understatement of the day (are you ready?): it's raining!!!!!
to say the least.
i guess it's supposed to keep it up, and maybe get severe tonight. although i just realized, i have no idea where to go if there's a tornado warning. hmmmm..... might want to find that one out.

God is so good!!!
a few items in support of that statement...

as mentioned before, Matt has a job for a couple weeks. it's helping out a lot, emotionally and financially!

it's raining! they've been saying we're in a drought, and that summer and harvest could prove pretty difficult. hopefully this will put a damper (no pun intended) on that forecast!

the doors are opening at work! no more feeling without purpose.. i've been invited over to several co-workers' homes just to hang out, had the chance to share Him with a few of them, and hopefully much more to come! a little obedience on my part goes a long way...

we got support!! i guess i had kind of assumed that we wouldn't get any this month, since we hadn't sent out another letter. but this month's check was more than last month. what a blessing. and so encouraging!! it makes me more sure that we're doing the right thing.

my mom is walking! less than a month after having both knees replaced, she's walking. it's incredible! i went over for a bit this morning, and there she was, no walker, no cane, nothing.. just walking around on her own two legs like nothing happened. praise the Lord!

God is good. there's no doubt in my mind of that. things are getting better at the church, i feel more purpose at work, and our (matt and my) relationship keeps getting better and better. i have wonderful friends, an awesome family, and i serve an amazing God. in that alone (the last thing), i find strength and hope and purpose, and a reason to get up in the morning.



two very different quotes on a dreary morning.
the first, from a little book of short poems called Traveling Light by Brian Andreas:

Early Life
i try & get
a lot of living in
early in the morning
before everyone else
gets up, because
after that, it doesn't
seem so much like
living as it does
putting up with

second is something a little deeper and more meaninful. it's taken off of an article by Ray Mayhew (see "deep thoughts" link) about lamenting. he quotes R.W.L. Moberly: "the experience of anguish and puzzlement in the life of faith is not a sign of deficient faith... but rather is intrinsic to the very nature of faith."

the first, a poem, is the cry of a morning person.
the second, a statement of faith.
i have to say, i relate to both!


great minds

Matt has a job this week! praise the Lord!! it's doing the same thing he did at focus legal, which isn't so exciting, but it's only for a couple of weeks. and we could really use the income.. and he could use the distraction. so i think it's a good thing. hopefully something more permanent, and more in the direction of what we want for the future, will come along soon. keep the prayers coming!

i had a wonderful lunch today. my dad picked me up a bit after one, and we headed across the street to an all-you-can-eat mongolian grill. gotta love that. we talked about many things, most of which would drive most people crazy. my dad and i both love talking theology and philosophy.. be forewarned if you ever end up in the same room with the two of us. and yes, it's worse than when Matt and i get going!

we talked about Perelandra, the book i quoted before in "Ransom and the un-man". he's loving it as much as i thought he would.... that book is thicker than most theology books i've read, but with the entertainment of c.s. lewis' talent at writing fiction.

we talked about Jeremiah, Isaiah, and some of the minor prophets.. evidently, we've both been setting up camp in the latter half of the Old Testament lately. though i think i'm taking a break to read John.. but after that, Ezekiel.. bring it on!!
we talked about my grandma, about mom, and work.

i always love talking with my dad. we think alike. or should i say, i think like him.


we had Matt's "boss" over for dinner last night.
he showed up late; although with the best excuse for being late i think i've ever heard.
he had received an emergency call on the church pager - which you can't ignore. the short version: the lady who called was at the end of everything, ready to separate from her husband. she knew the Lord; he didn't. they came in to talk with him, and instead of receiving marital counseling, he ended up giving his life over to the Lord. Amazing!!
the veggies in the stir fry were a little soggy, but who really cares with a story like that??

it was such an enjoyable evening. we ate, talked, laughed, looked at wedding and honeymoon pictures, and laughed some more. after looking at pictures, i thought for sure he'd make his exit, wanting to get home. instead, he sat on the couch, leaned back, hands behind his head, and kept talking. we all loved it. it was good for all our hearts, i think.


more hype?

i have to admit, when i found out he was coming back to omaha, i was little disappointed.
he had come before, and i wasn't impressed.
thankfully, i was proved wrong this time.

he didn't come bringing a bunch of hype. he proved himself to be one of the most humble men i've ever heard speak, and he was continually putting the focus back on the One who gives annointing. "don't look at me! close your eyes. don't wait for me to say something to you; wait on Him!".
the feeling i got was this: there was a door that we as a church, and as individuals, have come to. it was unlocked, but not open. no one knew how to open it, or else they didn't know they could. so he had to come to turn the handle. his place seemed to be to usher us in to where we were already headed anyway. a catalyst, if you will. sent here for such a time as this.

i think a lot of people felt something shift inside. most of us were ready for it because of the preparation over the last several months. i don't think most of us (at least not me) even knew that we were being prepared for something.

i'm excited. something big is about to happen, and i can't wait to be a part of it.
i only hope my pride or my fear don't make me miss it.

girl time

sometimes, all you need is a little girl time.
i was spoiled this week. i had coffee with Heidi, dinner with Jane, and lunch with Jackie. who could ask for more? it's been nearly a month since i've spent quality time with any of them, and now all in one week. i feel refreshed and revived.

i also feel renewed in my purpose and vision. it's funny how talking with good friends can do that for you.


i remember being in elementary and loving Jeremiah 33:3 - "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." i think i used to think that meant God would call me up on the phone and tell me something really cool that i hadn't learned at school or at church. which is partially right; i love how little kids think!

i read through the entirety of Jeremiah over the last couple of months. as i was reading it, i fought feeling depressed, and almost mourned right along with Jeremiah. i was describing the book to a friend yesterday, and it went something like this: it starts out with God threatening to destroy Israel is they didn't shape up. Israel kept on sinning, kept on worshipping other gods, and paid no heed to the prophet. God promised restoration if they would turn back to Him, but they laughed and kept on in their own way. so God sent in the king of Babylon to kill those who weren't obedient, and to take captive those who surrendered to the Lord at the very end. and all in between this happening, Jeremiah shares with the reader his deep sorrow and grief over the children of Israel turning away from the One who gave them life and sonship. wow.

in the middle, i think chapters 30-33, are promises or restoration. even if they keep on sinning and ignoring the word through the prophet from the Lord, God still promises restoration after all is said and done. He is a God of hope and mercy and love. even when Israel all but spit in His face.

speaking of spitting in someone's face and still receiving mercy (what an intro, eh?), if you ever want to watch a movie that portrays God's grace better than any other i've ever seen, watch Les Miserables with Liam Neeson. there's grace all over that story. if you're more into books than movies, i dare you to try and read the book! i've yet to get up the nerve.

okay, that's a lot of background for that one verse. but it's necessary. in the midst of prophecies of destruction, and direct disobedience, and grief that is greater than that of the book of Job, is this verse : "call to me and i will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."

now i don't know about you, but one of the things that brings me the most life is learning. learning how to do something, or a new concept, a revelation. something that can change your life, and will if you let it. here is a promise of that. turn away from your sin, turn away from your pride and selfishness, turn away from the gods who are described quite well in Psalm 115:4-7: "But their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but they cannot smell; they have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but they cannot walk; nor can they utter a sound with their throats." and yet He still offers restoration, he offers hope, and he offers new things. finding things like this in the Bible reminds me yet again why i do what i do, why i serve and love Him with my whole life. He is worthy. He is kind and merciful. and He is good. how could you not worship Him?


misery lifted

an update on the job: nothing has changed.. it's still boring, and it's still slow as molasses. but my attitude has changed, and the misery has lifted! i'm not longer appalled at being here.. i'm actually starting to enjoy it again. not the job really, but my co-workers. i've been reconnecting with Becki and Mary mostly, and it's helping immensely. so is another job in the near future? i don't know. i'm still praying and looking. but for now, i'm happy being here.

i found a sheet of journal paper in my bag today with notes on it. they look like they could be sermon notes, but there is no date, and not person to quote. but i wanted to share these with you, because they're good! and they're words to live by.

-God want me to dream big dreams
-big dreams are big because only God can make them happen
-dreams are no respector of persons: a sign of God's Spirit being poured out- young and old will dream
-you are your dreams. the dreams God infuses in your heart is the future you
-if the enemy can still your dreams, he steals the future you
-the people who oppose you the most are those who have stopped dreaming

in other words: dream!! and never stop. :)

welcome spring!

i was quite excited as march 20 approached, because it would officially be spring. i was excited for the "april showers bring may flowers" coming true, and green becoming the main color again instead of brown. it's been a bland, dry winter, which makes the thought of green that much more appealing.
what a surprise when i woke up yesterday morning to a foot of snow on the ground, and near-blizzard conditions continuing on until this morning! i'm not sure how long it's supposed to snow, but if it keeps this up much longer, i'll be able to walk out on level ground from my apartment deck (i live on the second floor). it was a chore, but still entertaining, attempting to clear about ten inches of snow off of my car this morning without ruining my work clothes (gotta love the dry clean only tag). i would've called my wonderful husband down, but he had already been so sweet all morning.. i thought, i'm a big girl, i can clean off my own car! :)

all that to say, it is beautiful outside. the nice thing about a blizzard in march is the temperature. it's barely stooped below freezing (and only at night), so things will melt fast, and the bitter cold that make your insides shake (so common to our wonderful state) is absent. it makes it so much easier to enjoy the beauty of the snowfall.


Ransom and the un-man

do you ever fight negative thoughts so much that you feel like you're losing your mind?
i know the truth. i know His voice as though it were a friend calling me on the phone. i know the enemy's voice just as well. and yet, i still succumb to the voice that isn't speaking love towards me.
what have i been believing? lies mostly, at least the last few weeks. what lies? that my life is worthless, that i have no purpose, and i'm not doing anything worth anything. and what do you do when i voices telling you the lies are so much louder than anything else? as i mentioned before, i know His voice. and i know what's true. yet when all you can here, over and over again, is a lie, it starts getting to you.
i would liken it to this: pretend you're a young child, and as you leave for school, your mom tells you that she loves you. you believe her without a shadow of a doubt, because she's told you over and over again your whole life, and her actions have followed her words. yet the second you leave, someone walks next to you, and all day, never leaves your side, whispering in your ear that your mother hates you.
you know without a doubt that your mother was not telling a lie.. that she really does love you. but when the voice present is repeatedly telling you the opposite, and your mother's voice is only a memory in your mind, it's nearly impossible not to let the lie affect you.

i hope that made sense.
so my battle has been, what do you do when this happens to you in the spirit? when you know the Truth, and what God has said, but the lie is what seems to be real in the moment? if you can't shut it up or drown it out?
i wrote yesterday about the meeting at church.. these were the thoughts and lies that i was freed from. but why couldn't the freedom come sooner? or at least, why couldn't i push back the lie and believe what was true, even though it was only a whisper in my mind? this is something i really want, and need, to learn!

i was talking to my dear friend Heidi last night about all of this, and in the middle of explaining everything i'd been feeling, a passage from one of the best books i've ever read came into my mind. the book is Perelandra by C.S. Lewis. it's a novel, but one of the most thought-provoking, mind boggling things i've ever read. the passage was a confrontation between Ransom, the "hero" or the story, and the un-man.. to explain the un-man would take a very long time, so let's just say he represents the enemy. it's as simply as i can go with his character. here's the passage...

"Ransom," it said again.
"What is it?" said Ransom sharply.

"Nothing," it answered.
again there was silence; and again, about a minute later, the horrible mouth said:
"Ransom!" This time he made no reply. Another minute and it uttered his name again; and then, like a minute gun, "Ransom... Ransom... Ransom," perhaps a hundred times.
"What the Hell do you want?" he roared at last.

"Nothing," said the voice. Next time he determined not to answer; but when it had called on him a thousand times he found himself answering whether he would or no, and "Nothing," came the reply. He taught himself to keep silent in the end: not that the torture of resisting his impulse to speak was less than the torture of response but because something within him rose up to combat the tormentor's assurance that he must yield in the end. If the attack had been of some more violent kind it might have been easier to resist. What chilled and almost cowed him was the union of malice with something nearly childish. For temptation, for blasphemy, for a whole battery of horrors, he was in some sort prepared: but harddly for this petty, indefatigable nagging as of a nasty little boy at a preparatory school.

okay, first of all, let me define a word: indefatigable means incapable or seemingly incapable of being fatigued; tireless.

so this voice, the voice of the un-man, was trying to exhaust him, and overwhelm him, with a battery on his ears, his emotions, and his will. and hearing something that horrible say your name repeatedly would be maddening. its persistence tried to convince that it would keep going until he gave in; eventually, he would have to surrender to it. but it was a lie. later in the same chapter, as Ransom continues to ignore the voice, he eventually falls asleep. when he awakens, the voice is silent. he refused to give in, and because of that decision, he won a battle that would give him an advantage in the following war.so my prayer is that i would learn to ignore the voice that tells me lies.. that tells me the opposite of what i know is true, even when all i hear of the Truth is a whisper in my memory.


settle the issue

restoration indeed! last night was incredible. to be honest, i can't remember the subject matter, but then, when it comes to sermons, it's rare that i can remember. but i do remember what happened after.
he called all the men up and told them to shout out to God for what they wanted. not things, but mantles, occupations, ministries. we worshiped, and then they shouted. it was a normal shout that felt obligitory and not too sincere. the music kept playing, the women kept praying.. and a few minutes later, a roar went up from the front of the room that sent chills through my body and sent me to my knees. it was as though several hundred men had shouted from the depth or their beings and out of desperation for what they needed God to do in their lives. it was incredible.

i left last night feeling refreshed and encouraged. i' ve been really down for a few weeks now.. about my job, Matt's situation, not having any money, having no time, working a lot later than i want to.. and the list goes on. i've been miserable at work, and i hate that feeling.
after the service last night, i felt like i was thinking clearly for the first time in weeks, and i was seeing differently.. as though a cloud had been over my eyes, and it had been lifted. today, i feel lighter. i'm still not happy with my situaion, but i'm okay with it. content may be a better word. i'm still seeking the Lord on what He has for me right now, and i'm hoping there's a change in the near future, but the miserable feeling has lifted. and that makes all the difference in the world.



they say it's a time of restorataion.
by they, i mean the prophets and leaders at our church.
restoration... well, according to dictionary.com, it can mean "the replacing of missing teeth or crowns", but something tells me that's not what the church is talking about. reading a little further, there is another definition: "a returning to a normal or healthy condition" and "the act of restoring or the condtion of being restored", and restore is defined this way: "to make restitution of; give back".

in order to give something back, it had to be taken away in the first place. in order to return to a normal or healthy condtion, logic tells me that it had to be healthy once. so in order to be restored, we have to figure out what used to be.... or going a bit deeper, find out what God's perfect plan is. His form of restoration may not be taking us back to what used to be, but moving us into what He always meant to be. it's an exciting time.

what does it mean for me? i'm not exactly sure, but i have some ideas. i'll be excited to see what God does over the next week, months, and coming year. i believe the prophets at church hear from the Lord, and i trust what they're hearing this time. and i don't think it's coincidence that as restoration was being spoken to the people, i read the part in Jeremiah that is all about the restoring of the land and the people of Israel. wait and see what He will do... good things, things to prosper you, to give you hope. not to destroy you. not to condemn you.



i'm not a computer wizard, that's for sure. i've been trying for a while now to get links put up on my page.. i think i may have succeeded this time. only time will tell.

one of the links, loggingonforlove, should prove quite entertaining. i'd encourage anyone reading this to check it out.. several girlfriends of mine have signed up on e-harmony to see if anything will come their way.

it's been a good couple of days. i took the day off yesterday to help out with my mom, who was finally able to come on on sunday. i cleaned, ran errands, and did laundry. not something for everyday, but it was a nice change from the boring days at the bank.
speaking of the bank, it's been busy today! it's been a nice change. the day is going so much faster than normal...

so a couple of the blogs i've been reading lately have reflected on Scripture, or songs, or stuff or that sort. i may have to start taking their lead.. i like the idea! :) there may be more later.. for now, i will get back to banking.



we ordered in italian food for lunch today, which is very, very bad for a hypoglycemic. all white flower and pasta.. i'm already on the downhill slide toward misery (ie: headache, blurry vision, spaciness.. you get the idea). i need to get some protein in my system, and fast! or at least some coffee. it won't help the blood sugar, but it'll definitely send lots of happy chemicals into my body (yes, i am addicted.. i readily admit).

so my sister and i had something interesting happen to us yesterday.
we had walked a mile and half to the park with her dog (a boxer) and my parents' dog (an Italian greyhound). on our way back, about a half mile from home, the biggest black lab you have ever seen came charging at us, smile on its face and tail wagging. this very much upset our dogs, who got very upset and defensive, but Emo (the black lab) would not be deterred; he was going to play, whether they liked it or not. we stuck around the area for a while, but realized no owner was going to come out of the woodworks. Emo followed us all the way home, playing all the way, and barely avoiding getting run over by a schoolbus.
we got home, coaxed him into our backyard, and called the number on his tag. Chris, Emo's dad, returned the message we left within five minutes.. he sounded a bit panicked, and was at our door looking for his dog within two minutes. the dog, with its stupid smile, bounded to its owner who had been scared out of his mind when he realized his baby had escaped.
now here comes the good part.
a few hours later, my sister called me. she said i would never guess what just happened.
Chris had come back, carrying with him a huge bouquet of yellow gerber daisies, a really nice card, and a big bag of dog treats. he said he didn't know what he would ever do if anything happened to his dog.

the next words out of my mouth (to my sister): "did he ask you out??"

it's my job.. i have to be ornery. i'm the little sister. :)
but seriously.. why not? he was cute, mid-twenties, and obviously a dog-lover.. why not? ;)


late again

it's an early post today.
i've been at work about 45 minutes... a bit shorter than it should be! i can never seem to get out the door to get here when i'm supposed to (7:15), no matter what time i get up. the nice thing, though, is that as long as i have the drive-thru signs open by 7:30, i could walk in at 7:29 and no one would care. it's just nice to have a few minutes to open up the branch properly.

a song played just now that i really don't like.. the main chorus line is "so i'll keep you my dirty little secret.." that's the only line i've ever really caught, and it kind of disturbs me. random thought for the day. any others on the song? anyone ever actually listen to the whole thing and know what it's about?

i get off today at 11:15ish, which is nice, but all it really means is that i have to be here most of the day on saturday. my cousins will be here this weekend with their 6 month old, which should be really fun! but my sister goes home soon.. either tomorrow or shortly after. it'll be sad to see her leave.

mom's doing so well! i went with ang last night, and the four of us (with dad) played a hand of skip-bo (if you haven't played it, you must!). she was still tired from all the pain medication and stuff, but she was so much more herself than the days before. i'm so excited to see her a few months post-surgery.. her whole life is going to change because of this!


so close

i have six minutes left in my workday (i got here really early!), and the minutes could not tick by any slower.
tonight will involve redeeming some more bed bath and beyond gift cards, trying to get the Mart to give me a good battery for my computer (i think they gave me a bum one on accident), visiting the hospital, and hanging out with my sister (which will hopefully involve eating at noodles&co).

the hospital.. my mom is there! on monday, she had knee replacement surgery. not just one, mind you, but both of them! the crazy thing was yesterday. with two brand new knees, barely 24 hours old, i watched my mom walk. i was stunned. i'm excited for what this will mean for her.

the six minutes is finally over! this was a good distraction.


so slow.............

it's painfully slow at the bank today - worse than normal. usually, by the end of any given day, each of us will have somewhere around a hundred transactions. today, all of our transactions together (there are four of us) add up to about 80. crazy.

so needless to say, i'm bored. but Kate called with something interesting. she works for Excel physical therapy, and one of their offices is looking for a receptionist. the position requires a variety of things, and pays more than i'm making right now. i wouldn't be bored, and i would be getting paid more! before anything though, i need to check with the one in charge to see if it's something i should pursue or not. i don't want to leave here prematurely... so i will be praying tonight!

things have started to feel a little better. Matt's feeling better about where he's at, which helps me to feel a bit more content with where i am. although i go home everyday feeling so tired and worn down.. i don't work hard enough to feel as tired as i do every evening! i think a lot of it is psychological - it just wears you out more when you aren't doing something you enjoy. but just because it's psychological doesn't invalidate it at all. just ask Jon and Linda, or anyone involved in strengh finders. ask someone who struggles with extreme depression. ask anyone who struggles with low self-esteem. or better yet, ask dr. crane from batman begins, who is fascinated with the power of the mind over the body. it really is something.
or you could just ask me, a pyschology major who likes to pretend to be a psychologist. :)

Matt brought me coffee today, just because. he sat in the break room with me for part of my lunch, smiling and watching me the whole time, every now and then leaning in to kiss me. he makes me feel so loved. i'm a lucky girl.. God has blessed me big time. i know we'll get through this - i have no doubt about that. there's no end in sight now, but at least i have him in sight. it helps more than i could ever say.


a sad friday

Susan is retiring.
she hired me, and she made sure that i would still be a bank employee when i came home from a summer in michigan. i can honestly say that she is the best manager, or supervisor, or superior in any way, that i have ever had at a job. not only has she been the best; she has far surpassed all the others. this place will change without her here.
so today is the day. there's cake, mints, punch, and nuts. and for one more, day, Susan. i think i've been trying to ignore the fact that she was leaving, but today makes that impossible to do any longer. there have been many tears, many hugs, and many memories shared. it will be different around here...


iowa for a day

this is a good day!
i didn't drink coffee at all monday, tuesday, or wednesday. i was quite addicted, which showed more true this morning than it had yet. yes, i had the headaches and the groggy feeling all three days, but it subsided to almost nothing yesterday. but then this morning, when i woke up for the fourth morning in a row before dawn, i felt completely awake! the terrible groggy feeling that makes getting out of bed the most painful experience you've ever had (at least it feels that way at the moment) was gone! my brain wasn't craving the caffeine, so i was able to wake up naturally instead of needing a chemical to help me on my way. it was a glorious feeling.

yesterday was a good day as well. i got off work at 1pm and headed up to sioux city. i drove Jo, and met up with Jen and Chris, Jessie, Sarah B., and Dori. it was a good time! i always feel so refreshed after being with those girls. it was a little weird, seeing all of them so close to home (usually it takes 12 hours in the car to get to them!). i wish it could happen more often.
the drive home was hard.. i had such a hard time staying alert! my eyes kept threatening to close. it was nice, though.. i got to catch up a bit with Stephie.. God's been doing a lot of awesome stuff in her life lately, and it was incredibly encouraging to hear about it! i always love to hear what kind of stuff He's teaching people and how those people are changing because of it.

my day is almost over.. a couple more hours, and it's date night! Matt and i have hardly seen each other this week. last night, after getting home late from iowa, he teased me a bit.. after crawling into bed, he put his arm over me, turned me towards him, and said "oh, wow.. i DO have a wife!". but tonight, from the time i get off work until as late as i can make myself stay up, is "us time". i can hardly wait.