Thursday, June 25, 2009

Do You Remember?

I don't have a particular fondness for Michael Jackson or Farrah Fawcett, but talk of their deaths has been the focus of just about every news clip I've seen today. If you were a fan of either of these celebrities, chances are you'll always remember exactly where you were today when you heard the news of their passing.

I remember when Elvis Presley died. I was home watching tv with my mom and dad who were huge fans and both cried. (Yes, it's true...they really cried). I remember where I was when the space shuttle exploded. I was at JCPenney's after a college class. I remember where I was when 9-11 began to unfold. I was walking through my bedroom after taking Ellen to school and caught it on ABC.

Do you remember when you first heard about Jesus? Do you remember the first time you realized how much he loved you? Do you remember when you felt as though you would simply burst with passion for him? Do you remember when you walked into the water on the day you were baptized?

I remember it like it was yesterday. Just thinking about it leaves me breathless and my eyes well up with tears. If you haven't thought about it for years, take a moment and think back to that day when you let down the walls around your heart. Remember how it felt to trust so completely? Remember that child-like faith and reckless abandon? Do you remember?

I remember and I never want to forget.

With hope,

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

When it's time to change, then it's time to change!

Remember the Brady Bunch episode where the Brady kids are in the recording studio singing "When it's time to change, then it's time to change. Don't fight the tide, come along for the ride. Can't you see? When it's time to change you've got to rearrange who you are into what you're gonna be. Sha na na na na na...."

Well, life has certainly changed. Whew! Hold on a minute while I catch my breath! Life doesn't stay the same for long these days, does it? I thought I'd just share some of the changes in my life in the recent months with you...

The first drastic change I experienced wasn't quite as light-hearted as the Brady Bunch episode...It was heartbreaking for me. My family and I left the church we loved dearly and began the painful, dreaded search for a new church home. We had been part of this church for many years and our children never knew anyplace else. Many tears were shed in this decision, but looking back now I know it was the right decision for all of us. Difficult, but right for everyone involved including the loved ones we left behind.

In addition to leaving our family, I was also leaving my job. A job that I was passionate about for countless reasons. This was a huge financial blow to my little family and one we are still recovering from.

Shortly after leaving my job, my three kids and I were in a terrible car accident. All four of us walked away by the grace of God, but I was very slow to recover and still deal with a few issues. Thankfully though my kids were all okay after a couple months of physical therapy.

I started a new job (shortly after the accident) which I'm enjoying. I'm the Quality Control Manager for a rental management company here in our coastal city. I handle vacation rentals of all kinds and am learning way more than my little brain can handle. Great co-workers and one amazing boss and I still get off in time to pick up my kids from school (most days!)! Who could ask for more?

We have found a new church home and are starting to let our guard down. I've been a spectator for awhile now while I've healed and restored my mind and heart. Still not quite ready to get in the game, but creeping ever closer to the scrimmage line.

Through all of this my CIDP has flared more than you can imagine. No feeling in my back, weakness in my neck, tremendous joint pain. My body's had such a hard time getting used to working and for awhile there I didn't think I was going to be physically able to do it. At night I'm so tired I could just cry, but I seem to be less and less tired at the end of the day as time goes on. This gives me hope that my body will eventually adjust. For now, I just keep rolling along! Still having monthly IVIG infusions and praying for a cure.

And you? I know I'm not the only one who's life has changed lately. What's going on in your little corner of the world? I'd love to hear about it. And Robin, thanks for the gentle nudge, my sweet friend!
Remember, when it's time to've got to rearrange who you are into what you're gonna be!

With hope,

Shampoo and Caviar

Running errands for condo owners awhile ago, I was in an area of town I'm not quite familiar with. Anytime I'm in a new area I find myself reading every imaginable sign until I'm on overload! You might think I'm crazy, but it's exhausting to go to a new city just because of all the new signs! You think I'm kidding, but it's true. I don't wanna miss a thing!

Trying to take in all the signage in this unfamiliar part of town, there was one that caught my eye. It read "Shampoo and Caviar". Interesting concept, isn't it? Bringing the finest to the simplest. Bringing the extraordinary to the ordinary. Shampoo is definitely not extravagant, but caviar certainly is.

I thought of how it's the same with me (and you!) and Jesus. I'm nothing more than a simple, ordinary shampoo. Jesus on the other hand is the finest, most extraordinary caviar. No one would've put the two of us together or even imagined the caviar would want to be associated with the shampoo. No one would've assumed that we even belong in the same sentence, much less on the same sign.

Thank you Jesus for being this shampoo's caviar.