Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Beauty of it All

It seems that, for whatever reason, the past three or four weeks have really piled up on me. My plate has just been heaped upon and not with fun stuff like desserts. It has been filled to the brim of physical pain, illness, disappointments, and a move. It has been hard and exhausting. Yet, in the midst of it all, I saw the gift in it today at bible study.

There is NOTHING more moving and freeing than being prayed over by godly women. The prayers of spirit-filled, bold, loving sisters is one of the most beautiful gifts God has given us in this life. Women who will cry with you, laugh with you, lay hands on you, and just genuinely love you are a blessing like no other out there. That is the gift I received today. During a lengthy prayer time for all of us, a sweet sister whom I have grown to dearly love prayed over me. We all cried together and a few women put their arms and hands on me for comfort. The peace and love that flooded me was overwhelming. After the prayer, I talked to a woman whose story is mine. She has gone through the EXACT same thing that I have and she was SO encouraging. What hope!!

These women are a huge reason for a decision that I have recently made. I have decided to stay as West Houston instead of seeking a church home elsewhere. How in the world could I be anything other than thrilled with the future knowing that these women are in it with me? What a blessing to have such sisters in Christ!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Laughing Through the Pain

During one of my rest breaks yesterday, I saw this clip from Scrubs and I laughed my head off. Ted's second set of comments kills me (literally - my throat REALLY hurt)! Even if you don't like Scrubs, it is short. Enjoy!

Friday, July 25, 2008

When It Rains, It Pours....

Found out today that I have strep throat. And I'm moving on Monday. I tried to change it to Tuesday and remembered that all utilities and such are switching on Monday so it would just be too much work. So I'm sick and packing.

Please pray over the next few days....

Thursday, July 24, 2008

From a Distance

I'm terrible about keeping in touch with people. I try to but I'm not anywhere as good as I should be. I love my friends (both new and old) and they leave such a lasting impression on who I am. There are very specific faces that my mind's eye sees in various times in my life. You give me the stage in life and I will tell you who I was closest to. Even if I don't touch base as often as I should, I treasure each one SO dearly in my heart. My biggest fear is that once life moves people on, I will be forgotten about or left behind. But it is a fact of life. That is what happens when life moves on. People establish new relationships and continue growing.

Somehow, that doesn't make it feel any better when you realize that you have been left behind as the group moves on together without you.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Desired Quality

A few weeks ago, I was visiting with a new friend about different bible studies, conferences, and speakers we have both experienced. She was talking about how she loves all of these things but her husband is less drawn to those things. She said she was fine with that because he was her plumbline - the one she can depend on to hold things up to as truth (as referenced in Amos 7). As she talked about that, all I could think was how sweet that was and how much I would like that one day.

You see, I am more open to listening to people and seeing what they believe. I am a very curious person and am willing to hear people out to see what they think/believe. I am grounded enough to know when a truth is spoken and when something doesn't sit well with me. However, something that I would one day like very much is someone that I can call my plumbline. I know that is the Word of God but follow me here. I would love to be with someone who encouraged me to grow and study in faith, seek a closer relationship with God, and study with me. To be able to talk about what I am learning would be SUCH a blessing. To have someone who would listen to what I'm a little unclear on but is grounded in scripture to patiently sit down and open-mindly seek truth. To discuss and study together. To listen and learn from as a partnership. To be that spiritual leader. I'm not looking for a theologian, just a student of God Himself.

I have no doubt that God will provide that for me (despite the extreme emotional ups and downs of this time of preparation by God). I await in excited anticipation of the plumbline God is preparing for me and, I pray, that He is preparing me to be!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Oh Well....

So I know that the last post wasn't exactly the most thrilling. This one isn't really either but it has a more optimistic ending. Promise!

A few weeks ago, I was in a lot of pain because of running stuff. Legs, knees, and pelvis were KILLING me. I went to see a massage therapist and it helped a little but not enough. After weeks of rest, I was feeling almost ready to head back to the group and start towards my goal - January's Half Marathon! WOO HOO! If only....

On Monday, I had the WORST lower back pains that I have ever had. Nothing was comfortable, pain was shooting to my ankle, and I had a headache that grew as the back pain grew. I've had lower back pain before but never anything like this one. It has gotten better as the week has gone on but I'm still uncomfortable. However, better to be safe than sorry so I went to the doctor today. Turns out that I had a disc slip out of place in my bottom five vertebrae. Fun stuff. Thankfully, he said that it sounds like it is slipping back in on its own so no further tests, doctors, or surgery (yes, I was worried about that one) are needed. I got some muscle relaxers that I am going to partake in as soon as this is published and that should allow for the disc to slip back in with more ease and less pain. Lots of rest and no lifting.

Great news, right!? I was pretty excited and relieved until he started discussing longer term preventative care. Basically, he said that since I have a tendency for my disc to slip and then heal itself, I need to avoid weight bearing exercise like...you guessed it - running. He told me that using an elliptical and swimming would be best but even biking would be "iffy". He didn't say stop running altogether but to cut WAY back. No more than a few times a week and shorter distances (~3 miles). Translation - no half marathon for Dana. My body has kicked me out of the race for good.

I'm pretty disappointed. I really wanted to do it! I was loving running and I felt better about myself physically, mentally, and emotionally than I have in so long. Now I'm out of it. I know that I can still run and get that feeling but the whole "working towards a goal" thing is gone. I'll miss the group I was running with. I cannot tell you how thankful I am to not have worse damage. I am SO glad to have avoided surgery or other injury. I'm just so selfish!

Definitely much to be thankful for!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Quite Crafty!

So I guess Satan saw that last post and has decided that it is his turn to have a go at me. Nothing major. Just the usual pity party/overly sensitive/physical discomfort stuff that tends to come up. It has just hit pretty hard this time. Silly things that I see and read that are striking my heart a little harder than they usually would. I feel really ridiculous to not be able to shake it off or have better control of things. Oh well, this is a light and momentary trouble, right!? :)

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

After the Fire Came a Gentle Whisper

I am amazed at the way that the Lord works and how He speaks to us. So many people experience it so many different ways. I am in awe! A friend and I were discussing it last night. I told her that the way that I often hear Him is in constant reminders throughout my day - a person repeatedly comes to mind, a verse is called to mind at random moments, or a specific song is played each time I turn on my radio. The other way is when reading familiar scriptures and a text takes on a sudden new meaning that I have missed in the first 28 years of my reading. It blows me away!

The thing about seeing God's work is that, for me, it is never enough. Lately I have been praying for open spiritual eyes and ears all around me - especially when studying. God has been good and has blessed me immensely. He has been faithful to reveal Himself as all knowing on a very personal level not only about me present but about my past and my future. He is teaching me what it means to approach His throne of grace with CONFIDENCE and to anticipate Him in exciting ways. He has also been revealing truths to me about who I am what I need. I have been presented with challenges about prayer and knowing scripture that I look forward to working to meet. I know He'll meet me there.

It has been a good two weeks!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Up to My Eyeballs!

I have always been a reader. One downside to being a teacher is that for nine months a year, those personal indulgence things that you love get put off to the side. Well, in April, I decided that asking for a few minutes a night to read wasn't asking too much. Silly me forgot that I get totally engrossed in books, hit my stride, and look up two hours later shocked by what time it is. That isn't good for during the school year but I'm loving it this summer! I've knocked out more books in the past couple of months that I have in the past couple of years combined! It's SO nice to just read! I currently feel like Dad because I have a stack of books to read (10 to be exact) and they are all good sized novels. My goal is one a week. We will see.....

I've always been relatively proud of being a well rounded reader. At the same time, I have been a little bit of a snob towards one genre - Christian fiction. For some reason, I thought it would be less than other genres, filled with gooshiness and less than quality writing. Thankfully, I have been corrected in that area! How foolish of me to think that God wouldn't use that talent for Himself let alone bless others through it! I've read a couple of stand alone books, started on a GREAT series called "The Yada Yada Prayer Group", and am about to start the "Mark of the Lion" series (Thanks, Jackie!). I'm excited!

So if anyone has any authors or specific novels in this genre, let me know. I'm new to this one and loving it!