been snow measurable in feet!

it's pretty obvious where i'm going with this one. the point of this post is to say haha! to all of you who thought i was crazy for leaving new jersey for new york!

i wish.

but not really.

in fact, typing about this subject makes me nervous. i don't like talking about snow and the blessing it's been so far (especially with beginning a new job) to not have had to worry about making it to work in winter weather conditions and trying to determine whether it's safe for (or expected of!) me to drive or not. any time people talk about how odd it's been that south of here has seen so much more snow than we have this winter, i wince inside and try to change the topic as quickly and smoothly as possible. thinking about this fact made me realize something.

i am superstitious.

i am afraid that if i open my mouth to blabber how great it's been to not have to worry about snow and trying to get to work, the skies will open up and six feet of snow will come down in an hour.

um. yeah. i'm sure i hope, even in western new york, that this would close things down and i wouldn't be responsible for anything except curling up in my pajamas with a good book and a warm cup of hot chocolate.

but still, i worry. and in my worry, i try to keep my thoughts and words away from snow.

worry is the antithesis of trust. all of my superstition that is really the result of a big pile of worry points loud and clear towards a lack of trust.

if i truly believe God holds my every moment in His hand, when then should i worry?

now, it could also be pointed out that a little bit of perspective could help me to chill out a bit (get it? chill out? no? ok, moving on...). the day i'd planned on having ahead of me being altered by a bit of snow is just that. a day. one. uno. un. one of many i have lived so far.

but to this i would say the perspective i really need to have is that God knows my days, my hours, my minutes, and He has promised to never leave me nor forsake me. no matter what storm comes through and tries to overtake my life, He is there and He will hold me up against it.

Friday, February 12

a home in haiti

sometimes it's easy to forget about the big things. we say we let time heal wounds... though really it's more like we let time become some kind of cheap bandage to cover the wound, without real healing taking place. the distractions of life take precedence again; we are only momentarily snapped from the busyness of our super important lives and aware of just how small and insignificant we are.

it was one month ago today that the earthquake happened in haiti. people talked about the event for weeks. they had positive things to say; they had negative. people wanted to help; people thought it appalling we'd encourage helping "them" when we don't help "us". some people were moved to action - through donations, time and prayer. some people did nothing.

the way i see it, the people in haiti were left with nothing. no homes, no food or clean water, and in too many cases, no family. they were stripped of the things that are basic needs to all of us as people. 

they are still in need today. it is still the time to help

the rainy season is beginning in haiti. this doesn't sound like a big deal until you look at the specifics. this graph was made by andy merrick (who is also the reason i am sharing this right now):


in short, by may, haiti will be hit with over 9 inches of rain. as a point of reference, the average rainfall for seattle, washington during its heaviest months is around 5 inches. and people in haiti are lacking shelter.

that's where a home in haiti comes in. through this site, you can purchase a tent. the tent will be used to provide shelter for the over 700,000 haitians who have nowhere to go as the rain begins.

i just purchased this tent:

and i don't reveal that to puff up my pride or make me feel good about helping. i tell you because there's a difference between talking about something and doing something about it. i tell you because there was sacrifice involved, and i'm claiming the promise that God will provide for my needs. i tell you because i want to encourage you to overcome all the reasons not to. there are many tents to choose from, varying in size and price. this is a very tangible way to help the people of haiti. my challenge to you is to do something. purchase a tent or make a donation.

james 1:27 instructs us to "look after orphans and widows in distress."

people all over the world are hurting. haiti is on my radar and in my heart. but so are the families of those who lost loved ones in flight 3407 one year ago today. i got home from work tonight to hear that an olympic athlete was killed earlier today and three people were shot and killed in alabama this afternoon. death is something i've faced firsthand this past year. just writing about these stories... these losses... has brought tears to my eyes. death brings pain and hurt unlike any i've ever known. it's profound to me that the bible tells us to take care of people who have lost people... orphans their parents and widows their spouses.

so... even if you decide not to help those in haiti, help someone who has experienced loss. share the mercy and grace of God. be love.

Tuesday, February 9

right now

i am not who i was growing up in new jersey.

i am not the person i was living in ohio.

i am not the same person who lived in new jersey the last two years.

i have been a different person since living in new york the last month and then some.

i could be on the verge of someone new, right now, at this very moment.

all me, and yet... not me.

the crazy and sweet thing about life is that it offers us second chances, opportunities to start over, moments of growth and change, seasons. a lot of my different me's have been attached to locations, but i think more often it is a choice of the mind and heart, as well as Who or what you surrender yourself to, that allows us to explore new parts of ourselves.

i've struggled for some time as my life has seemed so hard to live in, but i find hope in the fact that seasons end, and new ones begin. i find strength in the fact that i can control my thoughts, the way i see and think about the world and my life and am privileged to know the mind of the One whose thoughts are so much higher and greater than my own. i find encouragement that i am able to look back at other times in my life and feel gratitude for the way that they have shaped me; that this time, too, will make me who i am. 

embrace it, kid. face the challenges, be creative in solutions, and don't stop loving people. oh yeah, and don't. run. away.

Friday, February 5

all you ever wanted

lately i've been battling a bad case of the wants.

i want to be married.
i want to have my own home.
i want to be having babies.
i want to not have to work so much.
i want a sweet flat screen tv.
i want to not have to worry about money.
i want to be out of this season of my life and into one where i have all my wants.

these wants try and often succeed throughout my day of making me miserable because i do not have. but i'm tired of living under my wants. i want to be living in my haves. it's time for a new list.

i have Jesus - a relationship with the God who created me and gave me life and who wants to give me life abundantly.
i have a family - a family who loves me and gets me (kind of) and lets me be me.
i have a boyfriend who exceeds all of the expectations i ever had for a partner in this life.
i have friends - many friends, friends in new jersey, ohio, new york, pennsylvania, florida, illinois, north dakota, washington and outside of this country too.
i have a job when so many others are still looking.
i have a roof over my head, a warm home to live in and i never miss a meal.
i have the opportunity to live now and to learn as much as i can in this season, to carry the experience and knowledge with me as i move into different seasons. and i hope that i am wise enough to recognize and remember all of this and use my story to help others, be there for others and encourage others.

all i could ever want pales in comparison to what i have.
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