Wednesday, May 16, 2012

the saga continues (thank heavens).

for those who didn't grow up with sunday school lessons on flannel boards, read the story them self, or never saw the epic The Ten Commandments film, well, there is this story in the book of Exodus about how God divided the Red Sea so that His chosen people could cross on foot and avoid being captured by Pharaoh and his army-returning them to the slavery and bondage they were recently absolved from. in this story, prior to their being freed, God performed a bunch of strange and spectacular signs and wonders in order to soften Pharaohs heart and demonstrate to Pharaoh that He meant business. the Hebrews too witnessed all this, but when they stood there against the waters edge as Pharaoh and his army drew closer and closer, they doubted. i use to hear this story and marvel at how they could do such a thing considering Everything. i use to imagine if i had been there i would have been hanging out with moses saying things like, "seriously. can you believe these people!!?!?".

today, as the boys and me were driving to the beach, inclining to that point on Kanan Rd where you catch your first glimpse of the Pacific- all glittering and blue, misty and bright- this story was brought to mind. i humorously appended an additional scene to the established narrative: in it some boats came along and the people all cheered and sighed a great sigh of relief thinking this was the plan, this was how God was going to save them and get them to safety when suddenly, right in front of their eyes, all the boats sprang leaks and sunk.

the Hebrew people, while just a smidgen more dramatic than me, have something in common with each other: we both had observed the hand of God on a situation but when things got confusing we both went here:

"Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!"

i wrote a blog sometime ago, one i have yet to publish, that is about how love is a choice. as i reflected about the story in Exodus and how i was no better than those faithless Hebrews that i realized, just like love, faith too is a choice: (as someone obsessed with patterns and analytics, i can't believe i failed to see the similarities in love and faith.)

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

right there in the car, five more minuets till beach side, the boys in the back intermediately interrupting my train of thought with requests for the goodies in our picnic basket or informing me how the other one was wronging the other, i knew, regardless of my ability to understand or the tattered emotions involved, that the faith needed wasn't going to come naturally this time, but if i was going to access it, then i had to, point blank, chose to.

i can't see it. i can't feel it. but i'm going to believe in it: i know Him, i know His voice, i know He is good to me.

and during the meantime i'm going to take that same advise Moses gave the Hebrew people,

"just stay calm."

Saturday, May 12, 2012


remember the last post i wrote? read it real quick if you haven't then pick up right back here.

ok, well earlier this evening i got a message from that restaurant that....(drum roll)..... they no longer need me (something to do with restructuring).

this seems both dramatic and fitting:

"And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." Job 1:21

i've cried. i've tried to make sense of it. i've even googled, for the sheer sake of entertainment, "dear God, what do i do now?". i know He works all things together for my good, i just don't understand why, considering everything the last blog i trust you read went into that i had to get the job in the first place. i would have much preferred to have never perceived His provision and goodness for us only to then find out there never was any provision. it just seems...cruel. i know God isn't cruel, and i know that from the bottom of my heart, but in my limited understanding, that's definitely how it feels right now.

going over this process with my dad on the phone earlier this evening he pointed out a very interesting pattern- how it appears the doors keeps getting shut before me, and maybe, just maybe, i should think of going in a new direction. i tell ya, i don't even care what i do at this point,  i just don't want to be rejected anymore; i don't want promising leads that lead me to a huge waste of time, i don't want to be fed any false hope via great interviews that end up futile, and i don't want positions offered and then taken away.

additionally, i'm confused. are we, or aren't we, suppose to be here?!?! i mean, had you asked me yesterday i wouldn't have thought twice about it: it was an answer to prayer, i was given a word of promise regarding it, and i witnessed Him orchestrate the whole thing. but now, considering it appears that He is shutting doors that i need to walk through (for the sake of us living here and us worshipping Him with everything we have) before i can even get to them, i'm totally baffled. we literally can not live here on one income. it's not a "well it would be more comfortable if we had a little bit more cashola so i think i'll try and find a job". no. it's for real ya'll.

this isn't my first time down a road of this sort, which is probably why, this time around, i'm such a mental mess right now. but for the first time ever, i don't feel i know Him. and you have to understand how stomach tearing, waterfall shooting out my eyeballs that is. i've never not known Him. He was my second best friend (my little sister being my first). we walk, we talk...

if i ever i needed to see Him, now would be the time. i believe. i do. i want to.

blessed be the name of the Lord.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


we knew the day would come, the day when the extra money in our bank account would be consumed by trips to ikea, the dentist, the optometrist, h&m, tj maxx, and chic-fil-a. on this day we knew, i would have to find a job and i would find it fast or we would be up a creek without a paddle.

that day happened a few weeks ago.

the last few times i've gone to find a job i've found one fairly easily, and in the end, persuaded myself out of accepting the offers given to me. this time around i knew i didn't have such false luxury; i was going to have take what i was given. the thing i was not expecting was that it would take me plastering the surrounding area with my resume, having great interviews with no call back, or applying to places i felt myself above only to receive emails notifying me they went with a "better match". 

it was after yet another rejection email to a the mall! that i had my rock bottom moment. the saving grace for my hope was knowing God sent us here, knowing He doesn't lead you and then leave you; still, the rejection was beating down on my confidence and optimism. i don't necessarily want to wait tables. before every place i walked into with a resume in my hand, before every hand i shook with my warmest smile, before every great interview, i pep talked myself into it, "your doing this for your family" i would tell myself, "your doing this so we can have health insurance, so we can tithe, so we don't have to move". of course, i would rather begin to tally some experience in a career that will take me where i feel lead to serve, but then, just as my husband pointed out and God reminded me, waiting tables is that very job right now. it's not at a design firm, or a magazine, or a music label, or a church that shares the same super cool vision for communicating and sharing the love of God in real practical and relevant's in a restaurant waiting on people wanting a great dining experience.

as i mentioned above, the need for me to work involves a desire for us to tithe. we weren't always able to do so at our church in southern oregon, and it killed me. jon and me fought about it till we were both backed and ready to swing in our corners till my father counseled me on how serving in the church was acceptable "payment" while we were piss ass broke. never less, i yearned to worship God with everything i/collective we had, and would do so when i knew doing so wasn't going to result in us bouncing ten other checks.

after it appeared that jon too had settled on reality la being our new home church that i began to itch to tithe. but, just like in southern oregon, it, along with a few other necessities, wasn't there. on sunday morning as they announced the ushers to come forward to take the mornings tithe and offerings, i made a great leap of faith decision: we were going to tithe and God was going to cover it. end of story. and we did, and while part of me wondered if i could call the church office on monday morning and ask them to hold it for a few months, the other part of me was filled with peace and joy in that act of trust and worship.

the sermon that morning only confirmed my suspicions that God was going to come through; that because He had brought us here to this land where only those with dual incomes survive that I only needed to pray for His favor, and to keep trying to find a job. i would, i surely would.  well, at least, that's what I took away from it.

then a couple days ago i had another interview. i prayed on my way out there (in topanga!) that if this was the place God would use me to serve my family and be able to worship Him in all areas of my life that i would have favor and that the position would be mine. i felt like the opportunity was Gods provision for us, but then, the interview was one of my worst yet. i apologized to jon when i got home for him having taken off time from work for me to go down there. it seemed like a total waste.

then yesterday as i was on my way out the door when i heard the message: they loved me...i got the job.

where He leads He will provide (make no mistake about it).

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

hello beautiful.

if i were a youth worker this is a message i would want to give young girls because i remember being a young girl, a very different sort of young girl who was terribly the same underneath it all.

i didn't have a horrible home life. i had a great one and i know how unfair that is, and how undeservedly blessed i am for it. see, i knew my parents loved me, i knew my Creator loved me, and between those two sources of knowledge i had a fairly competent self esteem of who i was-was just fine. which was good because when your a young girl going through the throngs of junior high and high school every little bit of sanity and grounding is precious.

now as a coming of age young women it didn't take long for me to realize my male peers did not consider me one of the "pretty" ones, and while i wished they were deeper in their conceptualization of beauty, i never wished to succumb to their idea of attractiveness. i was who i was, goofy and sarcastic, unabashedly individualistic, with a zany approach to fashion, mod style haircuts that my male classmates referred to as 'lesbo', and that great Italian nose of mine. for those 6 years i watched as my friends had boyfriends, had valentines, had admirers; i listened to their stories of love requited, of french kissing lessons in the band room closet, and of heart-ache.

*though, hmmm, as i write this i do recall i wasn't completely without an admirer... there was one. and if he should read this i will be completely mortified because then he too will know he really was the only one to ever pin away for me, or to write letters of admiration to me, or to call my dad and tell him how he thought i was the bees knees. even more shocking to this plot was that this guy was one of the "hot" ones who also led worship for his youth group in small town, texas. which if you've ever grown up in a church you know the love burning madness of all single females that revolves around a single male worship leader, particularly if he is good looking in the slightest. it's bonkers, and so was i because i didn't reciprocate those feelings to the sort of guy any girl in her right mind would have been honored to be adored by, a good one (sorry R.).*

honest to goodness, i didn't feel legitimately desirable till well after high school...which is also when i had my first boyfriend. i had let the resounding notion given to me in school and in youth group of me not being the sort of girl guys liked because of my looks and my very odd personality; even later on in life i still allowed that bologna to stunt my ability to be truly loved.

while i was secure in who God made me was okey dokey, and i was not in need of oodles of male approval, i did long to be liked back when i liked. still waters might run deep, but bubbly brooks come from springs deep within the earth and i felt constantly over looked because i didn't try to sell myself as desirable. none the less, i badly coveted for someone to see the whole picture of me: the seriousness underneath it all, the devotion, the sensitivity, the thinker, the sincerity, and the vulnerability of someone who just wanted to be loved in spite of who she was and was not.

but boys are just that, boys. and i don't even think if i had met my now husband in jr. high or high school if he would have been man enough to go there for a girl who wasn't considered 'pretty'. it's just the way it is.

year after year our society becomes increasingly obsessed with looks, vanities. i can't fathom how difficult it would be to be a young girl a margin less than what the world perceives as perfect, or as desirable, beautiful these days. if it was tough then, it must be practically unbearable now.

with that in mind, hear me out:

young girl, you are beautiful and not because guys think you are, your parents think you are, or because you posted a picture of yourself and you got like a thousand "likes" on it. you are not beautiful because your a good person, or because you give to the homeless, you volunteer your time for great causes, nope, you are beautiful because God designed you and He thinks your beautiful, and He doesn't make less than pure perfection nor does He lie. see, even the meanest, the rudest, the most selfish, the most glossed up, heeled up are beautiful too (although i admit i have to really try to see past all the stuff and things they put in the way to see their beauty).

so, and but, please don't end on the receiving end of the stick, take that same vision and apply it to the people around you, see them as the Creator does: beautiful! and don't fret about the boys or allow the lack of adoration get in your head as some reality about yourself, some of them grow up and become men and those men understand that not only is beauty skin deep but that there is so much more to attraction than the outer appearance (and that the "weird" ones are actually the really interesting ones, and some awesome men actually find that more desirous than a "pretty" face).