Monday, March 27, 2006

the Man

The first time I saw him I was in a hurry. I was on the move as usual probably going either to the McCraken or Elmwood manor. It seemed rather odd to me at first, but now I kind of envy him. Robed in white linen he walks with both hands clasped at his back starring. His intensity looked as if he was studying something extravagant! Maybe it was a space ship that landed on earth from Pluto, or Madonna handing out free money! But, no…he was in awe of a mesquite tree.

I nearly ran my car off the road looking in my rearview mirror to see exactly what this mysterious non-American dressed man would do. I have seen him several times now: he merely walked along the side of the yard watching the sky, stopping as though what he dissected with his eyes is intricate details upon a canvas in a museum. His face was dark-skinned and grimaced allowing nothing but his thoughts to entertain. He stopped by the tree and looked up. Cars zoomed by, perhaps even a meteor could land right next to him and I am convinced he would not even be startled.

He is a lover of beauty, a spiritualist, and most likely seeking tranquility in nature. Maybe he is a monk, chastened to not speak and always pray. Whoever he is I admire his discipline and see beauty in his ability to shut off the world and exist. If only we took as much time just being with the Lord. Even walking around silent with our hands behind our back literally seeking Him…I am certain we would discover a whole new world of splendor that we never knew existed.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Circumstance

I have decided no longer will I be a product of circumstance. Ups and downs, unanticipated events, and expectations design a complicated roller coaster that can make the toughest of stomachs churn. Everyday swings one way or the other and dependency evolves on the “high’s” to reconcile and make sense of the times where no one and nothing can explain what the heart feels. I am not a woman of circumstance and desire to have faith in the unexplainable and love for the unforgivable.

I confess that more often than I should I desire to know what the Lord is doing. If I just knew why He allows something and if I could somehow be offered a spiritual discussion of my future with Jesus I would feel better. Maybe He would tell me I would find love, have a great ministry with IBG, and never have to worry about money. Seriously Jesus…we need to talk! LOL! But really, I have concluded there is a way and this is faith. Faith and hope are the puzzle pieces linking the present with what He has for us in the future. It acts as an assurance to what’s to come.

Another aspect of circumstance is how much control we allow others to have over our emotions and lives. I confess…I am from up north and learned to drive on roads entirely different from Abilene, Texas. Somehow here, my road-rage-alism (LOL) followed me!? Instantly one can affect me while I am driving in my car. It bothers me when people go REAL slow…or when someone follows right on my BUMPER…or when someone cuts me off and then gets frustrated at ME for even breathing near them…and the thing about it, is I allow it to frustrate me.

At our Bible study on Friday nights we have been studying the book of James. He wrote in chapter 1 verse 6 “…because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” Being tossed back and forth is terrible; you have no control and are at the mercy of the wind as it chooses your fate. So it is with being thrown around by events. I am not saying it is possible to not be affected by things, but I want my overall reaction to be that of one who knows the Lord is truly in control. I don’t want to be manipulated by society and media. It is something I have been deep in thought about for days now and pray the Lord will keep teaching me of His truth.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Durango, Colorado

DURANGO SKI TRIP 2006
Last Friday Ryan, Joanna, Ben, and I went to Durango, Colorado to ski. We left Texas late Friday night and got there the next morning over 12 hours later...what a drive let me say! "Silver Speed-O" (my car) made it all the way there and back with getting stopped by the cops twice (good thing we had 2 Air Force Pilots to get out of a ticket) and nearly getting in 4 accidents from slipping on the ice.

It was so beautiful there...very snowy and wintery. I had a blast! We got back this morning really really early at 3am so I am very tired. I actually got to ski on Monday. I only fell when I was going down the blue trail...otherwise I had a clean slate...but I was challenged to take a risk and sure did!

I will will have to write more about it later, but I wanted to post some photos...


"Beauty as we feel it is something indescribable; what it is or what it means can never be said."
GEORGE SANTAYANA

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

In Thought

Although I’ve been called it, I’ve never thought myself a hero. Perhaps, at times the word “brave” past my mind, but to be considered someone God uses to encourage others humbles me. When I began this blog it felt like a risk “what would people think…the ones who knew me when they found out my heart…and then the ones who never met me and happened to stumble upon my thoughts?” To me, sometimes I feel like I’m simply just a “story.” But, I proclaim that this is all real. My struggles in these posts are true and were written in hopes that one day, like tonight, I’d be able to look back and see how far I have come…how far the Lord brought me because I chose to seek Him. Lately my posts have declined. Reason being how rich my life has been. That girl who sat alone with her dog and guitar now has so many friendships with all sorts of people that if I wanted to and could, I’d be busy every night. My business is where it needs to be and I pray and hope each day I can continue to somehow show what the Lord has done through my photography. Recently I had my second annual Inspired by Grace artist reception and was incredibly blessed by selling half of my show in one night! Praise God. And although I may not be the best speaker, I desire to travel and tell people what God has done. I don’t have all the answers but I’ve discovered something valuable at such a “young age”: God is consistent- and His will is not contingent upon us- it is our willingness to be a vessel for Him that pleases Him and gives an opportunity to show how powerful He can be. He is Compassion.

I can’t explain why my Natalie died. In the depths of sadness, when I cried that I could handle forged love, being sick needing Chemotherapy, but why was I tortured with the death of my baby girl? I learned that this is what faith truly is. It is scary to ask for something in prayer with your whole heart…something as innocent and pure as your child’s life and not get it. I find Natalie Grants words from her song “Held” useful…

This hand is bitterness
We want to taste it
Let the hatred numb our sorrow

I’ve met so many people, even just lately through my business and blog, who have been brave enough to share their stories with me. Some are in the beginning stages of Chemotherapy…angry, mad, and depressed. Others have beat the odds like I have and find themselves struggling against societies pull of “should be’s and have to’s.” And many, too many, take on the role like my family did two years ago today…feeling helpless watching someone they love and cherish fade into pain, possible death, and just holding onto hope as though it were a string between a cliff and their own demise.

I wish with all I am I could give comfort to those who are facing such trials. But, I know by experience things don’t go the way we want, nor the way we think God wants. It’s scary, horrible, terrible, and should not exist. But, But, BUT…God is real. Even if we are mad at Him, honesty is better than running away.

My heart goes out tonight to all who have to deal with the insensitivity of the world…the majority who disregard life and love as something so casual. I hate that you cry...I hate that you are scared when you act brave…I hate that you feel alone. But keep going because God IS there when you call for Him. Maybe someday I’ll be able to tell my whole story of how God comforted me in the hospital when I was dying…how I felt I was given a choice to “live or die” and chose, what at the time was the harder one knowing I was on a transplant list, to live if God would only just be there with me and show His glory through my life. He chose to heal me soon after this night a little over two years ago. And although Chemo is still necessary I know He healed me that night.

Just writing these words has blessed and renewed my heart. Everyday is so precious and I pray I will never live otherwise.

With Hope for my friend,

Olivia Lility