Monday, October 29, 2012
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
So, I asked him, “Sunday, how long have you been waiting for me?”
He said, “Oh, I wait about a half an hour or so.”
I said, “Why? I told you that I’m not going to be here to pick you up until 6:45am. Why do you start waiting so early?”
He told me in his strong Nigerian accent which somehow just sounds wiser, “In Nigeria I was always taught that it is better to see the train coming at you than it is to see the train pass you by.”
At the time, I didn't know just how valuable that simple sentence would be to me someday, but at the time, my only concern was to try to keep him warm and dry a little longer, so I knew what I had to do. I would have to tell him that I was going to pick him up later than I actually was. One time I decided to tell him I wasn’t going to pick him up until about 7:15am knowing that he would start waiting for me at 6:45am which was really the time that I needed to pick him up. That way he would just be getting out there as I would arrive saving him from waiting out in the cold for so long. Oh, you should have seen that panicked look on his face. He was so mad at me. I explained my reasoning for doing that, but he didn’t understand at all.
Monday, October 8, 2012
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting!" Psalm 107:1
Sophie suffered from major separation anxiety. She was my first puppy that I got to live with, train, and raise all on my own. She and I shared a very special bond, and after being together every day for over a month in our new apartment together, it was time for me to go back to work. I was an 8th grade science teacher at the time, and although I enjoyed my summers off, I also really enjoyed going back to school. I loved teaching. I loved my students. I actually really enjoyed a routine. But Sophie didn’t understand all of that. All she knew was that her mommy was going to be gone! She was so upset that she literally freaked out. I came home one time to all of the linoleum ripped up in my bathroom. On another occasion, I came home to the carpet in the hallway ripped up. She had also ripped the bed skirt off of the bed, ripped my bed spread to pieces and tore my pillow into little pieces. I couldn’t believe it when I walked in the door and saw stuffing and foam everywhere! It was a good thing my landlord was very understanding. My landlord was my brother. I did have to pay for the repairs, but luckily, I didn’t get kicked out of the apartment. I never knew what I was going to find when I walked in the door after a long day of teaching. I will never forget the day I came home to shiny pieces of pastel foil all over the floor. I panicked when I realized that she had gotten into the Easter candy. I immediately called the veterinarian to find out if or when I should be worried because my 20 pound miniature schnauzer had just eaten 18 bite-sized Reese’s Peanut Butter cups—yes, I counted. The vet said not to worry even though Sophie was breathing heavy and panting and her heart was racing. I waited it out and once she had calmed down and was back to her normal fiesty self, I could laugh at the fact that not only did she eat all 18 of those chocolates, but then throughout the next several days, my yard started filling up with shiny, shimmery colorful bits in the piles of poop (from the foil wrappers if you didn’t figure that out). It was quite lovely. J
~Isn’t that how life is sometimes? Sometimes in the midst of all of the crap we are going through, there will be tiny bits of glimmering hope! There will be small moments of beauty or tidbits of laughter. There will be small pieces of happiness or brief glimpses of joy. The hope, beauty, laughter, happiness and joy all are coming from God. The bible tells us in James 1:17 “Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow.” This week, I pray that you will be overwhelmed by the goodness of God no matter what you’re going through right now. No matter how difficult something is; no matter how long you’ve been struggling; no matter how hopeless, joyless, pointless, or confusing something is; no matter how much satan wants to lie to you to keep you down, I pray that you will feel God’s love and know that God is good…all the time…period. God is shining through in the midst of all the crap to show you that it’s never hopeless. Praise God! Thank you for always being good. Please help us all to believe it!
Monday, October 1, 2012
“A friend loves at all times…” Proverbs 17:17
|EIU Fab 5--"The Girls"|
|Good 'Ole EIU|
That was in 1992, so now we’ve all known each other for over 20 years! Wow, I don’t feel that old. Since graduating from college, we each went our own ways pursuing our own paths in life, and yet we’ve made it a priority to keep in touch--just the 5 of us. In order to stay close and nurture our friendships, we decided that we were going to get together at least once a year. With bachelorette parties, weddings, baby showers, girls’ weekends and our "just because" gatherings, we’ve done really well. Sometimes we see each other more, sometimes less, but we always make it a point to see each other. Why? Because we value our friendships and we know how rare these types of friendships can be!
|"George" and "Alfred"--the best napping combo!|
|Yes, our porch swing was that high up...it was awesome!|
late night partying--I mean studying, roommate night outs, our spontaneous trip to Memphis, our quote wall, all the inside jokes, and I could go on and on. I love each of these girls. I love that they have seen me at my best and at my worst and love me anyway. In fact, I love this quote by Elbert Hubbard that says, “A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.” I love that each of them has moved on to do some incredible things with their lives. I love that I have a special and different relationship with each of them. I love that we have chosen to be a part of each other’s lives and that we are intentional about getting together no matter what obstacles are in the way.
I am so grateful for these 5 friends as well as many amazing friends I’ve met along the way. I am so thankful that God puts friends in our lives to encourage and to be encouraged by, to love and to be loved by, to grow with, to change with, to cry with, to be with, to laugh with. God blesses our lives with friendships. I love that in John 15:12-13 Jesus says,
“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”
Jesus values friendships. Friendships have purpose. Friendships have meaning. Jesus tells us that friendships are important, so we need to nurture those friendships that are significant to us.
Who are your closest friends? How do you let your friends know that you value them? Do you take time out of your busy schedule to let your friends know how important they are to you? This week, I pray that you will take the time to let a friend or two know what a blessing that they are in your life. In this day of instant communication, there is no reason not to be able to accomplish this. God puts these friends in our lives on purpose, for a purpose and for His purpose, so please take a minute right now to send them a note, a card, a phone call, a text, an email, a facebook message, a tweet, or all of the above and tell them how important they are to you and how thankful that you are that God has placed them in your life! Thank God for friends!
Dedicated to my EIU girls! Thank you for being my forever friends! Thank you for the hilarious memories. Thank you for loving me and being there for me no matter what. I love you, girls!