30 November 2008

Is nature waiting for Jesus' return too?

While laying on a friend's bed, looking out the window in the master bedroom, I notice such beautiful trees full of color reaching out to the heavens and I wonder, "Are they, too, waiting for Jesus to return?"  The trees and animals, all that has life, must be waiting in anticipation for the return of our Jesus.  They, too, want to be disease-free and free from human destruction (or negligence), yet they stand tall; showing their brilliant colors - on display for the whole world to see!  

We, too, are called as created beings of God, to be part of His greatness and beauty-to stand tall and to shine His light on others.  He has given us wonderful colors of our own, like feathers on a peacock, to share with one another.  Imagine with me for minute that everything we do, every act we perform, has a unique color all it's own and God sees these colorful acts as adding to the beauty of a world He created.  Wouldn't that be amazing if we could see acts in the form of colors?  In thinking this, I do foresee a problem...as it is in our nature, humans are going to want to interpret these colors and brand them "good and bad"!  I think if we look hard enough at our own deeds, and the deeds of others, we are able to see God shining His light amongst us.  It was in science class (long, long ago), I learned light is made up of a spectrum of all the colors and darkness is the absence of these colors.  Spiritually this makes sense.  God is light and without God there is only darkness!  And what survives in total darkness??  Not much!   

I think we can learn from God's other creations (you know, the non-human ones) to share our colors and be beautiful by the glory given to us only by the wonderful Artist who has painted, sculpted, built, transformed, and breathed His life into each one of us.  I want the colors I emit to be vibrant and beautiful to my Master, regardless of my surroundings. I want to bring about the colors in those around me that are pleasing to Him, as I wait for Jesus to return.

24 November 2008

My first day...unemployed!

Today is the first day I am officially unemployed and I feel so free!  It was a little chilly here in Oceanside, but the day is looking beautiful. I got up this morning (not too terribly late, 8-ish) and grabbed my Bible where I sat down at the table and began to read Nehemiah.  I am impressed with Nehemiah's faith leading him into action, more specifically because he was deeply depressed (for four months) about Jerusalem being in ruins he prayed and fasted and still remained depressed.

I can tell you from personal experience, depression doesn't lead into action...at least it didn't lead me into action-but inaction!  I only wanted to sleep, be left alone, and I don't recall praying or fasting through my depression, like Nehemiah did.  I often wonder what my depression would have looked like if I was actively walking with my Lord and Savior at the time? Would my faith have been strong? Would I have been able to orchestrate the rebuilding of what lead me into despair?  I hope I never have to find out...I think I am more aware of my mental state now, ready to question myself when something just doesn't seem right and make changes.

Back to Nehemiah...he sought the help of God to fix Jerusalem's walls and God gave him clarity and wisdom to pursue his goal, as it wasn't for Nehemiah's welfare, but for the entire Jewish nation.  Of course there was opposition, but God gave him a strong mind to deal with the enemies' tactics.  One of the most incredible aspects to this story is it only took 52 days to complete fixing the gates and some areas of the wall (I doubt even with today's technology and heavy machinery that this would be a possible feat, unless God was there to oversee it's completion).   With God, the impossible IS possible!  

"...With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."  Matthew 19:26

I want to start my days off right...give God the first of each and every one of my days, like I give Him the first of my earnings.  I'm ashamed to admit this, but I use to give Him the last of my days and sometimes He didn't even get that.  My days are His to begin with! And I want to be more alert to purposefully make sure I am doing this in my life and ponder the possibilities of God's continual work in me!  

22 November 2008

I never thought...

...I would thoroughly enjoy karaoke!  It made it all the more enjoyable that I was surrounded by my closest girl friends and I felt far less self-conscious about my inability to sing...so to be around those that love me, flaws and all, I was able to drop my guard and just be me!  I guess I should back up and explain what I'm talking about...  Last night was a get-together with friends to play games (you know... have a little fellow-shipping fun...), relax, enjoy each other's company, wind down from a week of chaos for some and the schoolwork-load for others...
The night began as we played some sort of pig-dice game (a crazy game where you toss two pigs and you get points for the positions they land in.  1st one to 100 points wins--congratulations Sarah!).  Then came the 'let's sing" moment of my life!  I "happily" accepted to be the first one to sing (you know...set the stage for those next in line)!?!  We sang so many songs, I can barely recall them all.  I don't even remember the first song I sang but here's a list of what we sang both individually and in duets and as a group:

Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dotted Bikini
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
Ebony and Ivory
I'm Too Sexy
Wind Beneath My Wings
We Are The World
Hey Jude
Brown Eyes Blue
Frosty The Snowman
Jingle Bell Rock
Sexual Healing
Vision Of Love
Money Money Money
Gimme Gimme Gimme
Dancing Queen
Dude Looks Like A Lady
Turn Back Time

By the end of the night my voice had lost any semblance of tone that it might have ever been in...also my vocal cords gradually became raspy and horse.  I was afraid I might not have a voice when I woke up this morning...but I was up and talkin' without fail!  I had a blast and I know the rest of us did too (it was a little tiring).                                      

Thanks Nadia for hosting!  Thanks for the duets Timmery, Maria, and Sarah!  Thanks for jumping right in Lissa (without skipping a beat)-you showed up and were handed the mic like it was your new best friend!  Crazy dance moves too...
I'll have pictures soon too (thanks Nadia)...just waiting for you Sarah!  

All you ladies are an awesome addition to my life and I wouldn't trade you for any other!  Thank you God for the women than you have hand-picked to be a part of who I am and have encouraged me to be. 

03 November 2008

A hectic October...

An era has passed...gone are the days of working for Office Depot as I know it! It's been almost 9 years that I have worked with the company, just over 6 years of them on Camp Pendleton alone. It's been a while since I've been able to post a blog and this is why...the month of October has been pretty hectic!

First, there was the move...I was given notice to vacate my premise by Oct. 29th. The landlords wanted to move in their mother-in-law (besides...I was looking to buy a home anyway). I had 60 days to get my belongings somewhere other than there. Little by little I grabbed empty boxes from Office Depot and began packing up my life. I found storage for my things and made numerous trips to & from storage with my things. I'm not one to procrastinate, which is why I couldn't leave everything until it was absolutely necessary to leave (which is what Rene Redifer wanted me to do). Rene offered up her family's time, energy, and resources to help me move! It was truly a blessing! Turns out they loaded up their truck in about 40 minutes and my home was empty...

Looking for a home to buy brings us to number two...I began spending any extra time I had physically looking at potential homes that I might want to buy while still working 40+ hours a week, attending Tuesdays women's small group, Thursdays PoCo at church, Saturdays second small group, and of course church on Sundays. Found an adorable home in great condition, put an offer on it and still waiting to hear more from the bank about it. Right now, I am the back-up offer! Someone else has put an offer on the table (higher than the comps in the area) but the bank hasn't accepted anything just yet (it's a "short-sale"). Not to mention, the owners are still living there - probably until the last possible moment they can?

And thirdly, but crazily and most importantly, my job will soon fade away...Office Depot will no longer be aboard Camp Pendleton. Halloween was the last day that we were able to sell our merchandise! We stayed until 10ish that night to begin the inventory process. [It's not like there were any parties going on that night!] *sarcasm* And returned at 7 the next morning for re-counts. That took approx. 3 hours. After re-counts it was time to clear the shelves - make way for the new vendor to bring in their product! After me and my crew busted our humps...no really I think mine's broken!...I took them out for lunch/dinner. We didn't even stop until the shelves were empty! I am very proud of the work we all did and how long it took us to do it! Now comes shipping the merchandise out...

Today was the first day of that process. Everyone but me was in the back getting merchandise together for transfers while I was in the office keying in all the adjustments from the inventory. It took me all day...not figuratively, literally - all 8 working hours to key them in! Now here comes some complaining (look out)...my back is sore, the muscles around my shoulders are extremely tight! I need a massage :-) Okay, I'm done (for now)...

In all this "madness" I am at peace! God has poured out His peace and comfort on me! AND I FEEL IT!!! Each day is new and an experience I probably won't ever have again. But, it didn't start off that way...I had 4 days of tears before I began to feel His presence. I didn't have any answers beyond my current state! Who needs answers??? God knows how He's going to provide for my needs. He knows what will happen next. All I can do is finish what I started. Go to work each day, do my job (try not to get irritated or frustrated...I am only human), give God the glory He's due. And do it all again the next day! That's how I am trying to live through this trial and will try to live out the rest of my days.

The verse Jeremiah 29:11 is particularly relevant to what I am going through and I will cling to it knowing what God is asking me to do.

Some of the more positive notes for October have been...I'm getting my full deposit back (for the apartment I was renting). I'll be getting a severance package from Office Depot when I leave. I've moved in with my mom (which will save me more money than having to rent an entire apartment by myself). She's got a of couple dogs ("my brothers" as she likes to refer to them as...) which are good for my mental state. I'm surrounded by friends who not only love me, but pray for me! I'm looking at buying an Apple laptop sometime this month (my PC is so ancient) and I'll be able to take (daily) photo's like Timmery *snicker-snicker*. Life's looking up! It's all about looking up isn't it? Looking to God in every circumstance. Whether you perceive it as good or bad!