Tag Archives: family

the one with the highlight reel: september edition

have we figured out yet that i’m not terribly consistent at blogging? it sure isn’t because i don’t have any thinks to share! i have a lot of thinks, i just don’t have a lot of time to write the thinks. so basically, my head could explode at any moment from all the thinks i’ve been thinking. (i’m tired just looking at that sentence.) but today is the last day of september, and it has been a pretty good month. so many reasons to smile and thank jesus for!

smallgroupgenerations copyfirst, (and this is technically from august 29, but it is my blog, so i do what i want) this. you guys, this photo represents God’s faithfulness to me on so many levels. when i started my undergrad degree at age 21, i asked God to bring me younger students to disciple. he has never stopped answering that prayer. when i moved to north carolina 4 years ago, i was single and childless (oh, yeah … i still am) and thinking often and deeply about the idea of progeny and legacy. a friend spoke wisely into my anxiety: “those we disciple are our spiritual progeny. our legacy isn’t necessarily the children we birth- discipleship makes us spiritual midwives in that we get to be part of new birth. discipleship makes us mothers as we shepherd other women deeper into the faith.” i’ve led small groups before, both adult and student groups, and been blessed to disciple a number of women in one-to-one relationships- but recent events have reminded me of my wise friend’s words. i attended my church’s small group leader conference with my apprentice leader (far left), and we sat with my apprentices from last year (2nd and 3rd from left) and a woman from their group who is starting a new small group (far right). this new leader looked across the table at me and told me “you’re my grandma!”. i won’t lie, it took me a hot minute to understand what she was saying … and in less than a hot second, i was ugly-crying (all the emotions). i am a mess. yes, i love leading … sometimes i’m even good at it. but i’m a mess. and these women have been under my leadership during some of the messiest and darkest seasons of my life- seasons that i didn’t think would bear any fruit. and yet … i’m a grandma. God’s good that way.

famapplepicking copywe went to visit the fam earlier this month and got to do one of my favorite things: APPLE PICKING! i love fall … my birthday, cooler weather, everything apple and all the pumpkin! our chinese sister had never been to an apple orchard before, so it was really special to be there for her introduction to fall in virginia. the girls all wore flannel, and we just loved being together. arent’t my parents the cutest?!

beth copywhile i was home, i got to celebrate my beautiful friend beth’s wedding. i’ve been friends with her for over 7 years, and i absolutely love the woman that she has become. beautiful inside and out! we have walked together through dark seasons, broken relationships, and distance, and i’m thankful to have been there to cry and rejoice as she pledged to follow Christ alongside a good man. plus, it was a good excuse to wear a pink dress and gaze open-mouthed at the show the blue ridge mountains were putting on that day 🙂

the j.lo and i celebrated a year of #pennythewarriorprincess being a linton! love that pup.

we also switched bedrooms- i don’t think we’ll be making ‘the great migration’ an annual thing, but it was good to look at our home through new eyes.

last friday was monthly ‘nest family dinner. we made homemade pizza, and laughed til we nearly peed ourselves.

i celebrated 5 months of working at my new job! it stretches me, terrifies me, and delights me all at once.

so long, september. you’ve been kind.

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the weekend in review

saturday morning … and my first starbucks run since wednesday. not sure how i survived this long, but lovin the taste of that soy-grande-iced-doubleshot-sub caramel-sub white mocha.  ahhhhhhhhhhhh 🙂

dad had surgery yesterday morning on his ankle- he was scheduled for 7am and told us not to come see him before he went in.  so mom and i slept in til 7ish, and when we hadn’t heard from him by then, we knew he had gone in as scheduled.  we drove to the hospital and checked in at the surgical waiting room.  i attempted to get started on some grading (praise God for hospital wi-fi!) but mom and i ended up having a great conversation about the way that God uses circumstances in our lives.  she’s been reading beth moore’s book ‘breaking free’ about forgiveness and letting go of past hurts- giving them to God to use so that he can be glorified in them.  an amazing thing is that none of us really have felt bitter or angry about the events of the last week!  discouraged, yes …. uncertain, definitely …. overwhelmed, absolutely.  but we’ve watched the lord work so often and seen him ‘come through in the clutch’ so many times that we have never doubted that his hand is at work here.  whether he caused dad’s accident directly or simply allowed it as part of dad’s story (and our family’s story)- all things come from God’s hand.  and if it comes from God’s hand, we can trust it.  we can know that nothing surprises him, we can know that he’s already prepared the way and gone before us, and that he can see the end game and know its outcome.

ok sorry … rabbit trail.  back to surgery! the receptionist told us that he ended up going in at about 815.  around 1030 his surgeon (dr. teasdall) came out to let us know that he was finished and to tell us how everything went.  he ended up having to put quite a bit of hardware in- a plate and some screws- so between the two surgeries, dad will have to have one of those ‘i-have-lots-of-metal-in-me’ cards for airport security.  but the doc was very pleased with how the operation went and said he was confident that it would heal well.  dad got back to his room around noon and was much more lucid than he had been last week after ankle surgery.  the OR people got him set up and mom fed him his lunch; then he fell asleep (big surprise 🙂 ).  his leg is wrapped in about an inch and a half of cotton and then a hard ace bandage until they put the hard cast on- so its about one and a half times its normal size and pretty funny looking! he woke up around 130 and asked me where mom’s birthday flowers were.  [i was supposed to pick up a dozen roses on my way down thursday, but the hullabaloo of getting everything else together and bringing junie with me last minute … i forgot 😦 ]  he told me it was really important to him that she get the flowers, so i left to find a store and get flowers and a vase.  when i came back, the hamel’s were here- they had stopped in on their way home from the beach!  they stayed for about an hour and a half and brought us some goodies- various sweets and some magazines.  we all enjoyed their visit, but dad went back to sleep as soon as they left.

he’s been eating pretty well, and can feed himself some things.  the neck brace makes it difficult to feed himself anything that isn’t solid, so mom and i are getting to help with lots of things. i fed him his cereal this morning- he handled the eggs and potatoes on his own.  then we trimmed his beard again- mom had butchered it the other day in an attempt to keep it from sticking out of the neck brace …. it was looking interesting.  his nurse came in and took the brace off and supervised as i trimmed things up with a pair of clippers.  dad said its more comfortable now, and it doesn’t look too bad.  we’re just happy it will grow back 🙂

its sounding like dad will get his hard cast put on his leg sometime on monday.  he’ll get some physical therapy the same day so they can know how mobile he is, and he will probably get to come home on tuesday.  that’s what we’re hoping for … mom and dad are both more than ready to be back in their own house.  dad has had excellent care and some fantastic nurses, doctors, and other attendants; and mom has been staying with the sharp’s about 10 minutes away (ivy’s aunt and uncle- sweet people! they’ve been an awesome encouragement and a huge blessing)- but we are all ready to be back in lynchburg.

things we’re thankful for right now:

  • surgery proceeding as scheduled
  • being able to have the same surgeon as last week
  • good recovery so far
  • all the visits, calls, and cards!
  • the great nurses that have been assigned to dad
  • dad’s good spirits
  • some men from mom&dad’s sunday school class at church have offered to donate materials and build dad a ramp for the house
  • a comfortable place for mom to stay nearby
  • God working in all the details!

things we’re praying for right now:

  • that the swelling continues to go down so that the cast goes on as scheduled
  • that his other injuries continue to heal properly
  • that the details for getting him home will continue to work out
  • for dad to continue to be a blessing to his nurses and other attendants
  • that he will be able to wean himself off his meds- he’s not a huge fan of lots of pills and shots 🙂

uncle brian and aunt angie are here now (dad’s younger brother & wife) visiting from roanoke.  they are alot of fun and i know dad loves having them here.  he’s in alot of pain right now as they are having to play with his meds again, figuring out dosages and stuff after the second surgery, so having them here is a good distraction.

i’m heading home after lunch … over and out. love you guys! thanks for reading and praying.

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dad as of wednesday morning

went down last night to see dad again- this time our ‘sister’ stephanie came too! she drove down from harrisonburg and then we hit the road.  we got a late start so we ended up getting there in time to say hey, give dad hugs, and leave before we got kicked out as visiting hours ended.  met up with aaron frey (remember him from high school!? crazy!) and grabbed dinner before heading north again.  i’m beginning to see that stretch of 29 in my sleep.

the doctors had decided yesterday to operate on dad’s ankle this morning at 6am.  the plan was for me to drive back down around noon today- after arranging to have some furniture moved around to help with dad’s return home- so i could be there when he came out of recovery.  but mom called this morning to say that the doctor postponed the surgery because they found fracture blisters on dad’s leg under the splint.  the blisters have been drained and are fine; but we’re hearing mixed reports on when the surgery will be.  we’ve heard friday morning (which was the original plan) and getting to come home saturday or sunday; but as of this afternoon, the possibility of doing the surgery on an outpatient basis was introduced as a serious option.  if that turns out the be the case, we still don’t know when he would be released, but he would have to go back for the surgery next friday.  we’re asking and praying for the surgery to occur this friday morning.  it makes the length of hospital stay good for insurance purposes and means that he doesn’t have to travel more than once.  we’re so ready for him to be home.

as of right now i’m driving back down tomorrow and staying til dad is released.  we have the house rearranged so that he can maneuver with crutches or a walker, and i know mom is ready to be back in her house.  mom’s birthday is tomorrow, so drop her an email, facebook message or text wishing her a happy birthday!  i hate that she’s having to celebrate in the hospital 😦  but she’s such a trooper!

i can’t say it enough: thank you for your prayers- and keep them coming!  we feel them, and we know that God is at work through them.  we are stressed but resting in the knowledge that God wasn’t surprised by any of this- or any of the other things that are happening in our lives right now.  he’s good, and he has a plan that will glorify him and be for our best.  he sure sees things differently than i do sometimes, but he’s shown over and over again that he does what he promises- and he’s shown over and over that he loves us.  those things are enabling us to trust him and choose to see his hand all over this.

thanks for reading and praying.  we love you!

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update on dad (as of monday night)

most of you have heard by now, whether through twitter or facebook or word of mouth- about the recent excitement in our family.

i got a text from my sister friday night that nearly stopped my heart- i was in a movie with a couple of friends when my sister told me that our dad wrecked his motorcycle.   he & mom and their best friends had gone for an overnight trip on the parkway.  after they got to their cabin, dad & his friend went to the store on their bikes to get some groceries.  dad somehow lost control of his bike on the way home (maybe on a curve? he’s still not sure exactly) and ended up tumbling about 40 feet down (and 120 feet out) an embankment.  he was thrown off the bike and landed about 25 feet from it.  thankfully he never lost consciousness and was able to drag himself over to the bike and honk the horn to alert his friend to his location.  the ambulance came quickly and took him to the hospital in mt.airy; after the initial x-rays they transferred him to the trauma unit at wake forest.

mom and sarah and i played phone tag most of the night as we tried to keep up with news on dad and decide when to leave to come to the hospital, so no one ended up sleeping much.  sarah and i left around 11am to head down to winston-salem and arrived around 130.

i won’t go into the details with all the emotions we’re (well, mostly me) experiencing the last few days.  dad’s prognosis is looking pretty good, albeit interesting.  he fractured a vertebrae in his neck, so he’s in a neck brace for probably the next six weeks.  he hasn’t complained of pain from that injury, so the doctors aren’t terribly worried about it; because of where it is, they can’t do anything surgically for it.  he broke both bones in his left (the tibia and the fibula) and has multiple fractures around his left knee and ankle.  they operated on his knee on saturday morning and had to put an L-shaped plate in.  the ankle is still too swollen to operate on- they did more x-rays today and we’re waiting to hear about those results.  we’re hoping they can do that surgery tuesday or wednesday, and then he should be able to come home two or three days after the operation.  he also re injured his hand (he had an accident at work last spring) and  fractured some smaller bones there, so they put a cast on that last night.  he’s in pretty good spirits,  calling all the nurses “honey” and enjoying being waited on hand and foot.  we had to trim his beard this evening so that it wasn’t sticking up out of the neck brace …. it looks like mom tried to scalp him, so no pictures of that 🙂 luckily, he doesn’t have any trouble growing facial hair!

we’re so thankful for so much right now- obviously not the least of these things is that he’s even still alive.  we all have lost or know someone who has lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident.  dad’s friend was able to flag someone down to help him get the ambulance; they also let mom borrow their truck so they all could get to the hospital.  when sarah and i got to the hospital saturday afternoon, there were already other friends around mom so she wasn’t having to wait alone.  the friends they were traveling with have relatives in the winston-salem area who offered mom their guest room, so we’re not having to worry about a hotel or anything.  sarah had some time off work and has been able to stay down here with mom; i’ve been able to come back and forth and take care of details here at home.

i’ll keep updating as we know more, but in the meantime- thanks so much for your prayers! its always a blessing to know we’re surrounded by the body of christ, but it is a comfort especially now.

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the day we gave thanks.

thanksgiving is big goings on in the linton household. like whoa. with very few exceptions, the thankgivings in my life have been celebrated with housefuls of people.  friends, family, co-workers, and sometimes even random people- bring it on.  dad gets the biggest turkey he can find, and a ham, and we cook up a storm.  mom goes crazy on pies and breads and goodies, i contribute something …. (this year, it was two pumpkin pies and corn casserole- holy goodness.) … and the kitchen island is a veritable smorgasbord.

[the <thanksgiving table> is a veritable smorgasbord orgasbord orgasbord …. ok, sorry, back to the story. i digress.]

everyone congregates in the kitchen, we turn off the parade or the football game or the james bond marathon, and dad’s thanksgiving day speech begins.  he is usually carving the turkey while talking, which is awesome and funny in itself …. and while i can recite the speech verbatim, i am somehow always moved. my dad is one of the most generous and thankful people i know- and the older i get, the more i realize that those two qualities go hand in hand.  again, i digress …..

this year, dad decided to change things up a little. i talked him out of singing, but agreed to do a scripture reading.  he and i sat down around noon and started listing off psalms that i was going to read.  the new and improved speech went something like this:

-genesis 1:1- in the beginning, GOD created the heavens and the earth. even at creation, God knew we would mess up. he already knew, even before he formed water and land and sky, that we would choose ourselves and that he would send Christ to purchase us out of the slavery we willingly sold ourselves into.

-psalm 107:1,2; 8,9; 21,22- oh give thanks to the lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. / let them thank the lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of men! for he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. / let them thank the lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of men! and let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!

-psalm 146:1,2-praise the lord! praise the lord, oh my soul! i will praise the lord as long as i live; i will sing praises to my god while i have my being.

another thing we do every year- something most people do every year- is go around the room and list what we are thankful for.  but we do it a little differently- we list the things that god did in us that were unpleasant or painful.  for example, this year i said that i was thankful for a relationship that didn’t work out. while it hurt me- a lot, actually- i can see, a few months later, that it was for my best that the lord didn’t allow that relationship to go any further. my dad talked about the injury to his hand that he sustained early this past summer- he was being careless, and hurt himself.  he had to go to the hospital and undergo painful therapy, but he didn’t lose his hand, and he has full mobility and strength in it now. someone else talked about a broken engagement. others talked about jobs that disappeared, cars that broke down, and family members that died. these things on the surface are not good- but when we consider that the one who brought them to be and allowed them to happen is the same one who ‘satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with good things’, we look at them a little differently.

important to realize, though, is that while god does fill us with good things, and he loves us, and wants us to have joy and know love- that is not his first priority.  his first priority is and always will be the glorification of himself. and if it glorifies god to bruise us, then he will. if it glorifies god to allow us to have cancer, then he will.  if it glorifies god to cause a flood or a drought, then he will. if it glorifies god to permit a tragedy rather than forbid it, then he will do so. but pain and loss in our lives do not indicate a lack of love, but rather an abundance of it.  do we experience god more when our bills are paid and we are healthy, or when life has brought us opportunities to test and see his faithfulness?  he loves us too much to let us wallow in the mire of complacency that we’ve entangled ourselves in. every moment, every situation is an opportunity to display Christ in ourselves.  god desires two things: his glorification, and our best interests. what we fail to understand is that pain is the most effective instrument with which to bring about both.  it is in our best interest to be like Christ. but we will not choose that on our own, nor are we capable of achieving it. we need catalysts in our lives to push us in the direction we were supposed to be  running in all along.

what i am most thankful for this year: Philippians 2:13- for God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him.

i am thankful that god didn’t give up after genesis 3 when eve ate the fruit and adam hid from god, and their sin plunged mankind into hopelessness. i am thankful that god loved himself enough to love us enough to send Christ to live perfectly and die in such a way that we could be ransomed and given hope. i am thankful that god works in me to desire to do his will, and then gives me the strength to do it. i am thankful that god is bigger than what i make him. i am thankful that he is bigger than me.  i am thankful he chooses to allow me opportunities for joy in serving him.

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getting older. and hopefully wiser.

i recently turned the big 2-7 …. yes, you read that right. some days i feel like 27 is wicked old, and sometimes i feel like i have a whole life ahead of me.  both are true.

but it was a great birthday, all the way around.  we celebrated for about two weeks!  my family started early- the sunday before- my sister continued it, the guys in my office made the actual day really fun, and my sweet friend julie and i went to new york city for the weekend.  and then to top it off, a bunch of friends came over the next wednesday evening and we had a chill bonfire and hangout.  its been a really rich year- great friends, lots of growing, awesome experiences, and a deep-seated knowledge that i am loved and that God is working in me and has huge plans for me.

……. now, about new york! so amazing. wish we had been able to spend more time …. we left after work on thursday (the actual birthday) and drove up.  we were able to stay with our awesome friend nick’s mom in brooklyn.  she is the absolute sweetest!! friday we wandered around brooklyn waiting for nick to get off of work, then we took the subway into manhattan.  whoa.  it was my first trip to the big apple …. and when we came out of the subway, nick and julie just laughed at me-  i’m pretty sure my mouth was hanging open for a few hours straight.  julie said i didn’t talk for about an hour- i was so busy soaking in sights! we got to catch up with my sweet friend carlos at his office (he heads up the kids with a promise leadership academy at the bowery mission).  so good to see him! we have been friends since WOLBI days (and i’m not saying how many years that has been!)  we walked around manhattan for a few hours- rode the ferris wheel in the toys r us in times square, ate delicious thai food, and had cheesecake and coffee at junior’s- which is supposedly the best cheesecake in nyc! and it was delicious.  saturday julie and i navigated manhattan by ourselves (eek!!)- we hit up chinatown and shopped …. and then we went to see MARY POPPINS ON BROADWAY!!!!! (we were/are very excited and it was amazing!!!!!!!)  we got great seats and cheap student tickets (the REAL reason i’m going to be in school forever is that students get discounts on awesome things. haha).  then we got to hang out with our awesome friend brian …. known round these parts as tex.  he treated us to pinkberry …. which was definitely a treat! yum and yum.  and so good to see brian and hear about his past year living in the city.

it was awesome to talk to nick, carlos, and brian about the work they are seeing the lord do in the city- they all work with different churches, but are all reporting some great things.  lots of challenges, but a lot of progress and movement as well.  we got to go to nick’s church on sunday …. and whoa.  <a moment of background: i usually don’t like to visit other churches.  i have been very spoiled by the excellent teaching, amazing worship, and the atmosphere in my church (brentwood church) so i can tend to be critical of other churches.  and it seems that a lot of the other churches i visit are little southern country churches where the pastor has a twang, terrible grammar, and poor hermeneutics.>  walking into salem church on staten island was a sweet thing.  its an amazing thing to walk into a church and immediately feel the holy spirit all over it in a tangible way.  from the people we met, to the worship, to the preaching of the word …. the holy spirit is up to some amazing things in that church.  what a blessing!! i can’t wait to go back …. so much we didn’t get to see in manhattan, and there are some sweet friends i’d love to spend more time with.  and i can’t wait to hear about and maybe get to have a small part in what God’s up to there.

wednesday a bunch of my friends came over and we had a bonfire in my backyard.  so far, it sounds a lot like last year’s party …. and like last year, there was a cop there! but this time it was by direct invitation and not because of thugs who tried to crash my party and punch a few of my friends in the face.  so now i’m that girl who has the kind of parties that cops have to come to. nice. but it was a lot of fun, really relaxing, and i loved having a bunch of friends under my roof at one time.

just some blessings from the year i was 26:

  • -great roommates
  • -amazing church: God is up to some big things in brentwood church …. love it!
  • -getting the bulk of my MAR done.  one step closer to being able to teach! and getting it for free!
  • -new job.  i love the guys i work with- such a challenge! and while sometimes the level of testosterone dictates that i should just go for a walk, they are great and a huge blessing.
  • -friendships that sharpen me.  maria, julie, my sister, carter, nick, aaron, drew, …. and so many more.  these people know my junk and still love me …. enough to call me out and help me change to be more like Christ.
  • -my family.  i can’t say enough about how amazing my parents and my sister are.  my parents are a terrific example of what a godly marriage looks like, and they strike a great balance with me between being my friends and still being my parents.  and my sister is the other half of my soul- my best friend.
  • -great travels! i’ve been able to go on a recruiting trip for the seminary, visit friends in the VA beach area, and explore nyc a bit.  love it!   i’m making a list for my 27th year
  • -ministry opportunities: i got to lead an awesome small group last year! wonderful ladies, great fellowship, and i got to sharpen my teaching skills.  win-win! this year the lord has brought me a few girls to disciple and i love the challenge and fun of those relationships.  and there is something awesome in the works for a teaching opportunity at church starting in the spring.
  • -the overwhelming amount of grace i’ve seen in my life this year.  i’m a dumb girl ….. and i make dumb choices and i do dumb things when left to my own devices.  but thankfully the lord knows that and doesn’t leave me to my own devices.  i look at the last year and very clearly see the hand of the lord pushing me toward or pulling me away from certain situations.  i’m so thankful for his relentless love and tangible presence in my life.

there’s more coming …. i’m percolating some deeper thoughts, but they need to steep some more before hitting the general public.  so tune in later …..

but in the mean time, think about this for awhile.

“Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.” (hosea 6:1)

i am an idolater, and an adulterer.  i turn my back on a daily basis on the one who dreamed me into being, who redeemed my life from the pit, and whose hand holds me fast.  and that necessitates that he discipline me, even to the point of tearing away from me the things that i try in vain to replace him with.  but the beauty of this is that while he is wounding me, he is still holding me …. and his hands are binding the wounds and comforting me in my ensuing brokenness.  the wounds leave scars, but they serve as remembrances of his hand on me.  we must be broken down before we can be rebuilt.  the scars are testimonies of the grace that chases us into sanctification and will eventually make us perfect. bandages are evidence that we are loved.  scars are trophies of grace.

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some days, only ice cream fixes the problem.

[found this draft from the beginning of the summer … enjoy. these events occurred between the dates of friday, may 29 and tuesday, june 2.]

so i had to laugh … but only after i almost cried.  and i’ll confess, a curse word did cross my lips.  its been an interesting couple of days.

i moved into my new house over the weekend- so friday, dad loaded the armoire into his SUV and we were going to unpack it that morning.  instead, i get a phone call that he got hurt at work and on his way to the ER.  yikes.  so i head down to the hospital, find out that dad had hurt his hand (praise the lord- its not terribly serious. 20 stitches later, he’s fine), go to work, and make plans to unload the truck that night with my sister.  thankfully, the jack bauer of LBTS (aka juan) was available that night to help unload the armoire … cause let’s be honest, if sarah and i had moved it ourselves, someone would probably have lost an arm.  or a leg.  or maybe one of each.  but this still left dad’s car in town … we needed to get it back to their house 20 min away.

saturday was out … i worked at a yard sale helping a friend then worked a 9 hour shift at work, then moved the rest of my stuff from the old house to the new house.

sunday didn’t work out schedule-wise to take the car to my parents- we had to find a time where sarah could bring me back in and drop me off.  monday we had plans to fix this little problem, only to discover that the keys were in sarah’s car.  great.  so scratch that idea …

then i get a phone call- a friend found mold growing in her apartment and needed to stay somewhere else for a few nights.  hey, we have six couches, come stay here!  the more the merrier!! (i’m serious- we love having people over!) my OCD nature was causing me to twitch every time i walked out of my room- the rest of the house wasn’t unpacked yet.  but sometimes, you gotta just put on your big girl panties and deal with it … so i just pretended it was all unpacked and that i wasn’t tripping on boxes every time i turned around.

tuesday=probably one of the hottest days in lynchburg. taking the car back was not going to work- i had two meetings that night during the only free time my sister would have.  then she calls me … she has a flat tire. awesome. i pick her up and take her to work, planning to drive dad’s car to starbucks for my meetings and have sarah pick it up there after work (a block from where she works) and i would just stay all evening and ride home with my roommate (who works there-yay free drinks- and was closing).  i also, like the amazing big sister that i am, was going to take care of getting her tire changed.  (what i didn’t count on is that 99% of my guy friends are musicians, and therefore evidently incapable of changing a tire. not that i’m saying no musician is capable of changing a tire. just these musicians.)

i run home to switch vehicles, only to realize that dad’s car is out of gas. nice. get back in my car with gas can, drive to gas station. drive home. put gas in dad’s car. drive to starbucks.

after one meeting, about a dozen phone calls and a few mishaps later, i find someone to change the tire. only to find that sarah’s jack is broken. call more friends, finally get jack, finally change tire. 6 hours later. holy cow. epic.

the rest of the week progressed fairly normally … then sunday came. and it was my turn for a flat tire. thankfully a couple from my church was behind me, actually saw the tire go flat, and stopped to change it for me. bless them!! dad gets me a new tire, but can’t put it on b/c of his stitches. so once again, jack bauer (aka juan) saves the day and changes the tire.

sheesh.

things i realized: i depend on my dad alot more than i thought. my sister is seriously my best friend. as one writer put it: ‘is solace anywhere more comforting than that in the arms of a sister?’ well said alice walker, well said. i tend to be quietly desperate rather than obviously freaking out- i hate asking people to help me with big things.  and ice cream and/or coffee make most things all better.

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thanksgiving (originally posted 11/26/08)

tomorrow is thanksgiving. already. whoa.

i was driving a friend home last night, and even though the conversation wasn’t about things that we were thankful for, the topics we discussed directed my thinking along that vein. so here’s part of the list:
my mom. we argue sometimes, we rarely see eye to eye, but i know her heart, and i love it. she is an amazing example to me of how to be a godly wife and a loving mother.
my dad. i’m a daddy’s girl to the core- he gets me like few other people. we laugh all the time, and he is one of the wisest men i know. he shows me daily qualities that i desire in a mate and makes me want to be a better person.
my sister. there aren’t words to say how much she means to me . . . she is my best friend, my soulmate, and so much more. binky and j.lo- anyone who knows us well knows there is nothing more to be said 🙂
my extended family on both sides. i have two sets of grandparents who raised their children to love, fear, and serve the lord- and those children have raised me in the same manner. even though i’m not close to them, i realize the heritage that is mine, and i know i am blessed.
my salvation. no one knows more or better than jesus christ how much of a wretch i really am- and in spite of that, he chose to be born a man, live perfectly, and give his life to assuage the wrath of god for my sins. he has adopted me, making me a daughter of creator god, and has sealed me with his spirit. he has called me and given my life purpose. he speaks to me, heals my heart’s wounds, and loves me with a perfect, everlasting, unchanging love.
brentwood church. there’s alot i could say about this, but i’m thankful for the staff and pastors who i love and m privileged to call friends. it is such a joy to be a part of this body of christ that preaches the word of god without apology and that is passionate to make the name and goodness of god known in this world. the fact that i get to serve there is amazing to me.
school. i’ve been in christian schools my entire life- and although that frustrates me at times, i am thankful that i have been surrounded and saturated by the word of god my entire life. i’ve earned a bachelor’s degree and am halfway through a master’s degree- and most of it has been free. it doesn’t get much better than being able to equip yourself to do the work and calling of god for free.
my health. i usually get a cold once of twice a year, and if i’m not careful about my caffeine intake, i am prone to migraines. but i have not thrown up since october of ’03, and i haven’t been sick enough to go to the doctor since the nurse at wol island made me go summer of ’02. keep in mind that i haven’t had health insurance in 5 years.
my friends!! oh, my friends. i have always been blessed by good friends. but this is the first time i have ever had a group of friends like the ones i have now. i’ve had so much fun the last several months, and have seen the goodness of god through this community of friends. there have been completely pointless conversations where we laughed until someone nearly peed their pants; there have been serious conversations where tears have been wiped away; there have been deep conversations where we’ve just held one another; and in all of it, there has been joy and family. lesley, chad, brittany, josh, aaron, beth, lyndsey, and so many more. i’m so thankful for each one of you, and the unique relationship that we have. bless the lord for putting us in this season of life together!

all of this to say: i know that i am blessed. this does not mean that i don’t stress out about anything- i am stressing right now!! i am short on rent and bill money this month, and i’m looking for a different job. my car is making a funny little noise when it idles sometimes, and it needs an oil change. there are many things that i am unsure of right now- but i know these things: the creator of the universe and the savior of the world loves me, and he is good. he has given me the gifts of family and friends to walk through life with. and that is enough.

be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto god.

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