Midnight

September 20, 2005 § 1 Comment

I stood on my balcony last night peering up at the moon, nearly perfect in its fullness, as it peered intermittently through the stormy clouds, the cool breeze tousling my hair.

My dog was curled up on my toes, keeping them warm as he slept soundly, and I watched the lightning strike across the tops of the mountains in the distance. It was an awesome sight.

It stirred something in me. It moved me… to feel what?.. I don’t know. It inspired me… to do what?… I don’t know. But I stood in the crisp night appreciating each star as it appeared fleetingly behind the black veil and I lived the moment.

I breathed deeply, and I took it in, seeing all I could, feeling all I could, believing all I could. Like a glutton I devoured every detail until it was mine. And I lived. And then I slept.

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A Day At the Beach

September 10, 2005 § 2 Comments

Well, despite having lived here for just over three months now, I feel as though I have just had my first “California” moment. I went body-boarding the other day. Good times. Very good times.

For those of you who may not have experienced the wonders of body-boarding and may not know what it is… essentially, it is the same basic concept as surfing. The differences are that you actually lay on your stomach and your board is shorter and lighter. I’m sure a true surfer would be baffled by this response and fully prepared to “teach” me the differences by a display of brute force enacted upon my person, but… I don’t care.

So, take surfing and subtract the need for an expensive board and any talent for balance or coordination and you get body-boarding. All the benefits are still there… no skill required! Perfect.

I’d never been before, but I have recently felt the need to experience the ocean on a more personal basis, to commune with the sea. So, Karen, Josh, Lacy, and I pulled on our wetsuits, grabbed our boards and strode headlong into the mighty breakers. I caught a little wave, got a decent ride, nothing to blog about. (as so much of my life now consists only of that about which I can blog. “Do you want to go _____?” I think, “Could I blog about that? Would someone actually want to read it? Yes? I’m there!”) Well, then comes a swollen surge, blotting out the horizon. I paddle furiously. As the crest comes up underneath me, I press on the front edge of the board and angle it down towards the base of the wave. I begin to fall into the wave and I’m riding… for a moment. Then, I realize my angle is more perpendicular to the sea floor than is usually recommended. Suddenly, my board is headed into a nose-dive, and the wave comes up behind me (sneaky wave) and crashes over me, sending me into an underwater somersault rivaling the stylings of Carly Patterson. My ankle is at my neck and I crash into the sea floor. I swear I just broke a hip.

Well, I stand up, after several painful attempts, thinking, “Man, I hope I didn’t break anything, but even if I did, I haven’t even gotten a good ride yet, so I ain’t quittin’!” And then I realize… I just had a California moment. My instinct for self-preservation has been heavily outweighed by the need for the next good ride.

The four of us spent the next two hours amid the surf laughing, shouting, and riding. (And looking out for sharks. I can’t say I’m not terrified of those. Thankfully, our biggest threat that day was a seal playing in the waves.) Those hours with friends are some of my best in recent memory. We’re already planning our next excursion.

Worry Is Wasteful… told you so.

September 10, 2005 § Leave a comment

I find too often that I am on my knees begging God rather than thanking Him. Well, this is a hearty thank you. As I said in the prequel to this post, God has taught me a great deal about worry. Ultimately, it is saying to God, “I don’t know if I can trust you.” Well, I decided to trust Him.

That is really my praise and my thank you. Thank you, God, for being trustworthy. Thank you, God, for helping me understand a little more about who you are. I’ve heard it, but now I’m getting it. I haven’t got it, but I am trying.

That was enough. His grace is enough, but instead He shows me himself. Even more, He works the situation to my favor and His glory. The situation I mentioned that had me concerned… He took care of it. I didn’t expect Him to, but I knew He could. And He did. He worked in the hearts and minds of those involved, and when no foreseeable solution could be seen that might be mutually beneficial, He brought one. When we have not the power, His power is truly revealed.

Worry Is Wasteful

September 8, 2005 § 6 Comments

If I could tell the world just one thing,
It would be that we‘re all ok,
And not to worry ‘cause worry is wasteful,
And useless in times like these,
I won’t be made useless,
I won’t be idle with despair,
I will gather myself around my faith,
For light does the darkness most fear.
-Jewel

Yes, you read correctly. I did begin this blog with a quote from the brilliant philosopher, Jewel. Yes, I am in the sixth grade.

Later, I will also quote from Scripture and my favorite band, Over the Rhine. And maybe I’ll throw in a little Coldplay to satisfy the pseudo-U2/post-Dave Matthews crowd. Oh, what a master weaver of words am I! (I actually love Coldplay, but I feel like I’m on a big ol’ bandwagon, so I choose to mock the wagon while playing in the band.)

Anyway… I mentioned in my last post that I was worried about a few things regarding our mortgage/lender/finances/the man/having the life sucked out of me. Well… I’m happy to announce that the situation… drumroll… is still very much up in the air. But I’ve learned something. Something I knew but still haven’t mastered.

I spent most of the evening silently giving the situation to God. Eating dinner thinking, “Take it God. I don’t want to worry anymore.” Watching “The West Wing” on DVD thinking, “Man, this is a good show… aahh, I’m worrying again. God, I give you this situation.” Well, it wasn’t working. I actually spent my whole night trying to sort through the mess I’d made in my mind.

I was just guessing at numbers and figures
Pulling the puzzles apart.
-Coldplay

So, finally, God pushed away the mess and whispered the first few lines of a song.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His Glory and Grace.

I haven’t heard or sung this song in quite awhile, but it suddenly filled my head. I got quiet. I began to understand.

Then I went to bed.

But then, God kept saying, “Read the Word.” And I kept saying, “Oh my gosh. Come ON! I’m tired. And I’d have to roll all the way over, turn on the light and get it out of the drawer!” I’m a whiner. Finally, I relented. Honestly, I haven’t read in about three days, so I hadn’t remembered where I’d left off. But as I opened The Book my eyes immediately went to a line I’d underlined three days ago.

Your heavenly Father already knows your needs,
And He will give you all you need from day to day
If you live for Him and make the Kingdom of God
Your primary concern.
Matthew 6:32-33 (NLT)

Well, thank you very much for that slap in the face. I read a little further and came across the story in Matthew 8 where the disciples are out in a boat, a storm comes up, and Jesus is sleeping like a baby. They get Him up, and they’re screaming, saying, “GET UP! We’re all gonna die!” And Jesus says, “Oh, don’t be thick! Did you forget what I’m capable of?” And he calmed the waters.

And He calmed the waters of my mind and heart. And I got it. He’s bigger than my problems.

Giving things to God is not a process of saying, “Oh Lord, take my worries.” I found last night that it is coming face to face with God, seeing how big He is, and then throwing up your hands in surrender. Giving to God implies you had control at one time, surrendering to God shows that you know you’re incapable. So, I’ve stopped trying to figure out solutions and I’m just trying to listen. He’s got it under control. Besides…

We don’t need a lot of money.
We’ll be sleeping on the beach,
Keeping oceans within reach.
(Whatever private oceans we can conjure up for free.)
I will stumble there with you
And you’ll be laughing close with me,
Trying not to make a scene
Etcetera. Whatever.

I guess all I really mean
Is we’re gonna be alright.
Yeah, we’re gonna be alright.
You can close your eyes tonight,
‘Cause we’re gonna be alright.
All that I can see is your eyes.
Close your eyes.
Close your eyes.
-Over the Rhine

If you’re reading this, you should give yourself a pat on the back. You made it through “The Endless Post.” Sorry.

Another Year Older

September 7, 2005 § 7 Comments

Another year older, another year wiser… I guess. Karen and I just celebrated our birthdays. Hers was on the 3rd and mine, the 5th. You would think I would have a few sage words to pass along, from this past year, my twenty-fourth. But, as I now begin my twenty-fifth… I don’t.

I doubt I’ll ever be the type to dispense sage wisdom.

If you’ve been checking in on the blog occasionally to get an update of recent happenings, you’ve probably been disappointed, eh? So, I guess, on this birthday post, I will give a bit of a retrospect… of the last two weeks or so.

Karen and I have been good. We are loving San Diego. The move still has its stresses though. Although we’re living in our new condo, we don’t actually close for two more weeks. If you’ve ever been through the home-buying process, you know… it blows. I just got an email today from our lender that has me all stressed out. I’m trying to have a good day despite it, but… we could use your prayers.

In addition, we haven’t been able to sell our home in Charlotte yet. Yikes! So, please be praying for that situation too. I daily have to give that to God so that it doesn’t keep me up at nights. I’m a worrier I guess.

On a lighter note, Karen and I have been enjoying our time together. We went up to L.A. a couple of weekends ago and just spent some time bumming around and reviving old friendships. (Sorry Christin, you guys were in Nova Scotia! Of all weekends!) By the way, I had a little star sighting at The Grove that I was pretty excited about. I ran into (almost literally) Zoe Saldana. She most recently appeared in “Guess Who” the shoddy remake of the ’67 classic. She’s also been in “The Terminal”, “Pirates of the Caribbean”, and “Center Stage.” If anyone happened to see the episode of “Punk’d” where she got… well… punked, the friend that set her up was there too. So, what would she be… an “f-list” celebrity. “F” for friend of a b-list celebrity. Anyway, despite having mostly hated her movie (there were a few funny parts) I was pretty excited about having seen her. I wasn’t quick enough with the camera though.

So, life has been pretty good. And now another year of life begins. I’ll keep you updated.

Please Note: This post is in no way meant as a ploy to garner more presents, money, gift cards, etc. This post is written without ill intent (ie. make you feel guilty for forgetting our birthdays, make you feel bad about being older/younger than we are, etc.). It was just something to write about.

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