Can I be honest?

This post may or may not be very long, include multiple, seemingly unrelated topics, and appear somewhat disjointed. You have been forewarned.

I heard a song the other day one Air1. It was incredible, it set a fire in my mind, a chain reaction that lead to the most electrifying, thrilling thoughts about Heaven. Allow me to share with you the gist of the thoughts it inspired within my lil’ head.

We often think of Heaven for what will be there when we arrive. The untouched, pure nature, the animals, the people we miss, and of course, more than any of that, finally being with our Creator. And that is AWESOME. But there’s a part of Heaven I never even considered in depth until hearing this song.

We’ll be there. The real us. Not the sin hampered, war torn version of us that is present currently, but the part of us that is true and perfect. Everything truly good about us, the things that were knit into our being by God, those little glimmers of what we are truly meant to be when fully realized in Jesus will finally be set completely free of temptation, sin, and the weight of the burdens of this world.

Yes, Jesus has already freed us from sin, but how many of us have had those many, many times when we tried to rely on our own strength to fight temptation and failed miserably? *raises hand*  We are free from sin, but sin still has and influence on our lives, whether through our own actions or indirectly through the actions of others. Take a few moments to just sit and imagine being totally yourself, minus every sinful thought you’ve ever had, minus every memory of every failure, every unkind thought that ever crossed your mind. The freedom of no longer having to guard your heart, your eyes, your ears, and your mind from the evils of this world. Total freedom. Totality of redemption. The fullness of perfection. The weightlessness of your soul, no longer oppressed by a hostile world, or poisoned by the unavoidable inundation of crude humor, language and images.

I don’t know about you, but that is extremely exciting to me.

With that in mind, please enjoy the song. 🙂

If, at this point you’ve wondered about the title and warning at the beginning of this post, “Be honest about what?”, here it is.

I haven’t actually sat down and spent time in my Bible in …. I’m not even sure. A while.

I haven’t spent true, quality time praying and talking/listening to God in almost as long. Not counting the three or four times I’ve cried myself to sleep while talking to God recently, or the times I’ve spent maybe 20 minutes in prayer in my car before work.

Related to the above, I’ve cried myself to sleep a lot lately. Actually, I’ve just plan cried a lot.

I have been struggling so hard to be positive, to put effort into my friendships, to even reply to text messages.

Now, I consider myself to be somewhat of a smart cookie. (Is that a phrase? Or is it tough cookie? Because cookies should be soft, tough cookies are gross…) I know that if I solved the first problem (spending time in God’s Word), the other ones would pretty much take care of themselves. I know this. Truly. How can I experience the peace of God when I don’t spend time seeking His face? Answer, I can’t. I must seek His presence if I want to be lifted from this depressive state I’m currently in. But will you, whomever you may be, please pray for me? Even if it’s just a quick little prayer while you’re reading this post, it would be appreciated.

I miss my mom. I miss home cooked food. I miss having time to make my own home cooked food. I miss having someone to talk about “girl stuff” with. That’s what I’m crying over. I miss the life I used to have. Before the loss. I feel crushed under the weight of that loss sometimes.

We finally had her stone engraved and placed. It’s beautiful, but, they only put one “T” in Matthew. Not that big of a deal, you say? No one will notice? That’s true. But I cried about it for almost 30 minutes when I noticed it.

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I wanted it to be perfect. Does she care if there’s a T missing from Matthew? Nooo. But still, it bothered me that much. Less so now, but still… It’s there.

I feel like a total train wreck on the inside lately, and I miss being a child. Being able to just break down and cry whenever and wherever you are when you feel overwhelmed, and it be socially acceptable. Adults aren’t allowed to break down. Adults have to be… “adult” about it. Take it in stride. Keep on keeping on. But I feel like I just need a week to break down, fall apart completely, and start from scratch, much like I did when I was off work for two weeks after my mom died.

But I can’t do that. I have to keep going. Keep smiling. It may be a dark night, but there is a dawn approaching. I can’t see it yet, but through the promises of Christ, I know it’s coming. I have hope.

A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.

~Isaiah 42:3 (Matthew 12:20 as well.)

I may be a bruised weed, but He will mend me and set me straight and tall again.

Ambulances

Ever since November 22, 2014 I have had an emotional reaction to seeing ambulances running lights and siren to or from an incident. I’ve always made it a point to pray for police officers when I see them running code or stopping a car, having family members and friends in law enforcement makes you more sensitive to the dangers of their job. And I’ve always made a point to pray for the people I see involved in car accidents along the road, but it hasn’t been until now how important ambulances, EMS, and EMT’s are. My mom wasn’t currently in critical condition when she took her last ride in an ambulance, but that ride marked the last time she traveled anywhere, the last time she sat in a brand new recliner her parents had purchased for her, which had only arrived hours before.

There is something sobering about putting yourself in another persons/family’s shoes. What does that ambulance ride mean for them? I remember looking through the blinds in the computer room of my house, watching them roll my mom, who laughed and joked with them the whole way, out to the ambulance and load her in. I remember a sense of just, complete denial. “This isn’t necessary. She’s being over dramatic. She could have walked out to a car on her own. She’s fine. She’ll be back in no time, she’s getting better.” But as much as my brain tried to convince me that everything was fine, my heart was heavy. I spent the rest of that day alone in the house, listening to the clocks tick, wondering what it would be like to live in a house without her and trying to convince myself that wasn’t going to happen.

And that’s what comes to me every time I see an ambulance. So I take a few moments and pray for them, for the EMT’s, the family. Because I know what it’s like to feel like you’re floating in an ocean of unknown.

I say all this as a reminder, to you, my loyal readers. It’s very easy to get to the point in your life where you just motor along, totally absorbed in your life and your mission and your purpose. Taking time to set all the “you” aside and put yourself in another’s position, pray for them not with pity, but with empathy, is something indescribably valuable. Not only is prayer powerful, and you are no doubt having an impact on their life as they fight the battle of this world, but opening yourself up to another’s struggle helps you better appreciate your own blessings. At least, it has for me.

Second, lesser thought for you along similar lines… I’ve been going on long walks lately, about 2.5 miles. Last time I did this, about half way through, I realized that I was walking along staring at the ground. For good reason, the route I take is quite rocky and uneven in places, and I don’t like twisted ankles. But, when I realized this and looked up, took in the scene around me and looked ahead instead of right where I was, I instantly felt better. Like, emotionally and physically felt a lot better. As it turns out, looking down slightly constricts your air ways, so you feel very slightly light headed if you’re doing something strenuous and looking down the whole time (oops). Seeing the light of the sun and the wind in the trees always makes me a happier person in general. I’m way too tired at the moment to make some great life lesson out of this about not getting caught up in the struggles of the day. Instead, just, look around at how beautiful everything is when you walk and… y’know.. Breathe.. normally… It helps, I promise!

I think I’ll head towards the bed now. heh…

~TQG

Jumping In

Starting back to work this evening with a sneeze. Or two. Or ten. Was kept awake much of last night with a cold, and broke out the cold meds this morning. Lots of vitamin C, zinc, cranberry juice, coffee, and water. And so far I have emptied and repurposed one box of tissue. They make great mini trash cans once they’re empty! … I’ll go to work smelling like vaporizing chest rub rather than perfume… Sadly…

These last few days have been a huge struggle. I miss my mom. It all feels so unreal, like a bad dream. The grief roller coaster is rough, laughing one minute and feeling like your chest is about to crack open from sadness the next. Stress of the unknown is constantly knocking at our door as we try and figure out how to manage bill payment. There are 11 different medical bills all needing paid. Eleven. And not little bills either. And on top of that, electric, water, internet, mortgage (why is there a T in that word??) and phone bills. All of this I knew existed before, but never had to sit down and look at the numbers… I’m glad I’m learning it now, but it’s still a lot to take in.

Literally just now I’m getting a text from my manager asking if I can come in early… *sighs* Thus begins my jump off the cliff of real life.

Wife Material

With the help of one of my very best friends, I’ve been staying in my Bible daily for a while now. Literally daily, which is something I haven’t been successful with consistently until recently. It’s helping me a lot. 

Basically what we’ve been doing is sending a text to one another with what we read that day and at least one thing we got from it. The great thing about that for me is, rather than just reading a certain bit of scripture, I have to really examine it and seek out at least one thing to learn from it. No matter how busy or tired I am, I have to find something, and that searching has lead to a lot of spiritual nourishment for me. It’s also neat to see how different bits of scripture come across to different people, it’s a learning experience.

Recently I was reading in 1 Timothy, and in chapter 5 (verses 4&8) I had a thought about my families current health situations. Right now I’ve had to serve my family a lot, and that’s been really good for me, I feel like I’ve grown a lot through it. It’s very encouraging to know that my actions toward my family in our time of need please Him. I’m no where near perfect, I don’t always have a good attitude, I fail a lot, but those times when I get it right, or at least try to get it right, He is pleased. That’s awesome.  Not to mention, it’s great wife practice! I’m looking forward to being a wife, and eventually a mother, every experience I have now will add to my pool of knowledge for that time. Pretty cool.

 

In unrelated news, I have stopped breeding gerbils now, and am slowly adopting out all except my favorite males. Once I’m down to just my keepers, I’ll be adopting a hedgehog!! (Roll your eyes and laugh, but animals have always been my thing, it’s just who I am. ^_^ ) I’ve already got a deposit down with a breeder to keep me on the waiting list, she tells me she should have a litter in about 3 weeks, and then it has to be weaned before I can come pick it up. It’ll be about an hour drive to go get it, so I’ll probably take the day off and enjoy my little mini road trip. I’m very excited. 😀 I’ve wanted a hedgie since I was about 14, so I figure at 21, I deserve to go for it.

SO looking forward to the Fall weather. We had a cold front come through about a week ago, it was in the low 60’s that morning and never got over 75f the rest of the day. Absolutely gorgeous. So excited to break out my cozy long sleeves, sweaters, hoodies and scarves. Best time of year ever. ^_^

That’s it for now, folks! Off to clean the microwave, vacuum the house, dust the tables and whatever odd house chores are waiting to be done. 😛 haha

Prayer Request

Currently, my mom is still sick (that’s pretty much a constant factor) my dad just had spinal surgery, which leaves me as the only healthy, able-bodied member of my family. It’s been rough.

Praise God for friends though, we’ve been so blessed to have friends coming out of the woodwork, from Facebook especially, learning about our dilemma and stepping up to help us. Making us dinner (and bring paper plates so we won’t have dishes!), running errands for us when I’m at work, it’s been a huge weight off our shoulders and a big encouragement.

Still, emotionally and mentally, it’s hard on all of us to be down like this. We are struggling. We’ve spent a lot of time in prayer, which helps a lot.

Speaking of which, if any of my blog followers would be so kind as to pray for my family, that would be awesome.

 

 

Falling in Love

I posted a video of an hour(ish) long sermon a few weeks ago, I titled that post “The Definition of Love” if my memory serves. (And it may not, so I apologize.) It is a fabulous message and I really enjoyed it, it keeps coming back to me time and time again.

Today I was at work, nursing one of the many small injuries I acquired today–mostly paper cuts, guinea pig scratches and one bite from an angry Russian hamster (today was not my day) and thinking about not the definition of Love, the verb, the action, the thing you can and should act out with every person you come in contact with, but the definition of falling in love.

I was once waiting in line for a burrito bowl at Moe’s (one of my favorite places to eat) when I heard a girl say to her friends “I think I’m falling in love with him… I’m not sure, but I think I am.” It made me mad. Not mad with her, but with our culture. Maybe it’s just me, but I know when I’m in love. I don’t mean romantic, lovey dovey “oh he’s so cute and funny and he has a nice smile” thing, that is what’s called a crush. I don’t have those. I might occasionally meet/see a guy who I have a temporary interest in, but it is always a critical interest. Each time I come in contact with him I analyze him. What’s the point of having some kind of “thing” for a guy who is attractive, but deep down just a shallow jerk? It’s such a waste!

So what does it mean to fall in love, then? I honestly can’t say definitively. But I can say what it means for me.

Falling in love is when you’ve analyzed someone, quizzed them, tested them, and inquired of them until you know them extremely well. You’ve seen their faults, and you’ve seen their strengths. You’ve had a few disagreements, but you’ve worked them all out and come out better on the other side. You’ve watched them mature and grow closer to God, and they’ve helped you do the same. And suddenly one day you look at them and a quiet, calm, peaceful thought sprouts roots in your mind, it whispers “I could spend the rest of my life with them, and love every minute of it.” And you realize it’s true. That no matter what you faced, you would sacrifice anything to protect the beauty you see in them. Even if it hurt sometimes, you would strive, and you would love deeply, and you would give of yourself until you ran dry if you have to, because you love them. And you’re willing to commit to loving them even during those times when you don’t “feel it”.

That kind of love doesn’t go away. Even if it doesn’t work out for whatever reason, and one day you find someone else whom you feel the same way about, I don’t think that means you stop loving them. You’ve just resigned to the fact that your love for them has to be kept quiet. That you have to move on. And it hurts.

Better is open rebuke
Than love that is concealed.

Proverbs 27:5

Perhaps when you’ve finally found someone who returns that same love to you, your “previous” love changes form, into something that doesn’t hurt, a gentle and endearing friendship-love. I don’t know. I just know that I see almost none of this definition of love in the world. And it makes me feel alone sometimes.

I’ve allowed myself to become something of a hermit of late, for that reason. I just see so many extremes. Extreme immaturity, extreme “religiousness”, when all I really want is someone like myself, in the sense that I am imperfect, I sin, I do stupid things sometimes, make a fool of myself. But I’m changing, I’m self analyzing, I’m striving to become more like He who rescued me. I don’t see that in many people. I just want to be in the presence of someone whom I can relax with. Not worry about being ill influenced by them, and just laugh, and be myself. Sure, mistakes are made, and no one is perfect, so obviously at some point someone will say something the other disagrees with, be it a moral objection or just a personal preference. And that is okay. It’s how we grow.

It’s why I’ve secluded myself. I feel as though I am constantly pouring myself out on those around me, and I’m empty. I’ve run out of “it”, whatever “it” is. I need someone to pour themselves into me, too. I need someone who can give as well as receive. I suppose you could tell me that I won’t find that if I don’t go out and mingle. Perhaps you’re right. But tonight, it’s almost 2am, and I have a cold, and my finger tips are sore and injured, and I’m not feeling very optimistic.

When Life Gets Real

Brought my Dad to church with me, and then to lunch with the group I usually hangout with. Always enjoy doing that, letting my friends meet my dad and vice versa. Afterwards we went to Petsmart and I got two gerbils, both males. Henry and Oliver. Back in my middle school/high school days, I bred gerbils. So they’re a fun, familiar little pet. They have big personalities.

Last night I became possessed with an idea, one that I need to pray about and meditate on a bit, an idea inspired by a Skype chat I had yesterday with my best friend. Something to do with my future, especially education wise. I’m excited about it.

Beyond that, honestly, I am stressed. Unemployed and sick of job hunting and tired of the workplace drama. I wish I had more money in savings, so I could take a break from it all without worrying about money.

I didn’t get enough sleep last night, woke up at 5:30am and couldn’t get back to sleep. That may be one cause of my current attitude. Even so, I’m struggling so hard with being frustrated over life right now.

I need a word from God right now. I’d love it if He would just tell me what to do.

~TQG

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Buried Alive

So very sorry for going so long without posting. A lot has happened in my life lately. I feel weighted down by much of it.

Basically, don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it here, but my mom is very sick. And lately she’s been getting worse. We’re praying her through, but so far God has not been changing her circumstance for the better.

Also, the job I’ve mentioned that I really love, working great full time hours with one year olds? Due to some extreme dishonesty and poor work ethic of my bosses, they fired me. After working there just over three weeks. I pointed out their shortcomings to them, and they did not like that, so they just got rid of me. Not really sure what to do now, where to look for my next job, but I’m hoping God will provide another on the same field. I really enjoyed that.

So, right now I’m just enjoying my Labor Day weekend, and I hope you’re doing the same! I will post more some other time, I have a few quotes saved up for you!

Until next time!

~TQG

Craziness

This has been a crazy week. Work has been intense and rather stressful, I won’t go into the details. But it’s taking a lot of effort to relax and not worry over it. God’s got this. It will work out. Whatever happens, God’s got my back. Just need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and come back next week with a fresh set of eyes.
Whew. Thank goodness for weekends off.

~TQG