Sunday, October 30, 2005

Olivia on Cooking

I like to cook. I may not be the finest chef, but buying the ingredients, getting the kitchen completely filthy, and then eating is enjoyable. What I don’t like is cleaning up and the good thing about doing the baking, is in the law of ethics and codes of culinary handbook law number 1167 says:

CULINARY LAW #1167 Whoever eats the food besides the cook has to clean up all dishes, counter tops, walls, floors, and anything else the cook decides needs polishing.

See, it is written and must be obeyed!

I have been looking forward to cooking for many days. It turned out to be one of my favorite times to remember as I made Casja’s wonderfully so scrumptious Pumpkin Spice Bars. Thanks friend, you’re the BEST!!!! She made them for me a little while ago and I decided they were the best things created by God besides anything and everything with chocolate in it…this is a very big statement considering my allegiance to chocolate. I spent time prepping and realized I had left the store without a bag that carried a very needed ingredient…pumpkin! Extremely annoyed I went back and gathered it up again and came home. Launching the episode a little flour went this way and then some eggs, sugar, and the powerful mixer were involved in chaos. I guess I needed to release a little tension and the mixer was the only thing worthy enough to do such damage. Turning it on level 1 proved to be useless and was not even close to my needed liberation, level 3…yeah use this one if you are a Smurf! So, I shot it up to level 6 and surged the hand tool and all the powdered ingredients I was mixing went everywhere! I was thrilled! It is in the toaster, drawers, floor, and then all over me! Loved it!

Finally it was ready to be cooked in the oven. I couldn’t wait! My taste buds perked at the aroma of pumpkin, spices, and sugar attacking every room in my house. YUMMY! 25 minutes later, and another run in with the mixer for the frosting, I was ready to feel the benefit of my day. They turned out wonderful thanks to letting go of inhibitions of not making any mess. Casja asked for me to take photo’s to send her and I ended up having fun as you can see with every thing I did today.

I would let you know how to make them, but then we’d have to kill you so tough luck…sorry! But just be glad you’re my friend and you will probably see these treats somewhere down the road soon.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


C'est Moi!
Inspired by Grace Photography

Sorry Gotta Go

How many times have you been on the phone looking for an reason to get off? As the conversation descends, or becomes a marathon one-way discussion, I’d sometimes find an excuse as a desperate attempt to keep my sanity. If you agree, this site may be as useful to you.

So if I am on the phone and you hear an alarm going off, you might know my secret now! No, just kidding! I haven’t used it to its capacity yet as I am one to share my mind if I truly need to go. But for all you out there who need assistance I am happy to offer this in hope it will ease the tension. Have fun!

Check it out http://www.sorrygottago.com/

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Kip and Gracey

It seems we have ourselves a daily ritual. During lunch Gracey runs to the dining room door and waits eagerly to see Kip. How could I refuse? Tail perked and ears alert she runs to the neighbor’s glass doors and pokes her nose at the window wanting a glimpse.

Today was an exceptional day as the two had their first photos together. I’ve done many couple photos, but this has to be one of my favorites. Trying to be festive we included the pumpkin that happens to be bigger than both dogs combined. Kip, showing off, ran around at an almost amazing record-breaking speed and jumped immediately on the idea of something big and orange to chew on. Gracey, on the other hand, prissy and properly decided she wants nothing to do with it.

I managed to get a few photos of the pumpkin episode, but candid date pictures are the most impressive.

Here's an account of their date narrated by yours truly...me! (The photos go with the words underneath it.)


"Hey Gracey! Let's go on a date!?"

"Ok, big man whatever you say!"



"First, I will bring you to some sniffin'...isn't 'tis romantic?"

"Yeah, Kip, I smell some leftover chicken!"


"Next, we'll sit across from each other and I will mesmerize you with my buldging biceps."

"You are so strong, Kip!"


"I am so funny, look Gracey...thurrrrpppp!"

"Te-he, you are silly, Kip."


"So, my little dear, how 'bout a kiss good-bye for this cool guy?"

"Oh, Kip, you make me blush!"


XOXOXOXOX


"See ya tomorrow Gracey, same time, same place."

"Ok, Lover Boy (BIG CHAWENNIE SIGH)"

And she does look happy! Ahh, the times and moments where love is sweet and innocent are greatly cherished and valued!

Monday, October 24, 2005

A Hint

I came home from LifeTeam last night and Gracey had arranged ALL her toys from one wall of the house to clear cross the other side. I walked up stairs and HAD to take this photo of her. Isn't she adorable...look at those Chawennie little eyes with her bone at her nose!
"Play with me MAMA?!!!!"

Don't worry we played and Chawennie'd a lot that night...so much so that she actually gave out before I did. How could anyone resist her.

I thank God for my little Grace.

AND BIG NEWS : she has a new boyfriend. Our next door neighbor has a small Chihuahua, Kip, that is even smaller than Gracey. They have become two peas in a pod. She waits at the door for him to come out and then they chase each other around the yard into my apartment and then to Anhelica's. Way to cute, believe me but...I will take photos of them real soon and I will be sure to post them for you!
GRACEY + KIP = PUPPY LOVE

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Thoughts About Night

I love cold weather! The cooler the better. Love sweaters, boots, and wearing long pants. Perhaps it is because of my Northern upbringing, but nights like tonight thrill me!

Last night as I waited for Sleep to arrive...which it didn't until 5am...I wrote this about Night Time. I sat with my balcony door open and felt the sting of each cold breeze hit my face while listening to ColdPlay's LIVE CD #5 over and over and over again.

Do you ever feel like darkness enhances emotions? Night time thoughts make pain feel paralyzing. It makes the one you miss that much farther away. It shows you a more complicated view of the things you are already confused about. It stirs the love you feel for someone and intensifies it by a million. Laura, Jessica, and I watched a movie that made us all cry like little babies, and then the evening proceeded to torment me with deep questions of faith, love, and future inquiries of my life's path.

So, in my "thinking spot" as I have come to identify it, I wrote this poem to try and clear my head. Don't worry...5 hours later I finally fell asleep!


Why O Night do You enhance love
Embrace Curiosity
Igniting wonder of each today and tomorrow?

What is it about Your stars that
Invoke thoughts and yearn for result
In deep expression of emotion?

Your crisp air
Breezes
Creating red rosy cheeks
And the desire to be comforted
Held
Adored

How O Song do Your words touch my soul
Beyond the wall I’ve created out of fear
Becoming my force
And dancing with me as though time perished?

Have I stepped into this picture
Purposefully timed with elegance
Planned with reason?
Will morning fade these uncertainties
Or do my words only travel as far as my heart to my lips?

Why O Night do You torment me?
Am I a puppet, a muse, for Your taking
Is what’s seen in the glow of Your darkened sun real?
With shadows creating false perception
Or is there more to sentiments in hours of darkness?

Come create Your masterpiece
Work with these healed wounds
Clarify Your intentions
So I can remember who I was
Maintain with confidence who I am
And understand Your plan for who I will be

Silly Silly Girls

We've had way too much sugar!


Smooches!
BOO! You scared yet?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

ColdPlay

ColdPlay is one of my favorite bands at the moment…thanks Mark miss ya! I started out with X & Y and now I have the LIVE 2003 Concert that is unbelievable. Not only does Guy Berryman sound like a modern day Dave Matthews, but also the words and tunes to the songs really touch me. Almost every one of the tracks brings me into my melodic utopia where all I could do for 24 hours is listen to him sing to me. I almost feel like a teenybopper chasing the Back Streets Boys years ago. I think one of my new aspirations is to hear them live at a concert. Two songs I would like to address today.

Square One (X &Y) I think I must have listened to this song about 100 times today alone. I love the last lines of this track, they are touching and valid statements especially at this age and time. I don’t think I ever heard anything real bad on either of these CD’s so I feel excellent about promoting them. Again the words are great but listening to the music and beat with it makes it even better! Happy listening!

You’re in control

is there anywhere you wanna go

you're in control

is there anything you wanna know

the future's for discovering

the space in which we travel in


from the top of the first page

to the end of the last day

from the start in your own way

you just want

somebody listening to what you say

it doesn't matter who you are


under the surface trying to break through

deciphering the codes in you

I need compas,draw me a map

I'm on the top, I can't get back

whoa whoa whoah

whoa whoa whoah


the first line in the first page

to the end of the last page

you were looking

from the start in your own way

you just want

somebody listening to what you say

it doesn't matter who you are

it doesn't matter who you are

you just want

somebody listening to what you say

oh, you just want

somebody listening to what you say

it doesn't matter who you are

it doesn't matter who you are


is there anybody out there who

is lost and hurt and lonely too

they're bleeding all the colors into one

and a few come undone

as if you've been run through

some catapult who fired you

you wonder if your chance will ever come

or if you're stuck in square one





Yellow (LIVE 2003) Yellow being one of my favorite colors, this song was a direct must favorite. His tune and voice are completely adorable and if I am certain I think he might have written it for moi! Such poetic expression! Thanks Guy! Have a listen right here! He is so cute...he offers for people to stand up to cheer for them and he will buy them all ice cream!


Tons of Songs at WebCodez.com!


Look at the stars,

Look how they shine for you,

And everything you do,

Yeah they were all yellow,



I came along

I wrote a song for you

And all the things you do

And it was called yellow



So then I took my turn

Oh all the things I've done

And it was all yellow


Your skin

Oh yeah your skin and bones

Turn into something beautiful

D'you know you know I love you so

You know I love you so



I swam across

I jumped across for you

Oh all the things you do

Cause you were all yellow



I drew a line

I drew a line for you

Oh what a thing to do

And it was all yellow



Your skin

Oh yeah your skin and bones

Turn into something beautiful

D'you know for you i bleed myself dry

For you i bleed myself dry



Its true look how they shine for you

look how they shine for you

look how they shine for you

look how they shine for you

look how they shine for you

look how they shine

look at the stars look how they shine for you



Until my next splurge! Hugs! XOXO


Olivia

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A Dose of Reality

In 1989 my sister applauded my strength by saying one day I would be an American Gladiator. I’d wear a bright red bandana like Rocky, black puffy shorts, and flex my muscle as hard as I could trying to imitate Storm, Nitro, and Thunder. I was scary let me tell you! A whole whopping eight-year-old girl with the ambition of a tiger. Does anyone remember this show where two strong, muscle showing men or women would compete against the omnipotent American Gladiator team in Power Ball, Assault, and the Wall? A test of strength, endurance, and skill would determine who wins. Running under a bridge while giant rocks are thrown, or balancing on a pole with a stick to knock down the opponent are just a few obstacles to overcome. Not often would a contestant win, but when they did it was a sight to see. The gladiators, my favorite being Elektra, Blaze, and Titan, would walk around the stage punching and kicking objects in anger. Their tight clingy clothes were bursting open at the seams from their potentially killer appendages. They were my idols and I knew one day I could take on the world just like them.

Television has definitely come along way from simulated harmless amusing shows like American Gladiator. Although at the time they produced enough commotion to stir myself, reality TV today adapts and conforms to societies need and desire for entertainment, involvement, and requirement for drama. Turning on the TV one sees a bounty of choices within these categories. Shows like Survivor, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, the Amazing Race (yeah Tracy!), Trading Spouses, Nanny 911, American Idol, the Biggest Loser, America’s Top Model, and countless other reality TV shows add to a smorgasbord of distraction. I have to admit I am guilty as charged. I love the Amazing Race, American Idol, and Extreme Makeover. I solely watch because it makes me laugh and every now and then a tear comes as well. What, my team made it to the finish line first!

Not only is one over stimulated by reality shows, other programs add to our buffet. All the CSI’s (how many are there anyway?), Desperate Housewives, Hope & Faith, LOST, Alias, the O.C., Ghost Whisperer, House, and the list maintains. I am actually preparing to watch LOST as I finish this blog. I enjoy it. I love Matthew Fox. I used to watch him on Party of Five. Sadly I must confess I am proudly addicted this show. Although I wonder if they are ever going to reconcile what this phantom is or is it going to be something silly like a white rabbit jumping down a hole into Wonder Land?

Living in a time where so much information is at our fingertips, it is wise to take a look at how much is spent being told what to think. I would not take a severe approach to cut off ties to music, technology, and other useful items. I just wonder what kind of world it will be for our future generations. Intelligent decisions are ones made with recognition of self-opinion and status, not of what the world or others think. In each and every one of these shows, whether comedy or reality, it articulates a way of living that has barely any relevance. Money, looks, self-gratification, and power are the main issues orbiting around every show and most movies today.

There are so many ways to become someone you never thought you would be. Media is a great culprit. So as it advances I remember the days when my heroes where huge men and women not trying to lose weight, but hold a little competition. And their clothes, though scarce, were still at least on their bodies.

It is fun recalling the evolution of reality TV. I guess, no surprise in that I did not turn out as much of an Elektra as I once thought I would. It is not because I am not strong enough. No, see it is just that I think her style of clothing clashes. That’s all.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The Secret Life Of A DMV Worker

It is inevitable. I am convinced there is a secret assembly of Department of Public Safety (DPS) workers conjuring up ways to irritate human kind. My ramble is subsequent to the renewal of my driver’s license. As a photographer I take pride in photos. The position, angle, lighting, and a combination of ease and comfort all compose a stunning success. Prior visits to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) taught me of a fast paced world where no one stops to make sure one looks halfway human in their photo. Employees bark out orders from behind their desk, point, shoot, have you place your thumb on the pad, sign and then within seconds you are out the door not even knowing exactly what happened and if you attained your goal of getting it renewed or not. Knowing this, I spent many hours primping and pressing. I knew I had one shot and that was it. I felt as if I were taking and exam. Even more now, like taking a final, I have been waiting for “my score” for days and was completely and utterly terrified to open the envelope and find out how I did! I watched the letter as it sat on my counter containing the photo and tried to gather up the courage to open it. As if I were reading an acceptance letter to see if I made it into Harvard or Yale, I just couldn’t do it! Finally after several moments, I went for it.

Let me pause briefly hear before taking great pains to articulate this. We are in the 21st Century and our taxes go to a lot of different things. Some valid and other reasons are illogical and concealed as to not alert society. With our taxes, the department uses digital photographs and have the ability to erase and re-do a photo. Knowing much about digital photography, it would not take but 2 seconds to at least do a considerate act of kindness by telling someone (meaning me) they could very well compare their photo to a creature of sorts like a deranged psychotic Telletubby. I could almost hear the person on my license bopping and bleeping about like those childish monsters. (As a side note: if I were a child and saw one of those "things" beside me in bed at night I would freak out and have nightmares for the rest of my adult life.)

I would like to somehow glue a normal photo of me on top, but then it creates the affect as though I am falsely using someone else’s ID. The component I am sure of, and decided today after viewing my new license, is that every month at the DMV/DPS they have a contest to see how horrible they can make someone look. Their rules and agenda are something like this:

*No sympathy for anyone.
*Don’t line up the camera, preferably cut off the top of the person’s head.
*When asking “Are you ready?” take the picture when you say the word, READY, you’ll be sure to get an odd looking photo with lips off center and shadows creating unimaginable bumps as if one has an arm growing out of the right cheek.
*Rush them as fast as you can and get them looking flustered, or better yet, while they arrange their hair.

And the list goes on.

I am not sure who won this month, but I am positive I at least made the competition challenging. I am mortified and feel passionate more than ever to not get pulled over for speeding so I wont have to show anyone my ID. I guess if this is the purpose of the employees taking those bad photos then I’ve finally figured it out! They take bad photos of people so they will obey the law and not want to get pulled over and show others their license.

Ok, Ok, Ok, you win!!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Girls Night Out



It was a well-deserved girls night out this last Thursday. My friend Casja came and visited me from Massachusetts and rented a limo for us to use for the night. All four of us wore beautiful outfits and our reservations were at a new restaurant highly recommended called Copper Creek. I met the owner the day before and had a semi-private room with the candles lit by my suggestion ready for us. My friends Kelli, Casja, and Stephanie have been through a lot with me over these last years and I knew this would be a perfect time and setting to honor them for their friendship and love. Presents were there waiting for them (including a CD I made specifically for that night in the Limo) when we walked in and the rest of the night was filled with nothing but laughter, crying because of laughter, and then doing silly things that made us laugh more.

The night symbolized more than a celebration but a new beginning for life. Many people we did not know throughout the evening came by and asked who we were and offered gestures of kindness and consideration. After dining we proceeded to the La Elegante Suites here in town to dance. It is by far not a typical event for me to participate in, but as the evening progressed, I felt more than comfortable dancing with friends and having a good time. We also reunited with a couple we saw at the restaurant that same evening. Our chauffer brought us safely home and we slept knowing this night would definitely not be one we would ever forget. In fact I can safely say at the moment, it was the best night of my life.

It was great to be with responsible loving friends that have stood by me through thick and thin. We are all very different people who offer something beautiful to a circle of friendship that obviously was noticed that evening and desired by others. Thank you all for sharing this time with me. Maybe someday soon I will share the award I received that evening!

Love Ya Girls!

Monday, October 10, 2005

The Question

Asked an incredible question the other night, I was taken by surprise. I was visiting with some friends I did not know very well. I shared a little bit of my circumstances with them and as well as the usual “WOW,” one of them asked me, “If there is one thing to learn from you [going through all this] what would it be?” I have been sick for nearly two years and have never been so dumbfounded and speechless by someone’s empathy and willingness to hear who I am.

I literally sat there for what seemed hours and thought about this single question. I explained to them it was so deep for me to think of this that I needed a moment, or more. After taking a well needed thought pow-wow, I realized I actually knew the answer. I want people to know from me that it is possible to loose everything you ever hoped for, and still hold a capacity to love and be happy in the Lord. I don’t necessarily care about Inspired by Grace, how healthy I seem, or any other accomplishments. I amaze myself in that I made it this far, because honestly sometimes I want to give up in a real and desperate way. But somewhere between every breath hurting and having a peace that makes no sense, I traveled farther than I thought.

The simple question asked that night was involved in a near 3-hour conversation. Little did they know moments before that discussion, I felt tired of how people seemed to not understand me. I felt ostracized and tainted by things that happened to me in which I never chose. But in a world where most choose not to live accepting reality, I must grasp I will stand out. Sometimes I will be welcomed, and other times I will be uninvited. Sometimes I will be favored and other times I will be no-body. Sometimes I will be accepted and other times I will be unusual. But either way I desire to be a testimony for the Lord.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

"Held"

I made a major mistake today. I bought a CD recommended to me and played a song while I was driving. To be perfectly honest I have no clue how I arrived at my destination. Blurred vision from tears, I held the car wheel tight and felt the all to familiar clench in my throat triggering a sense of panic and sorrow. How have I never heard this before? Who wrote this song? Does she know me? Is it about me and the loss of my daughter? Has she been following me around these last 3 years? I could hardly listen past the first verse and went on with my evening and driving once again returning home I felt a pull toward the CD player and pressed to hear number nine. This time I thought I would be ok, but with darkness now set in, my tears became a definite handicap to my drive home. Sobs followed and my heart knew this song was written in trueness, in complete awareness of the depth of sorrow. Only one, who has witnessed and experienced such events, can possibly learn how to express it like this.

I tell others when speaking of my story, I never knew the Lord allowed pain like I felt exists. How could our God, a loving God, let grief consume ones heart? I cried and asked the same questions Christa Wells, the writer did after tragedy and adversity occurred one after another. Sound familiar?

Natalie Grant’s new album, Awaken, captures Christa’s heart and confrontational cries to the Lord. It’s not fair Lord, it’s not supposed to be this way! Wow! How many times have I laid on the floor in agony crying these exact words? Too many to count! But I am redeemed by a God who promised that even when everything is torn away, we would be held, comforted in a spiritual way.

Through everything I have experienced, I see and feel this promise. I am held up day to day by the power of the Lord and His ability to give peace to those who seek it and ask for it.

Is it coincidence her name too is Natalie GRA? Is it a coincidence her volume is labeled Awakening and this song speaks about the death of a child? I don’t know exactly, but what I do know is her song, “Held” is strong and powerful testimony cutting through the bondage of bewilderment and surrender. And although many tears were shed listening to it over and over today, something tells me I need to hear it.

Natalie Grants website speaks of this song as it writes about the lyrics and the author,

“The stirring second single, "Held", captivates with its lyrical depth, revealing the promises of God during times of suffering. Written by Christa Wells in the wake of losing two loved ones, "Held" takes "the hand of bitterness" and reveals where God is when prayers seemingly aren't answered and when life doesn't make sense."

Also: "Christa Wells, a part-time songwriter and stay-at-home mom of three in North Carolina wrote this song in response to two very difficult losses that happened within 48 hours. And for her, I think it must have been one of those total shake-your-fist-at-God moments where you cry, “Why God?” These are the things in life that we cannot understand or explain, and the lyrics reflect that honesty. God didn’t promise us we’d be okay or that life would be easy. My faith does not protect me from pain, but it provides me with peace. God only promises us that when we suffer, when we’re in pain, we’ll be held in His arms through every circumstance.”


Music is incredible and powerful, containing an instant vehicle to the throne of God. I believe this song is a ministry in itself and I pray one day I can use the words the Lord gave me to comfort others. I am so fortunate to have heard this song today and have a way to know that others understand and have taken the same measures to weep and inquire the purpose of God.

Natalie Grant - Held, from the album Awaken

Two months is too little
They let him go
They had no sudden healing
To Think That Providence
Would take a child from his mother
While she prays, is appalling
Who told us we’d be rescued
What has changed and
Why should we be saved from nightmares
Were asking why this happens to us
Who have died to live, it’s unfair
Chorus:
This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and know
That the promise was when everything fell
We’d be held
This hand is bitterness
We want to taste it and
Let the hatred numb our sorrows
The wise hand opens slowly
To lilies of the valley and tomorrow
Chorus:
If hope if born of suffering
If this is only the beginning
Can we not wait, for one hour
Watching for our Savior
Chorus: (2X’s)

Friday, October 07, 2005

Making Sense

An amazing analogy hit me the other day when Kelli and I sat at Starbucks sipping hot tea on a cool windy evening. We talked about the Lord’s direction and discipline to His followers. It is common to think of a parent/child relationship when thinking of one knowing what is best for others. Like getting a shot. What child wants one? We took Maddison to the doctor the other day and to say the least, she was not a happy camper. But Kelli had to take her so she could get well. When the doctor arrived Maddie began to cry and scream and all we could do was hold her so the Doctor could examine her. Maddison had no clue why Mama was doing this. Maybe she was confused and her little mind became frustrated that someone she trusted would hold her and let this man with cold hands touch her belly and neck.

What she did not know was this was needed. Kelli’s love for her daughter brought her to find out what was wrong so she could get well. This is just the tip of the iceberg considering the depth of an analogy Kelli, and other parents continues to demonstrate. Something deeper surfaced in our conversation and a similarity struck so deep inside my soul that I literally became still and just thought and thought about this concept.

So many times we want answers to the tragedy and pain in our lives. I do. I want to know why the Lord allowed certain things to happen to me. I cried to God many times and questioned the plan. I wanted to know the plan, the reasons, and the outcome. Slowly the Lord showed me, with love, these questions may be sensible, but He cannot reveal everything to us because it would be too much.

So here’s the analogy: like it would not make sense for Kelli to explain to her 17month old daughter why she vacuums the house, it would not make sense for us to ask the Lord why the world and the things that happen in it are the way they are. Maddie’s brain, her little mind would not be able to handle the rationalization and explanation. All she knows is her world, and her Mama and Dad take care of her and show her love. Kelli could sit Maddison down on her lap and say: “Well, we vacuum the house because everyday when people go in and out they track stuff in here on their shoes. Then also when we eat, crumbs and other stuff get on the floor. There are also germs on the floor, which are microscopic organisms that cause illness and other problems like allergies. I get this machine that sucks up all the dirt and germs and then mop so it can be clean.” I think when Kelli said the word “well” she would have already lost her.

Sometimes we expect children to understand and learn complex things that they just can’t handle. Try to tell her of war, poverty, and people bad enough to require imprisonment for the rest of their life. She would freeze and perhaps formulate an idea that would not be correct. It would just be too great for her to comprehend. It would be silly to expect her to know. This is the way it is with us wanting and trying to rationalize and explain the way the world is to adults. God knows, and if He told us all of His plans, it would be too much. We would be immobilized. Although at times I wanted to, I realize now it is damaging for us to know the whole picture.

This is also why I feel strongly about children growing up too fast. They can’t handle it, and mature knowing and seeing the world through tainted spectacles of fear and insecurity.
I end with awareness that this is not as easy as I write it to be. When things happen it takes months and years for one to even desire to understand this concept. God graciousness allows a relationship with Him that gives us permission to approach His throne in sorrow, pain, and even anger to know and understand Him in our lives.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Entrustment

I forget sometimes the Lord gave me a special entrustment. I catch myself slightly doubting the miracle He preformed in my body and in my soul. Not as though I sit and distrust He healed me, but sometimes by a simple non-thought out action it causes disruption in my assurance. How could I ever go back to how I was prior to these wonders? It is not possible. I would be a fool. Complete and utter stupidity it would be. I am given a new chance, a new life, and I am accountable to the Lord to use it for His glory.

Lazarus was raised from the dead. Literally he was gone, deceased, and then Jesus healed him, and he walked out of the tomb and said “Hey, let’s go to McDonald’s.” No, not quite, but he walked and praised the Lord! I never died and came back to life, although some may differ, me being one of them, but certainly not to the extent of my friend Lazzy. It is easy to know of biblical men and women, what they did, and what they did wrong, but like our need to personalize Jesus, maybe it would be worth exploring the fact that Lazarus was changed forever. Could he go about abusing his body or living as though God were not real? No way! It would be foolish…absolutely ridiculous! God healed Lazarus. He touched him, and gave him an entrustment to be a walking and living testimony to His power. Imagine if Lazarus decided not to follow the Lord and he wasted his life,... his second chance? How horrible to even think or suggest this.

I know who I am by the miracles God showed me these past few years, and how He continues to bless me everyday. I look for it and expect to see His works and wonders. I have a calling on my life, on my present, and on my future. You and I must live with the realization that we all have an entrustment, a jewel to protect, and this treasure is ourselves. God wont do it for us, it is our responsibility to desire and make choices that build us up and strengthen our minds.

Be blessed today and remember Who and Whose you are.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

My Natalie

My Natalie,

Two years ago I held you in my arms. After I waited nearly eight months to see you and dreaming of what you would look like, I only had less than a half hour to soak up every detail of your innocence and beauty to carry me through a lifetime. Do I remember correctly, or is time playing its game and robbing me of memories already? Three days I spent in unexpected labor asking every possible question through my pain and tears. Hours upon hours I breathed and cried these words, “How can this ever be ok?” Days went by, unwelcomed weeks passed, soon a year was gone and I sat at your grave wondering how different life should have been. At one you would have been walking, laughing, and completely adored. Yes, last year on this day, I missed you with every fiber of my being. I yelled, cried, and pounded my fists to the floor in complete agony over your death. I was searching for all this to somehow be ok, for it to make sense, but my journey did not end here.

My baby, my daughter, my angel.

Today, though another year has passed, my wounds are still not healed. But something has happened over this last year, Natalie, something amazing. I no longer try to make sense of things not explainable. To try and do so is torture. I wanted answers for so long, and although when I get to heaven I may still ask the Lord, I take my faith and believe His ways are higher than my ways. I have to somehow not allow this pain to eat me alive. It has tried, but if I believe you are in heaven, how could I waste my life being angry? I promised a long time ago, I would never allow anger to define my entire life and future. Your birth and death have, but the anger I carry has been buried as well. The passion I feel is being turned into greatness rather than creating more pain.

My past, my present, my future.

So many people know of you Natalie. They speak your name with me and remember you today. You, being as you are, an angel of the Lord, generate more reality that can never be expressed in my heart. My joys are happier because of you, and my sorrow is more painful because of you. But either way, I love what you mean to me. I love what saying and hearing your name does to my heart. I love dreaming of you so convincingly, that I honestly believe sometimes I actually was with you walking, playing, and laughing.

My beloved, my passion, my heart.

I don’t know what this next year will bring. All I know is you wont be here with me to find out. I can’t change this. I can turn blue in the face, holding my breath, waiting for it to change, and it would make no difference. If there were anyway to know you could be here with me, I would attempt it. Nothing can stop a mother’s love for her child. Most of all, I want you to know I love you. I think of you everyday. I wonder how many times by now would I have said your name. How many boo-boos would I have kissed, and how many lullabies would I have sung you. Do you remember the song I sang every day to you?

“Trust in the Lord with all of you heart lean not on your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight. Don’t worry about tomorrow; He’s got it under control. Just trust in the Lord with all of your heart and He will carry you through. Oh, Lord sometimes it gets so rough, to keep my eyes on You when things are going rough. But then I turn my eyes up to the sky and I hear You voice it says to me…” ~repeat~ (Prov. 3:5,6)

I love you my angel, forever and always,
Love Mama