Thursday, May 22, 2008

Middle man

I'm a middle man.

I open books to the middle, and usually close them before reaching the end. When telling a story, I jump straight to the crux (this makes for a super lame story, but that's beside the point), clumsily avoiding the background. In relationships, I despise the "top three" type of questions in the getting-to-know-you stage; and I cry when I hug goodbye.

I've gotten better at saying good-bye these last few years, though. I've developed a method that almost always works for me: I simply don't think about it. I know, brilliant, right?

This method, however, takes utmost concentration in not concentrating. It's all zen, in trying to relax, breath and not channel your thoughts; I'm sure it must have some "green" properties, too, since zen and green are in a relationship -dating, but not boyfriend and girlfriend. It's okay, I don't get the concept either... but I'm sure zen and green do.

I find this method as exhausting as building up my core muscles on a skinny, little, pink, green or blue pad. I've always subconsciously thought that the more sad I am when leaving someone, the more it meant that I enjoyed our time together.

Beginnings are awkward. Endings are the end. Put me in the middle, please; I like it there.

Then I found this qoute:
"How lucky I am to have something that makes good-bye so hard" -anonymous

Breath in... now let it out. Good, now relax. That's fine, work through it. Okay, now just let the mind wander, don't think about Portland, don't think about the last time at the Sherwood Coffee Company, don't think about the last time listening to Peter talk at the Gathering, don't think about the last time you will pull into the drive at 16351 Pleasant Hill, don't think...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Distractions that I welcome

"Dan" "Callie"

As prehospital emergency care providers...

...we are taught to improvise.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Some have soul-mates, others bosom-buddies... I have blood-brothers

Blonde, adorable, smart, and just nine years old. He was showing Nolan and I his play house that he and his grandpa had built. I don't know his name, nor had I ever seen him before; we weren't introduced, but he was most hospitable and gave us the grand tour (including the jail) of the house.

Being a contractor's daughter, I was paying particular attention to the details: "Oh, how nice, you have wood floors." He kinda nods, is about to say something, then Nolan -who used to work construction- cuts in, "Laminate, I think it's laminate, you know the..." The kid is nodding, but suddenly speaks, "Vinyl. The floor is vinyl... yeah, it kinda looks like wood, but it's not." The toe of his shoe makes a dust rainbow on the floor while he talks.

Later, I ask him if he wants to be a doctor like his grandpa when he grows up. He promptly shakes his head, "I want to be a garbage man." No kidding! Me too! "I watch them all the time... they're pretty cool."

Yeah, he and I are like this.

Friday, May 16, 2008

I have a hang-over... a good way.

I'm still a bit looped from the most incredible night.

It began, not on a dark and dreary night, but on a lovely summer's (almost) eve; and me not being able to decide whether I should wear shorts or a skort to bible-study. Shorts won, and I was a few minutes late to the Gathering.

Study of the word and worship of my dear Jesus was beautiful. Several times during worship, I would just stop and watch those around me pour out their hearts to Him. And He came down and loved us.

Later, some "fellowship" with my dear friends around a bon-fire. The night was cloudless and warm. The fire flickered and spit out occasional embers. Conversation lapped like waves on the Oregon Coast.

The highlight though, was country roads, a Jeep Wrangler, and a Honda 800!

Ted's jeep was topless, doorless and had big tires. The wind whipped our hair and pulled on any article of clothing that was not directly tied down.

And then, Allen's 800. Nothing more needs to be said.

Jesus, friends, stars, and the night wind. Incredible.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Proverbs 31

Beautiful inside and out. A mother in all the best ways. My Mama.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

My Dad and Goldilocks

My parents are Dutch Brothers' drinkers. Partly because in the town I grew up in, its more available, and partly because it's just right.

For whatever reason, Dutch Brother's is much less common here in Portland. Starbucks is the thing. And I adore having my parents take me out to coffee here.

We're at the counter, Dad looks at me and says, "You go first." I smile, turn to the barista, "Yeah, I'll have a tall skinny vanilla latte." I tilt the end of my statement just a bit, so it's less harsh and comes out with a hint of question. I feel grown-up and important (a kick-back to the days when it was a sign of maturity among my fellow junior-highers to drink coffee), because I know when we get back to the car, Dad will tell Mama how I ordered her coffee like a professional, and doesn't it taste good?

It was one of these times that Dad and I decided we wanted a tall "Goldilocks latte." We chuckled over our cleverness as we explained to Andrew, our barista, that it was a latte or mocha that was "just right: not too sweet, but sweet enough; not too hot, but hot enough."

"ha ha ha." Actually, I don't know if Andrew was even that enthusiastic.

Outside, sat about five white-curly-haired, sweet-looking old ladies. My Dad turns to me with a sparkle in his eyes, "They're the Goldilocks' club... not too sweet, but sweet enough; not to hot, but hot enough."

We laugh all the way to his truck, stopping just short of waking K and G from their nap in the backseat.

Friday, May 9, 2008

A time and place for everything

So stop me now, if you don't want to hear this.

Honesty is a good thing. Transparency is a good thing. And perfectly timing one or the other, or both of these, is a beautiful thing.

I'm a blurter. I've so strived after being completely honest and transparent that I often say things that shouldn't be said -at least not at that time. There is a time for sharing, but just now? Mmm. Not a good time.

Yeah, well, see... In about two weeks, I'll either be living in a ditch or on to new heights... at the moment the ditch is looking mainstem.

And what are they, the poor people I've just bestowed with this lovely information supposed to do?

Next time you see that behold-I'm-now-going-to-be-transparent-and-honest look come over my eyes? Shut me down. And if you're afraid? Just turn and walk away.

After all, Jesus is my tell-all, not you.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A new joy

I'm standing, shifting my weight from one foot to the next.

The guys would be picked through first. Then the girls would be sifted through. Girlfriends/crushes usually made the first cut. Second were the athletic ones, then came "You take one, we'll get the other." Or if there happened to be an odd number, we were "lumped."

Today though, I had my "A" game on. It felt good. And I tried to keep the bounce from my step as I went to high-five my teammates. Several tube-socked, gangly guys were still shifting from one foot to the other in the line-up.

I was chosen. I wasn't a left-over. I wasn't a "you're on my team because we're nice and play with everyone; and just to show you how nice we are, we'll toss the ball in your direction occasionally." No. I was chosen.

And He has chosen me. If there was ever a team that I would want to be chosen for, this is the ultimate. It's as though the universe had Olympics, and I was chosen for our solar system's team (wonder what our jersey's would look like)... only better.

God didn't invite me because I had something to offer Him. I've minimal talent, looks, brains... yeah... all that (see humbled beyond comfort). No. Rather, because He is.

God has never left me shocked or despaired; He is the God of Hope and the Prince of Peace. But He needs to be God. He needs to be put in His rightful place.

I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above Him were seraphs, each with six wings: with two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory.'
At the sound of their voices the door posts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
'Woe to me!' I cried, 'I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.'
Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the alter. With it he touched my mouth and said, 'See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atone for.'
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?'
And I said, "Here I am. Send me!"
He said, "Go..."

God has chosen me. And He knows me, whom He has called.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Could this be butterfly kisses?

Portland is incredibly green. But it always seems a bit cloudy (is that just me? 0r does anyone else notice that too?). Last weekend, my family hailed from the Sunshine county and sprinkled a few sunbeams on the valley.

How sparkley they made it!

Humbled beyond comfort

I was told from the beginning not to compare; it will either set me up for failure, or it will set my standards too low, and make me satisfied with a less of person than who God has made me to be. I've also been told that its not what I do that matters, but who I am.

But here I am, attempting to achieve all four matters at once and not succeeding at any one of them. It's easy not to compare when I'm quite satisfied with myself. But when I want to be something that I am not (nor can ever be?)... then the gate is opened, and I can't seem to resist.

Before, when I had a set back or failure I could always turn to one of my resources, and use it as a crutch until something else in me was able to shoulder the load. If I was not the smartest, then I could be the pretty one, the one who had a little "extra" that made people like me, even if I didn't quite make the cut; and if I was not the most attractive, then I could be the smart one, marking sweet "A's" on all my works; and if neither of those was working for me, then I would turn to my personality, my family, my hobbies... I could always find something that would make me worthwhile to the society that I lived in.

And now, I've exhausted each of my resources. I've compared myself with the least of them and have come up empty.

Perhaps now, God is able to use me. Perhaps it was Him who allowed me to run out; after all, anything that I did have was a gift from Him, to be on lease for just a bit, until He deemed that I no longer needed them.

I asked Him to break me, so that I could have as intimate relationship as possible with Him. And once again, He has remained faithful. How does it feel to realize that I have neither the things that I do, nor that which makes me who I am? It feels like the tears that refuse to break from the corner of my eyes -I can't even feel the relief of pitying myself.

Jesus says that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. I wonder, when I will be willing to trade my patched army sack, infested sleeping bag, and grocery cart with tin cans, for His cot under the Willow with a glass of lemon water.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Oregon welcomes you (Oregon being me)

strike up the banjo... She'll be wearing grandma's long johns when she comes... she'll be wearing grandma's long johns when she comes, Oh! She'll be wearing grandma's long johns, she'll be wearing grandma's long johns, she'll be wearing grandma's long johns when she comes. ... and fade out.

I don't think my grandma has long johns, but if she did... my sister would be wearing them when she came.

Thankfully, it doesn't take full-body underwear with a butt-flap to bring Chelsea home, because, she's here! I personally caught a glimpse of her in Portland, Sunday, AND Monday! She was seen with a scruffy looking Alaskan, that held a similar look to Bob Dylan... any leads on who he may be? He seemed like he had potential to be charming -in a scruffy way... then I saw his Skinny Raven t-shirt. The audacity!

Oh look. Now she's wearing one too.

On procrastination

Case in point: I started this blog a week ago; I squeezed one sentence out (later deleted) about procrastination, and then became distracted. So it sat, day after day in my blog draft box, wishing to be posted. I'm posting it now. Why? Because I'm hiding from some other task, until it too is near due, or past due.

So if you have your bibles, turn with me to the book of Romans. Romans chapter 7, starting in verse 14. If not, I won't be putting it up on the big screen over your head -too bad for you.

And that, friends, is my view on procrastination.