Monday, November 29, 2010

Mikayla's story.

"I want to be a bird."
"So I can fly away from all of my problems."

I have similar thoughts.
Wanting to 'get away' from it all. To have peace, and leave my responsibilities behind just for a little while.
I did not have these thoughts at 10 years old.
I was not completely serious.
And my 'problems' did not invade every part of my existence.

The beautiful, sassy, hurting, bitter, protective, smart little girl who told me this does.
Mikayla is 10 years old. She has three brothers, a 5 year old (Ethan), and twin brothers who are older.
The first time I talked to Mikayla was a few weeks ago at Bible Club, she was over in the corner crying. After about an hour of talking to all of the parties involved I learned that her little brother had been chased, hit and kicked by some older boys. She tried to protect him, and was extremely upset and bitter. I worked out the situation the best I could, but could see the pain and hurt in her young face. I have been praying for her ever since, and trying to connect with her.

This week we started talking because she was in timeout, and after we were done I asked her if she had any questions. After a long pause she said; "Why do all of the verses have black people in them?"
This led to a discussion about skin color, classes, and the truth that God created ALL men (and women, and children) equal.
Mikayla is very aware of the difference between black people, and white people, and Mexicans.
In her words; "White people are rich, and black people are poor."
At this point I asked her what made people poor, and she shared that her family was poor because they didn't have toys or a TV.
I asked her if she wanted to be something different, she said yes, a bird so she could fly away from all of her problems. Her problems being that her dad works all of the time, and her mom is never home. This makes Mikayla mad, that her mom doesn't take care of her, and leaves her with her brothers who are mean.
At this point I asked her where she thought animals went when they died, she said the ground. I asked her the same question about people, and she said that they would go in the ground too. I explained to her that we are different than the animals, that we have a spirit and a soul, and that we will go somewhere when we die, not just disappear.
I went through the whole gospel story, explaining things as I went. Mikayla asked questions that made me think she had never heard it before. When I was done I asked her if she knew for sure where she was going when she died, she said; "Heaven.....I think." To which I replied, Are you sure? 100% sure?
At this she got a little upset; "I've tried everything! I don't know for sure! I've accepted Jesus, and gone to church, and prayed, but I don't know."
I went through the evangecube with her, again she acted like she didn't know any of it, and at the end I explained that the only way to know for sure that you would go to heaven is to ask Jesus to be the boss of your life and follow Him for the rest of your life.
She said that she had done all of that, admit believe choose, she looked me in the eye and said that she knew 100% for sure that she was going to heaven when she died.
I prayed with her, and saw a new softness in her face.
Part of me is really encouraged by this, her openness and willingness to share personal details with me. And another part of me wonders if it is enough. If she really knows what, or Who is going to save her, and if it will change her life.
If it will be enough to save her from the hopelessness, violence, prejudice, and bitterness that she has been born into.
This breaks my heart, and gives me an urgency to speak into her life, if there is ANY way that I can make a difference I will.
When I look into her brown eyes and see myself, scared, hurting, hungry for love, I know that I have to do something. I have to do everything I can to show her Christ, the only one who can save her.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Turkey Lurkey

As I sit here smelling the savory essence wafting in from the kitchen I try to think of when my first prejudice against Thanksgiving started.........
When I was little I liked it, going to Grandma's house, then Grandpa's, then Grandma Great's. Having turkey, dressing and mashed potatoes 3 or 4 times didn't bother me.
Watching TV or playing games while the grownups cleaned up and talked.

When I was around 13 we started having one of those Thanksgiving's at our house. I suppose that might be when I first started disliking it.
Don't get me wrong, I like Thanksgiving as an idea, the principle, or meaning behind it. I wholeheartedly think that we need a time to think about and reflect on our blessings and things God has given us.
What I do not like, at all, is the emphasis put on food.
You see, I am not a fan of food. I like it okay, will fix it, even enjoy fixing it, but it is almost a bother sometimes. We spend 2 days cooking a meal that is over in 20-30 minutes. To me it is not really worth it, not even counting the hours spent cleaning up.
But, I enjoy it because other people do, and I am thankful for my wonderful family.
I am also thankful for my mother who is a wonderful cook, that she took the time to teach my sisters and I how to cook, and also taught us that food isn't the most important thing in life.

So, there you have it. My Thanksgiving spill. It may seem silly, but that is my thought process for every year haha.

be thankful,

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Subject in Italics

Thoughts are a funny thing.
Sometimes you can have them without being conscious that you are thinking a certain thought.
You can think something without making a decision to think about that thought.
Just a random thought for you.

Another thought that I thought lately is; the fact that music can effect your mood in a noticeable way.
Or maybe it is just me.
Take tonight for example, I was in a strange mood (it was a strange day), and the song 'Ramblings of a Begger' by Shawn McDonald made me question what I was feeling, almost in a negative way, I felt sad and it reminded me of the pain I've been feeling for other people who are hurting.
After that I listened to the song 'Waltz in 3' by the same artist, and it replaced my previous thoughts with one's of hopefulness and an optimistic thoughtfulness.
Still in the mood of hopeful, optimistic thinking 'Over the Rainbow' also by Shawn McDonald, gave me goosebumps, because I love this song and because I have always wanted to be able to sing like this.
In conclusion 'Shadowlands' by Shawn, again, has always made me smile and want to dance (I frequently do).

I am also thinking about change some.........but, it is a semi-depressing subject right now, and I am still enjoying my Shawn McDonald-induced happythoughtfuloptimistic mood :)

be thoughtful

PS- All songs can be found here;

Sunday, November 7, 2010

my leaky facet

I hate crying.

I do, I hate it.

For as long as I can remember I have kept my tears in check, burying emotion, holding it in.
And I liked it this way. Every once in a while I would cry, not very often, and usually not in public.

When I cry I feel extremely vulnerable. Embarrassed. And all around uncomfortable.
I do not like any of those feelings, who does?
As a little girl I dreaded when 'grown-ups' would cry. My parents, or people at church. I would squirm in my chair or pew and wish it was over. When I got older I was more mature about it, and just prayed that they would stop crying.
God has a very fine sense of humor and gave me a mother whose hobby is crying. She likes it! And does it regularly. I eventually grew accustomed to this, and kind of blew it off. But in NO way did I EVER want to be like that. *SHUDDER!!!*

Did I mention that God has a sense of humor? Just checking.
(this is a long story, just to warn you)

Part 1:
To illustrate the humor of God I would have you know that in past oh, probably 9 months I have cried more than I have ever ever ever cried in my entire life. All the time (seems like). In increasing amounts. And its getting worse.
This morning in the service I cried 4 times. Funny part; I was only in there for the song service, announcements, and prayer.

Part 2:
I have been involved in a Bible study that is currently going through the book 'Experiencing God'. (Great book, by the way, highly recommended)
And this week it talked about God making adjustments in your life.

I think that one of the adjustments God is making in my life is increasing my tears/breaking my heart.
For several reasons, that I can see now. (there are many more I'm sure)
1. To humble me, and its working.
2. I have experienced God in so many ways through this. I have seen Him working, in my own heart and others around me. He has shown me His all-consuming love for me, and given me glimpses of his majesty and awesome power.
3. He has given me an overwhelming love for people. And this often translates into tears, of course. I see people who are hurting all around me. I see Godly men and women that I admire. My family, goes on and on.

Now, knowing some reasons why behind the leaky facet aka my eyes, doesn't really help with the initial feelings of vulnerability. But, I can trust in God, and be secure in His plan for me.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

I am dreaming of............

(I know that I am just torturing myself here. But it will be fun to imagine myself in this moment for a while.)

A cool breeze teases my hair, while the sun warms my relaxed body.
I sigh.
Breathing in the damp ocean air, and reaching for my frosty glass.
The waves break gently on the shore as I ponder a refreshing swim, or a few more chapters in my book.
My cell phone is switched off back at the house. No errands to run, or responsibilities to fulfill.
Four blessed days of nothingness stretch out before me like a small piece of heaven.
I am here to relax, rest, and re cooperate.
My mind is having trouble switching off, but I am slowly making it obey my wish to be still.
Waking up each morning with no agenda is a wonderful feeling.
Mornings spent sleeping in, drinking coffee sitting outside watching the waves.
Afternoons are for lying on the beach, soaking in the sun, taking in God's creation.
In the evenings special suppers, to satisfy the hunger built up swimming and being outside.
Night walks on the beach, random shopping trips, dressing up to go eat, spending un-interrupted time with the people I love.

I just sighed the sigh to end all big sighs.
No beach for me this year. Not sure about next year.

I fall in love with the beach every time I go.
There is something about it that makes my heart feel peaceful and at rest.
Not sure what it is, but it will always be a place where I feel 'at home'.