Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Just a Feeling

I was driving home tonight switching between the iPod and the radio and I heard this song...

I've heard it a couple of times and it always gets me - to the extent that I frequently switch the station when it's on, but I like the song...

Over the past few years, off and on, I've had this feeling that was hard to define and incredibly hard to shake at the same time. As a Christian I felt confused by it because if I was truly a believer, could I be feeling like this? So to have had the radio on a Christian station and run across this song - for me anyway - answered that yes, absolutely you can feel like this. Everyone feels like this sometimes.

Whether it's just life, a specific set of circumstances, or a series of events that all came too quickly together I'm fairly certain we've all felt this way. Tired. Invisible. Lost. Alone.

I can say with almost absolute certainty that most of the people I know - regardless of what they think or believe - have felt this way. And knowing that it's okay (even as a Christian in my case) to admit that I've felt like this somehow provides a release. It's like being heard.

If you're feeling this way now. Or if you've felt this way before. I hope these words bless your life exactly where you are.

The song is "Someone Worth Dying For" by MIKESCHAIR.


Album: A Beautiful Life

You might be the wife waiting up at night
You might be the man struggling to provide
Feeling like it’s hopeless

Maybe you’re the son who chose a broken road
Maybe you’re the girl thinking you’ll end up alone
Praying “God, can you hear me?
Oh God, are you listening?”

Am I more than flesh and bone?
Am I really something beautiful?
Yeah, I wanna believe, I wanna believe that
I’m not just some wandering soul
That you don’t see and you don’t know
Yeah, I wanna believe,
Jesus, help me believe that
I am someone worth dying for

I know you’ve heard the truth that God has set you free
But you think you’re the one that grace could never reach
So you just keep askin’, oh, what everybody’s askin’


You’re worth it, you can’t earn it
Yeah, the cross has proven
That you’re sacred and blameless
Your life has purpose

You are more than flesh and bone
Can’t you see you’re something beautiful
Yeah, you gotta believe, you gotta believe
He wants you to see, He wants you to see that
You’re not just some wandering soul
That can’t be seen and can’t be known
Yeah, you gotta believe, you gotta believe that
You are someone worth dying for
You’re someone worth dying for
You’re someone worth dying for

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Waiting Place

Ever find yourself at a complete loss for how to handle a situation? Or maybe have a period of time in your life where - while you may believe there's a purpose or a reason for all things - you simply can't figure out what that might be?

Personally I'm experiencing a time where I'm in what I'd describe as a "waiting place." If you've ever read Dr. Seuss's "Oh The Places You'll Go" you know exactly what I mean.

Without going into detail I've recently hit a place where I feel like I take a step forward and get shoved back almost immediately. So I find myself scratching my head, looking around and wondering what on earth the right next step might be. Or am I just supposed to wait here? And trust?

I do not particularly excel at either trusting or waiting, so I suspect that may be why I find myself in this situation. But then I also wonder how much is just life and how much is more? And what happens when you choose to view the world from the perspective of purpose? Of learning or having lessons in each situation?

Lately I find myself putting many of the more intangible things I've learned up to this point into practice. You really do tell people how they can treat you with what you allow (this is not a new lesson - just one I've finally learned to actively practice). No matter how much you might hope for peaceful, still waters they are few and far between in this life and how you handle that defines many things about you (like your health, your relationships, etc). And my fave Oprah lesson - "when you know better, you do better."

That last one has actually changed the way I approach the first two. It means I have to be willing to stand up for myself and to know how to do that in a respectful way and in a variety of situations. Even when those situations are about as comfortable as a root canal. (Actually I happen to have a great dentist, so I've definitely had dental work that was more pleasant than this place).

Simply learning lessons in life is not enough. You have to put them into practice. So it's not enough for me to say I trust God and I'm happy to follow His leading. I have to actually practice trusting Him and following Him. Even if He's saying "wait."

Just a thought.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 Years

This evening I was watching TV and I was watching a show that was a look back at the Cosby Show - totally flashing back to my childhood. After it a show called When Pop Culture Saved America - about the work of the entertainment industry in the aftermath of 9/11. And I was struck with a mini-realization that perhaps (sometimes) the future I long for in my head...my "someday" if you will...is really the world "before" as opposed to the "after" world in which we live.

Ten years ago I was in undergrad at UNT and I was sitting in my apartment with my cousin Susan trying to wrap my brain around what had happened. The strangest thing to me that week was how it seemed life was supposed to go on. But it did.

At the time I thought the world was ending and I couldn't imagine a year from that day - much less 10 years from that day.

On this, the 10 year mark, I find that my thoughts are heavy with the weight of how the families who lost loved ones are doing this day. How life has inevitably gone on for them, but how also they must still ache for those they lost. And my prayers are with them.

Love & Peace


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday - the beginning of Lent. Possibly strangely, Lent has always been a season in the church year that I love.

Yes, yes I know it doesn't come with the impending festivities of Advent & Christmas. And many people give up something they love (or really, really like) for Lent as a symbol of sacrifice. So I'm sure you're thinking - what's to love about it?

I think there's something to be said for reflection.

As a Christian I try my best to use this time to reflect on not so much what I do that's wrong as some might suspect, but where my relationship with God is at this stage of my life. Because I think more than being a "church-every-Sunday" Christian or being in a state of constant worry / self-loathing over anything I do that might be or might appear wrong (what exactly does that actually accomplish?), I believe having a relationship - an ongoing dialogue with God is the most important key to my faith.

In church tonight, my pastor talked about how there are times in life when we have to walk forward on the path we're on alone. We might have people praying for us or encouraging us or loving us, but we still have to face whatever is ahead on our own. He talked about the passage in Mark 10:32-34 where Jesus is basically talking about his own death. And how he faced that alone.

His sermon made me think about the last 8 months. I've been somewhat annoyingly more reflective about death since my grandmother died. Far from being the first person I'd lost in my life, but she was the first person I ever watched die. Slowly. I am not the first person to experience this and I will certainly not be the last. But watching her change, struggle, hurt and finally let go made me think of Psalm 23 - specifically the verse that says "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil." As a child I thought nothing about this verse really - well truth be told I felt it was metaphorical. Ya know, like when you're going through anything bad in life. Anything alone.

And it might be - probably is. But after watching her I feel like I now know what the valley of the shadow of death looks like and that it is perhaps something more than a metaphor.

For anyone unfamiliar with the typical proceedings of an Ash Wednesday service, at some point (frequently the end) there is a time when you're invited to come up to the front and have ashes placed on your forehead in the shape of a cross.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. A reminder of how frail and fleeting this life can be. Also a reference to the sackcloth & ashes idea, which is what everyone seems to focus on, but for me - particularly this year it - it is about how quickly life can pass.

Reflection, does not have to be a bad thing. It's not all darkness and self-loathing (or it shouldn't be!) Reflection can simply be taking a moment to stop; to take in what is around you; to breathe; to be quiet; to be still.

And who doesn't need to take the time to do that these days?

Just a thought.


Monday, January 10, 2011

When Tweets Make You Think

I follow a lot of people on Twitter. Some I know & some I don't - and a lot of them to keep up with what's happening in the industry. Still there are some people who I've just grown to love what they have to say.

Pauley Perrette, who plays Abby on the CBS show NCIS (very good show!), is someone I just started following on Twitter and she shared something really interesting yesterday. One of her tweets said "At church we wrote what we want to be forgiven for or who we need to forgive We all pray over cards. Forgiveness: God's best Gift." I immediately thought that was such a cool concept and it made me think a lot about forgiveness.

I know from my own experiences that forgiveness is not a quick process. Sometimes it takes years to really complete the process. I think so often we think forgiveness is a one step action. But I think it's a process that begins with you first being willing to start to let go of something that happened in spite of the fact that it hurt you. That's tough. It just is. And I think it's okay that it's tough.

But I also think it's vital to not only having a more peaceful world, but to having peace within yourself. I know growing up in church I was taught that we were to forgive the way God forgives us. Well....God is perfect so He (I believe) can complete the forgiveness process instantly. Humans are not so good at that - of course I wasn't taught that part - just that you're supposed to forgive. I thought it was a quick thing.

The other thing church didn't teach me (but thankfully my Mom did) was that forgiveness isn't really for the other person - it's for you. Allowing anger, resentment or bitterness to live within your spirit / heart / body can make you really sick - mentally, spiritually and physically. And it can suppress the light within you keeping you from radiating joy or love.

Forgiveness really frees you to open yourself up to love & peace & joy. It allows you to say you yes someone hurt you, but you are strong enough to move beyond that hurt and love them anyway. I loved the idea that Pauley tweeted about praying over the cards because I think it's really hard to stay bitter or angry toward someone when you pray for them.

Just a thought.


*Check out http://twitter.com/PauleyP to see Pauley Perrette's Twitter.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Brand New Morning

It's a new year. For the first time that I can remember, I'm really excited to be beginning a new year. The end of 2010 was all kinds of bad - dealing with the loss of my grandmother, my Mom being diagnosed with breast cancer & being unemployed.

Thank God as we begin 2011 Mom is cancer free and I've had a nice visit with her. I've finally been able to get in touch with actual people within the industry I want to work in to talk to them and learn more about getting a start in the business. And for better or worse, I have a real sense of possibility about the future.

It's funny how when you feel what I would describe as the loss of hope, your spiritual gas tank (so to speak) can be drained so fast. As Christmas rolled around this year I was just exhausted and really wanted to be lazy. So the week between Christmas and New Years, I was a little lazy. I played the Wii & board games with Mom. We watched movies and slept late. And somehow as we counted down to the final seconds of 2010 I felt an almost overwhelming excitement building up inside of me that stayed through to the next morning.

Somehow on New Years day the world just looked a little brighter. I realized my spiritual tank had been refilled and I felt a renewal of hope. It's a good way to start a new year.

Just a thought.