I've still been trying to figure out this whole getting rid of idols thing. I want God to be my #1 priority, but I get confused with how to balance that with living. I'm not great at multi-tasking. So as I continue to meditate on this, I am figuring out ways to make God my number one while still functioning in society. So far this is what I have:
- Observe the Sabbath to keep it Holy (Deuteronomy 5:12) - based on my study yesterday.
- Commit your way the Lord (Psalm 37:5).
- Rejoice always (1 Thessalonians 5:16)
- Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
- Give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
- Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39)
- Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (Matthew 22:37) - sometimes I still struggle with knowing what this looks like.
- Make disciples (Matthew 28:19)
Today's a day for me. Life has kept me surprisingly busy over the past week or so, and I haven't had a moment to rest. After last week when I felt so burdened with my never-ending and constantly growing to-do list, I pulled out the handy dandy Book along with a couple books that I had read for my Sleep, Surrender and Sabbath class last semester. I sometimes have to keep reminding myself that rest is not a luxury, but rather a necessity - not to mention another way to die to myself.
Yesterday Brent talked about idols. I know I have idols in my life. The one that comes to mind and has consumed me most recently is my auctioneering. I feel like every second I'm not doing something else, I'm trying to figure out how to move ahead in my business. I struggle with seeing this as an idol, seeing as I need to keep it on my mind quite frequently in order to be successful. As I spent the day praying about how I can keep this as a priority without placing it in front of the Lord, I felt the Him saying, "Just rest in me. The world will still keep on turning even if you're not doing anything to move it along."
We are required to work; that's what we get for sinning. And although we cannot experience God's presence the way we were intended to in the Garden of Eden, we were still given the Sabbath to have a time where our mind, body and spirit can come to Jesus. Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote in his book The Sabbath:
"The Sabbath is the most precious present mankind has received from the treasure house of God. All week we think: The spirit is too far away, and we succumb to spiritual absenteeism, or at best we pray: Send us a little of Thy spirit. On the Sabbath the spirit stands and pleads: Accept all excellence from me..."
I could go on forever about the Sabbath. I think it may be my favorite Biblical topic. The idea of having a designated time of rest to come fully into the presence of God - assuming we can die to ourselves to make the time for it - is so freeing.
9:00 - Wake up and shower and get ready.
10:00 - Work on PowerPoint for Pine Harbor Christian Academy Auction.
1:00 - Interview for part-time nanny job.
2:00 - Work at BE.
7:00 - Meet with BJT about website and to catch up.
After that - Work on PowerPoint more...it must be done by tomorrow.
Oy Vay, for being so broke, I sure do a lot of work.
Pray for Nate; he's waiting to hear on an internship.
Pray for Laura; she's waiting to hear on a job.
Pray for Me; I'm interviewing and will be waiting to hear on a job.
Pray for Amanda; she needs a car stat.
Pray for Daddy; still needs a job.
Pray for Kate; she needs focus to finish this semester. She comes home soon!
Pray for everyone else I'm forgetting; they have stuff that needs prayer.
I lost my phone. I'm at a standstill because I have so much to get done this morning that requires my phone. I've been frantically searching every nook and cranny in this entire house/purse/car/parent's house. I had it this morning, but now it's gone. It also happens to be dead, so don't try to call it to help me out. It won't work.
I can't rest until I find it. That is my life right now: I can't rest until...
I've been go go going without rest and without getting anywhere. Still no job, and still no more BIG auctions in sight. Sure, I have some small ministry-type and private school auctions, but nothing BIG. I can't rest until I'm fully booked. I can't rest until I get a job. I can't rest until my student loans are paid off. I can't rest until I...
Until I, me, by myself without help. That's my problem.
"Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest."
Thank you, Lord.
The sunshine is out again today! What a blessing! I'm going through the tedious task of sorting through winter/summer clothes to see what I need to keep/store/donate/reinvent. It's a big project, but completely necessary and it gets me organized for the next few months. Speaking of which, does anyone have any cheap ideas to organize shoes? I don't like regular shoe racks. I prefer to keep my shoes scattered around my room so I can sit on my bed and make the decision based on what I can see. Not really, but that's the system I have right now.
Still no news from the nanny job. Gosh, it would be nice to have steady income, but it's not in my hands anymore. I had a dream last night that they texted me to tell me I didn't get the job. Talk about passive. Luckily it was just a dream. I'm still praying.
It's free ice cream cone day at Ben and Jerry's! I love ice cream.
I'm in the Seattle airport waiting for my shuttle to arrive. Now is a good time to share some things about my flight this morning.
I had perfect timing. By the time I got to the F10 gate and sat down for less than 30 seconds, the flight attendant announced that they would now be boarding all passengers. Sweet.
I had an entire row of seats to myself. I was sitting next to an older couple - the husband was quite overweight and this causes inconvenience when flying coach. They spotted an exit row, which has more leg room, that was not being occupied so they left me by myself.
I read The Bell Jar the entire flight. It is a book I've started to read half a dozen times, but every time I tell someone I'm reading it, they tell me it's depressing...good, but depressing. I do not enjoy being depressed so I don't read any more. After the flight, I am far enough in to stay committed to the read.
I got confused trying to find the baggage claim. They use very few words on their signs, mostly symbols. I just guessed. Luckily the train did in fact lead me to the baggage claim.
After my long journey to baggage claim I went to get a bagel and an impulse purchase of chocolate milk. After paying I walked around the corner to find an empty table. Instead of an empty table, I found one with Brad Fendler sitting at it. I see him about 3 to 4 times a year, and of course I would run into him in Seattle.
That brings me to where I am now. Sitting at a table with three too many chars huddled around it and next to the rack of travel brochures and a giant fake rock, waiting for the shuttle to Tulalip, WA.
I love the airport.
As some of you may know, I do not work full time yet so I do spend some time in the mornings watching day time talk shows. I don't watch The View, because, well, its The View and the women on it are stupid. I don't watch Oprah because she thinks she is the greatest thing given to this planet and she's on at 4:00, and frankly I just have better things to do at that time. I don't watch Tyra because she only talks about herself. If you haven't noticed this about her before, please go and watch an episode to see how she will interview her guests and then turn the conversation around on herself. I used to like Regis and Kelly because I think their chemistry is fantastic and Regis just makes me happy. However, I have begun watching Ellen when I can and that's on at the same time as Regis. Let me tell you why I like Ellen: she doesn't take herself or life too seriously. A lot of talk show hosts convince themselves that they are changing the world by being on TV. Ellen, on the other hand, is entertaining and she treats all of her guests with respect. Plus, she begins every episode with dancing! All this to say, watch this:
I dare you to read the following and then try not to act more like Christ. I don't think it's possible. It is a quote from Ray Stedman's book The Queen and I:
"When, because of your faith, your life too becomes perceptibly different; when your reactions are quite opposite to what the situation seems to call for and your activities can no longer be explained in terms of your personality; that is when your neighborhood will sit up and take notice. In the eyes of the world, it is not our relationship with Jesus Christ that counts; it is our resemblance to him."
He is mighty to save and with that we have so much to be joyful about!
I miss having roommates! It is 10:06 pm as I begin writing. If I were still in college and lived with roommates, I would not be sitting by myself in the dark as I am now. Chances are that I would be doing one of the following:
- Watching a movie with my roommate.
- Looking through magazines with my roommate.
- Venting about classes/boys/life to my roommate.
- Listening to my roommate as she vents about classes/boys/life.
- Praying with my roommate (this was one of my favorite things to do)!
- Tormenting my roommate by trying to cuddle with her after ten pm (I love to cuddle, but for some reason I always had roommates who did not appreciate it the same way I do - someday I will have a roommate who will like cuddling with me).
- Making a snack with my roommate and trying to find ways to justify eating junk food after 8:00 pm.
- Doing homework in the living room with my roommate.
- Drinking hot chocolate with my roommate out of matching sea lion mugs that were foolishly and wonderfully purchased online after drinking a couple glasses of wine (but clearly not wine because I went to Bethel...wink).
- Picking out my outfit for the next day and asking my roommate for feedback.
- Encouraging my roommate.
- Listening to my roommate's encouragement.
- Having "on that note" with my roommate. Side note: this was a practice that was unique to Stephanie and me. We would always talk to each other when we were in bed before we fell asleep. One night we were talking and the conversation got so awkward that one of us just said, "Well, on that note...goodnight." The phrase stuck and that's how we ended every night.
- Brushing my teeth with my roommate.
- Walking around my apartment in my unmentionables just to get a reaction from my roommate.
- Baking cookies with my roommate.
- Sharing my deepest thoughts, struggles and joys with my roommate and listening to her do the same.
- Having a sleep over...every night!
I came across a letter that Kate sent me a while back. We are pen pals. Kate, sorry I didn't write you back yet. I have a letter half-written in my purse waiting to be signed, sealed and delivered. At this point I will rewrite the letter all together. In her letter she brought up our role as young professionals in this economy. She wrote (and Kate I hope you don't mind me sharing this, but I just like it):
I've come to believe that we're about to experience another revolution. This revolution will totally change the current economic landscapte and will stem from the individualistic youth (us!) who despite corporate conformity, who with the tools of the internet, will market themselves and their own ideas in the free market and will, in that way, make a satisfying living.That excites me. When there are no jobs out there we have to be creative and motivated enough to survive. I just met with my dad to create a business plan for my auctioneering. I have been looking for jobs for the past three months and have decided that I want to focus on my desired career path rather than wasting my time and energy on something that will merely pay the bills. That is something to get excited about!
The street sweepers were out today, and, as Nate pointed out earlier, that is the sign that it is spring in Minnesota. Forget about the glorious sunshine and comfortable weather. Sweeping the dirty streets gives us hope for the new life that will be popping up very soon. I love spring. It just puts me in a bouncy mood. Like I'm so happy I could just bounce.
We went to Jensen's (or is it Jenson's?) in Burnsville this morning. They have the best bacon in the whole wide world. One piece is pretty much equivalent to three pieces of regular bacon, and it is the perfect amount of crispy. Healthy? No, but it surely is delicious.
I have an interview with a family as a Nanny today. It's not quite what I thought I'd be doing after college, but I'm not the one who directs my steps anyway...
I left one of my blinds open last night by accident. I normally don't like to do that because it weirds me out that people can see inside my big windows, but it turned out to be a good idea. I woke up to sunshine this morning! I went upstairs to eat breakfast and have coffee with Grandma, and it was so sunny that I couldn't sit in my regular spot at the table because the sun was blinding my eyes. Gloria and I began to rave about the glorious sunshine...spring is just around the corner...pretty soon we'll be able to eat breakfast on the deck...it's like we're in Maui...gosh, it's just so nice outside. As usual, Grandma G. decided to turn on the weather channel where all of our optimisms were shattered. In the lower right hand corner it read our temperature: -2. In unison we screamed, "WHAT?" I still believe spring is around the corner.
I feel like I talk about weather too much. It just has such a big impact on me.
Enjoy the sunshine!
March. It could possibly be the grossest month of the year. I hate February too, but I can at least tolerate it given that it is only 28 days long and it is honest. March, on the other hand, is nothing but a tease. The only thing that gets me though the month is knowing that once it's done, the weather will have calmed down and it will be spring. If you are a seasoned Minnesotan, however, you know that there could very possibly be snow in April. Granola! Anyway, we'll be there soon enough.
Today is officially Purim. It goes from sundown of last night to sundown of tonight. In honor of the jewish holiday, Laura and I baked the traditional Haman's Pocket cookies. They were quite the project, but they are quite tasty. If we were to really celebrate the day Esther saved the Jews we would have taken part of all the other Purim festivities:
- Reading the Esther Story and booing for Haman and cheering for Mordecai.
- Partake in festival-like parties.
- Eaten Matza balls.
- Drank wine until we confused Haman and Mordecai (this is seriously written in the Talmud).
- Partied like it was 478 BC!
Still no job. God will provide what is necessary...as usual.
God is cool? Yes. As you know, my hours/pay were cut immensely due to my demotion at Bare Escentuals. It wasn't my dream job by any means, but it paid the bills...sort of. A couple days after I found out my terrible news, I received a check in the mail for almost the exact difference of what will be missing in my next pay check. The memo on the check was "BSA activities refund." Perhaps they found out that I didn't attend a single BSA activity all year and they recognized it as a wise decision so they gave me my money back. However, it's more likely that they initially charged me for two semesters when I only attended Bethel for one semester this year. Anyway, I needed the money now and God provided. He is so good.
Thankful for the money you do have? Check out Spencer's message that he gave at Evergreen Bloomington.
Ever since I played Esther in a school play in 5th grade I have had a special interest in this Biblical figure. I have always had an interest in Jewish tradition. Perhaps it is because I have a very very small fraction of Jewish blood in me. Maybe it is because Mrs. Allison, the Bethany Academy music teacher, used to teach us about Passover, Purim, Hanukkah and other Jewish traditions. It could also be that it is the roots of our Christianity and it is important to understand. I don't know why it fascinates me, but it does. Jewish traditions give us the chance to remember and reflect on what our God has done. God is good and we must not forget it!
Back to Esther. I was just reading through Esther 4 where she finds out about Haman's plot to kill the Jews and Mordecai (her uncle) tells her she needs to talk to the king. The thing is that even though she is the Queen, it is against the law to approach the king with out him summoning her. By "against the law" I mean that she could literally be put to death. So Esther has the most legit excuse in the world to cop out of her calling, but it didn't fly with Mordecai.
What would Ben Tipler say? I don't want excuses, I want results. Here's what Mordecai said,
"Don't think for a moment that because you're in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for such a time as this?" (4:13-14)
Oh snap. Talk about a chilling reminder that the only reason we are where we are is because God needs us there. Some how this makes my worries seem so trivial. Praise Jesus for that reminder. Beth Moore reminds us, "I had to accept that I was not called to an easy life. I was called to a purposeful life.
Side note: Purim is coming up. I think I blogged about Purim last year because I was reading a book about a woman who was figuring out her religion, switching between Orthodox Judaism and Christianity. Purim is March 9th this year. More to follow.
I am sick. I can't breath out of my nose and I have mucus clogging up my throat. Gross. I keep having to sneeze. I HATE SNEEZING! What's even worse are the times where I have to sneeze, but I can't. So I am stuck making a stupid face while I wait for a sneeze to emerge. I am living off Tylenol Cold and Head Congestion, herbal tea and Girl Scout cookies.
The cat went home today. I am not sad at all.
Nate went home yesterday. That does make me sad, but I was very lucky to see him.
Now I'm watching the season finale of the Bachelor. It's the first episode I've watched all season, but I wanted to be a part of the girls' conversation at work tomorrow. This show is so easy to get hooked on, but it makes me sick at the same time. In about 45 minutes Jason will propose to one of the girls he's in love with. ONE of the girls he is in love with. He is in love with TWO women, and he was in love with a different girl last season. Talk about baggage. What will he do? I must go and find out.
With lots of love,
As Kathleen Kelly questioned in my all-time favorite, You've Got Mail, "What does that mean anyway? 'It's not personal, it's business?' Because it was personal to me."
I was recently demoted. After my boss strongly encouraged me to step down from my position she said, "Sarah, it's not personal." I responded, "I know...it's business." I wonder if she picked up the reference.
I consider myself humbled.
I was recently demoted. After my boss strongly encouraged me to step down from my position she said, "Sarah, it's not personal." I responded, "I know...it's business." I wonder if she picked up the reference.
I consider myself humbled.
Yesterday we had an all day training session for Bare Escentuals. It was fun, but mean. Let me tell you why it was mean. They showed us all of the new things for spring that we fell in love with but cannot access until MAY! Look out for Bare Escentuals new all 100% natural lip glosses. They're creamy (not sticky), soft, smell a bit like cake batter, and they do not make the lips tingle. Come visit me in May and play with them. I also fell in love with the brand new Bare Escentuals Buxom Mascara which is only exclusive to Sephora. Perhaps the best mascara I've ever tried. If you want BIG BIG lashes, go to Sephora and get them now! I may not always love my job, but at least I LOVE the product.
On another note, it has been a beautiful week...until yesterday that is. I heard the birds chirping and I could even see bits of brown grass peaking through the snow patches. I am so over winter. Then yesterday we got snow...a lot of it. February is a tease, and I know that March is too so I'm ready for April. Good news is that it is a BEAUTIFUL morning. As usual, I am eating breakfast in my dining room looking out past the deck admiring the sunshine. If Gloria were with me she would notice the snow and say, without fail, "It's not like Maui." However, she is not here with me because she is in Hawaii with my mom and Kim Sims. Good for them.
Enjoy the sunshine. Spring is just around the corner.
I went to antique auction tonight. I have a friend who auctions/rings for Luther Auctions in North Saint Paul, and I wanted to see what it was all about.
I sat there for three and a half hours, watching them sell random item after random item. Everything from a beautifully hand carved grand piano to the emerald and diamond ring and earring set to the Gone with the Wind lamp to the mug shaped like Rip Vanwinkle's face.
What do all of these things have in common? They were all precious to someone at one point in time. Antique and estate auctions are the ultimate showcase for the phrase, "one person's treasure is another person's junk." Let's be honest, people store up these collectables or treasures, if you will, all of their lives, and then they die and their children sell them. Really, who wants to take on their parent's collection of face-shaped mugs? We can travel the world and pick up rare and seemingly beautiful treasures and in the end we have nothing to show for it, because we can't take it with us when we go.
It's like that old joke:
There once was a rich man who was near death. He was very grieved because he had worked so hard for his money and he wanted to be able to take it with him to heaven. So he began to pray that he might be able to take some of his wealth with him.
An angel hears his plea and appears to him. "Sorry, but you can't take your wealth with you." The man implores the angel to speak to God to see if He might bend the rules.
The man continues to pray that his wealth could follow him. The angel reappears and informs the man that God has decided to allow him to take one suitcase with him. Overjoyed, the man gathers his largest suitcase and fills it with pure gold bars and places it beside his bed.
Soon afterward the man dies and shows up at the Gates of Heaven to greet St. Peter. St. Peter seeing the suitcase says, "Hold on, you can't bring that in here!"
But, the man explains to St. Peter that he has permission and asks him to verify his story with the Lord. Sure enough, St. Peter checks and comes back saying, "You're right. You are allowed one carry-on bag, but I'm supposed to check its contents before letting it through."
St. Peter opens the suitcase to inspect the worldly items that the man found too precious to leave behind and exclaims, "You brought pavement?!!!"
Yes, I did just post a joke on my blog. As if blogging didn't make me geeky enough. I'm over it.
"Don't store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store you treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be."
It's quite the life trying to become a young professional. This whole transition from a college student to a respectable adult is confusing and adventurous.
I bought a new suit the other day. There is nothing like wearing a suit. Whenever I wear a suit, I feel powerful and confident. When I "suit up," the world is my oyster. A suit is the difference between a college student and a young professional. If I show up for an auction in jeans (even super cute trendy jeans with cute boots) and a nice top, people will look at me and think, "she's 21...and unexperienced." However, if I show up with a suit and a padfolio (a portfolio with a legal notebook inside), people will say, "That's the auctioneer." I truly believe in the dress for success philosophy.
Anyway, I bought this suit and I have had a good week.
1) Had an informational interview at Target. I don't expect to ever really get a job there, but it was awesome learning about other opportunities that were out there for me.
2) Did a public auction for two commercial real estate agents where I sold one lot which consisted of all of the equipment and furnishings in a restaurant that went bankrupt. Although only one bidder showed up, I was able to learn more about auctioneering for legal purposes rather than just for fundraising. It was my first auction of this kind and I was able to pull it off with credibility...thanks to the suit.
3) I booked another auction for April. It's a small auction, but I get to assist in the planning a bit which will be good experience for me.
Not that all of these things can be credited to a suit, nor can my confidence. However, I feel good in a suit and when I feel good, I deliver. So in some sense, I credit the suit.
Also...the job search continues. I applied for a couple administrative positions today, and am considering applying for a part time position as a cohost for a local TV shopping network in Eden Prarie. Side note: working on QVC is a secret dream job for me. I will also be going out to an antique auction house tomorrow night just to watch a friend of mine auction. I would really like to gain more auction experience and I'm hoping to be able to get experience there, even if it is just setting up the items before the previews or being a clerk or ringman. Ideally, I want to sell, but it all comes with time. Wish me luck as I merge into this thing called adulthood.
If you know me, you know that I'm not really an animal person. I always grew up with a cat, but even then I wasn't totally stoked about it. My current cat, Kitty, is the best cat we've had and he has begun to redeem cats in my eyes. However, I'm still not a big fan of other peoples cats. Right now I am catsitting for my grandma's neighbor, Mary. The cat is a black cat named Bella. She's a pretty cat, but I still do not really appreciate having her around. She's all over my stuff and I keep tripping on her. Stupid cat. I guess it's nice to have a roommate though.
On a similar note, we (the Whitsons) have a new addition to the family...a puppy! We've never had a dog before. It's name is Cooper. I hate that name, and I told my family that I refuse to call it that and I will call it pooper, puppy or kitty instead. It's a little white puppy, and it seems to be more of a cat than a dog but it's good for us as we attempt to transition from a cat family to a dog family. He's cute and my mom is utterly in LOVE with the thing. The only problem is that puppy thinks the phrase, "Go Potty," means sit. So we bring him to the potty pad and say, "go potty," and all he does is sit down and eventually he lays down on the potty pad. It's cute and pathetic at the same time.
Not on a similar note, but fantastic nonetheless. Valentines Day. I got to see Nate! I'm blessed.
I hate buying clothes that are dry clean only. I feel like it costs more money to maintain dry clean only clothes than it does to purchase it in the first place. Kate, you know what I mean with all of your skirts. The other day I bought Dryel. You know, the dry cleaning sheets that you can use to "dry clean" your clothes in your own personal dryer. Sadly I only got the refills. Apparently I am supposed to have some sort of bag so that they can be steamed. I thought about putting them in a pillow case, but instead I put them in a bag I owned that I thought might do a decent job. They are in there right now. I hope that it doesn't ruin them because in the bag I have three of my favorite articles of clothing:
- My little black wrap dress. I'm planning on wearing it to a wedding on Saturday but Ellie stunk it up when she dressed it down to wear to school. Little black dresses are not meant to be dressed down.
- My black wool pencil skirt. It fits like a glove. I got it on sale at Ann Taylor Loft a couple of years ago and has been a staple in my wardrobe ever since. I don't know if I can go on without it. I have not been able to find a black pencil skirt as perfect since I got this one.
- My highlighter yellow cardigan. Okay, this isn't one of my absolute favorite pieces, but I still love it and don't want it to be ruined. It's that material that after you wear it once it smells like B.O. even if you didn't break a sweat at all. Gross. It's so cute and I've only worn it once because of it's need to be dry cleaned.
All this to say that I really hope this works. It will utterly break my heart if it doesn't.
So I am trying to figure out what my deal is with auctioning. I have girlfriends who are my age, if not younger, who are winning bidcalling championships and doing multiple auctions a week, and here I am only doing a handful a year. There is nothing I'd rather do more than auction. This is a very serious thing. However, I am scared out of my cute little cowboy boots of the whole idea of it. I can't figure out why. I understand that for my friends, it's a bit easier. They are second or third generation auctioneers whose lives have consisted of only auctions. It's like being a pastors kid. You go to church events multiple times a week and your friends at school don't understand why you are going to church yet again. With auction kids, they not only go to auctions they help with the auctions as ringmen and clerks and they eventually begin to call bids to help their dad's sell. They can't have another job, because on weekends they are running auctions and they LOVE IT. I envy that. I wish my dad had been an auctioneer so I was more comfortable with the whole culture that comes along with auctions. Right now it is all so intimidating to me. Perhaps it's so scary because I am so passionate about it but fear failure. It's like the people on American Idol who love singing more than everything and they but all their eggs in Simon's basket banking on winning American Idol to continue living. Then they get to the second round and find out that they are not good enough to go any further. What if that's the way it is? I don't think it will be, but the fear still exists in my mind. AHH.
I get sick to my stomach sometimes when I think about what I need to do to get started. Then again, I remember this same exact feeling when I was in Mason City at the World Wide college of Auctioneering. We had to go up and show our group what we could do. I had never uttered a single auction phrase before and I had to go after John Kisner who had been auctioneering for nearly 10 years. I cried countless times that week. I remember John saying to me in his little southern accent, "That smile is what's going to sell. Your chant will come in time." It took about 6 ten hour days into the course before my chant began to come, but it came. Now I just want experience.
Sorry for that rant, but I just want to auction and it's killing me that I'm not. If you think about it, pray that I will have the courage to just do it.
I went and got my nails done today. I picked out this deep magenta color, and when I asked Mary (the nail lady) what she thought of it she said, "It's...okay." I asked her why she thought it was just "okay," and she thought I ought to be a little more festive for Valentines day, "Pink is better for Valentines day." So here I am with Barbie pink nails. I think the exact color was OPI's "That's berry darling," but I'm not positive.
I remember sitting at my kitchen table doing homework. I was sitting in the seat nearest to the backyard facing our front door. I was in sixth grade and my parents were out of town so my Aunt Teresa was watching us. Although I remember the moment clear, the conversation seems to be a bit foggy. With the exception of one part. We were talking about something, to which I replied, "that's lucky." Teresa responded, "No, it's providential."
That was the first time I was introduced to the idea of providence: the idea, as Merriam-Webster describes, that God is the "power sustaining and guiding human destiny." That moment, giving me a clear understanding of the workings of my Lord, changed my faith dramatically. I began to understand that everything that happened, from the big scary things in life to the trivial joys, happened for a reason. Imagine the peace that comes along with that! Nate pointed out to me recently that oftentimes when something unfortunate happens my reaction is, "Well, that's life." Yes, I will whine about it for a bit, but in the end I know it is what it is and there's nothing I can do to change it. It's life; it happened that way because it is part of the bigger puzzle. Who am I to challenge God's will? God's will is perfect and inevitable.
This leads me to share my excitement for the Esther Bible study I am doing with the women's ministry at Evergreen. It is Beth Moore's most recent study. I have always loved Esther, mostly because she's a woman and God used her in powerful ways. The book has also always intrigued me since I heard, or read rather, Chuck Swindoll mention that Esther is the only book in the Bible that does not mention God's name. Why would it be in the Canon then? Beth Moore argued that God ordained it to be included in His book because although he works in big miraculous ways (such as parting the Red Sea), he also works in ways that seem to be just ordinary life. She shared the quote, "Coincidences are miracles where God decides to remain anonymous." Going into this study I had no idea it would deal with providence. I am so excited for it!
As I study the book of Esther over the next 9 weeks, I may get very excited. I will most likely pass on what I learn. Just a warning.
Many of you know Katherine Paige Sims (aka Kate Sims). She is my dearest and oldest friend. She is brilliant, bold and beautiful. She is a wonderful girl who keeps me grounded. I am forever thankful for her. Those of you who know her remember her back in the...wait for it...xanga days. Even as a high schooler she entertained us with her wit and her charm. Even the most mundane things turned into an adventure as we read them through Kate's writings. Kate, do you remember writing about your pencil case when you lived in Belgium. I remember that post and wish I could find it to use it to prove a point. Anyway, Kate is back by popular demand...by my demand. Yes, she has created a new blog. However, there are only two posts. The point of this post is to perhaps create enough readership so that she feels obligated to post more frequently. Let her know you are listening. You can find her blog (myth retold) linked on the side of my blog under Katherine Paige.
Now a personal message to my BFF:
I am sorry, but I couldn't help it. I love you.
I got pulled over. No, not recently. It was on March 18th, 2008. Do you remember that? I wrote an entry about it. The entry was posted on March 19th, 2008. Feel free to read it to trigger your memory. Basically I got pulled over for speeding but as I wrote before:
"Anyway, the young officer had mercy on me and let me off with a warning and a citation that said I didn't have a valid proof of insurance on me, but I can call the number on the back of the sheet in a week and everything will be stricken from my record."So I called a week later. The citation hadn't been processed. I called every couple days for two months and it still hadn't been processed. So naturally I gave up. Recently I got a notice in the mail saying that I had a court date regarding the citation. What!?! So I called the number on the back of the citation, which I still had saved in a file somewhere. How organized am I? Holler. Get this...the citation still has not been processed. How can I be going to court for a citation that was never processed? I called the number one last time, but instead of hitting number 1 option "to pay for a citation," I hit number 2 "to talk to someone in the office." Apparently Roseville's citation numbers changed. Anyway, nearly a year later I finally figured it out. Statefarm is faxing my information to the court place right now. I am off the hook. Ufda. I think that's all the productivity that is required of me for the day.
Tuesday: This is my Monday this week. Yesterday - my actual Monday - didn't really count as the most painful day of the week (as Monday is designed to be). However today I must work from 1:00-10:00 thus making it a painful day. Nevertheless, I am thankful to have a job even if it is only part-time.
I spent most of Sunday and Monday visiting Nate in Eau Claire. I enjoyed myself. It was fun to see and experience some of his "other life" as I like to call it.
In our down time this weekend, Nate had me watch a couple of episodes of How I Met Your Mother. Two episodes in and I was hooked. Before coming home last night, I swung by Blockbuster and picked up the rest of season one. After dinner I watched the rest of season one. Yes, I watched an entire season of How I Met Your Mother in 24 hours. Apparently I need to pace myself with the rest of the seasons, so I am waiting to begin season two.
Tomorrow I need to pick up the job search again. I have taken about four days off and I need to catch up. Looking for a job is a lot like having a job except you don't get paid. Lame.
My Utmost for His Highest was good today. It was fitting. Perhaps I'll post it later.
I just got my oil changed and while I was waiting I went to McDonalds to have my quiet time and get some coffee/breakfast (I have never had McDonalds breakfast before, and I probably won't make it a habit). When I was there I was the only woman and the only person under 55. I took a back corner table near a larger table of old men. As I sat, attempting to read Genesis, I listened to their conversations; there were a couple going on. One man was talking about an old friend of his from Seminary, another man was cracking jokes such as, "I wonder if my commemorative Obama plate will come in the mail today." After the men around him sat in silence for a bit he slapped his knee and said, "Just kidding. Hey, why didn't they make Bush bobble heads?" It was about half way through their geography trivia that they acknowledged my existence. I my Harvard sweatshirt on - the one I bought off the streets of Boston when I visited Kate a couple falls ago. I'm not sure if they actually thought if I went to Harvard, but they kept referring to it when they would get one of their trivia questions wrong. They were sweet men. The man who joked about the Obama plate saw my Bible and said above everyone else's chatter, "Well it looks like Harvard is reading the greatest book ever sold." I looked up at him and simply smiled and said, "Sure am!" Another man brought the pot of coffee over to top me off and made sure my cream was just right. They invited me back to join them on Monday morning, however I won't be around. Too bad. It felt so small town, but in the heart of Suburbia. I kind of like that.
I think I am going to start recording all of the Gloriaisms I hear while I live here then eventually put them together in a little book. Here are a few of the gems:
"If you love costume jewelry, you know where you need to go? New Orleans. When I went down last year I got so many necklaces."
In regards to the pancake mix found in the fridge that expired in 2004 (she said this in a sarcastic tone):
"4 years!?! What are you bitchin' about?"
"I can't imagine anyone who would be calling the Social Security office that doesn't speak english."
After explaining to her all the reasons why my day sucked she added:
"...and your acne..."
I am so thankful for that woman. I truly think she is one of the greatest women alive or who ever lived. I would be lucky to turn out like her someday.
So it doesn't look like I'll have to work retail full time. No, I didn't get a different job. The opportunity that I thought I may have with BE is no longer an option. I'm still searching for something. Whatever will be will be. It's just life.
"But the LORD still waits for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for him to help them."~Isaiah 30:18
As my friends head back to school to start their second semester, it is beginning to hit me that I am indeed a college graduate and that I am also in desperate need of a job. I do have a job at Bare Escentuals as their Lead Trainer, however it is part-time. With college loans waiting to be paid off, part-time will not cut it. There are other potential opportunities within this company that may open up in the future, but they are all retail. A job is a job. Yes, this I understand, but retail is a job that runs your life. I cannot tell you what days or hours I am free next week, because I have to wait for my schedule to be made. I do not want my job to be my life. Instead I want to have a regular schedule so I can commit myself to other things. I have not served in the church since high school. It would have been unrealistic to expect myself to go to school full time and work two jobs most of the time and also serve. There is a season for everything. Now that season is closed and I would like to serve at Evergreen and join a small group, but working a retail schedule I can't promise that I'll be able to show up when I'm needed. That frustrates me to no end.
This leads me to my next struggle as I try to find a job. More than anything I want the job that God has for me, but I don't know what that looks like. Sometimes I wonder if it is to stay at Bare Escentuals, because of the friendships I am able to maintain with my coworkers. The girls I work with know where I stand and I know that I am different (glory to Christ Jesus). At the same time I wonder if that is right. Wouldn't God want me to be involved in the church again? I don't know what I want. I don't know what God's will looks like. I keep thinking about what Brent talked about this weekend. So this is me beginning to think about all of the horrible scenarios of what could happen. Would I be okay with working a crappy retail schedule (even though I feel over qualified for the position) if that's what God needs me to do? Yes...but only if I knew that's what he wanted. How about if I never get a job? Do you see why this is so hard to do?
Deep Breath...I am a living sacrifice.
Pray that I do what God wants me to do and that I can know with complete assurance that it is what he needs from me. I want to obey so badly.
I know this whole grandpa thing has been taking up the majority of my posts as of recent. He passed away last Saturday morning at 5:30; my mom and grandma were with him when we took his last breath! He is singing praises in heaven today and forever. The funeral is today at two o'clock. It's funny to see people's reaction to us as we speak of Mac's death. For most, and especially those who do not put their confidence in Christ Jesus, death is a time of mourning. Yes, the end of a life is sad, but it is also the beginning of eternity. Mac had alzheimers and for the past couple of months he has been nothing more than a vegetable - something he never wanted to be. So having his body on this earth with no mind was more painful for Gloria and our family than knowing he was with his Savior. We are filled with joy as he has been taken home.
I have to sing at the funeral today. I haven't sung in front of people since high school. I'm not super stoked, but Old Rugged Cross is Mac's favorite hymn and I happen to like it myself. Thanks to Amanda and my dear Nate for doing it with me and taking the edge off. As Gloria said, "Don't be nervous; we're just presbyterians."
Pray for Gloria. God is good!
I was going to go and visit my mom at Bethany because she is subbing for Miss Wilson's Kindergarten class and I just love 5 year olds. However, my grandma has a friend over and her car is in my way and I don't want to ask her to move it. Therefore I will wait.
Literally just as I wrote that last sentence, Joni (grandma's friend) asked if I needed her to move her car. Now I've started writing this, so I'm still going to wait.
Things have been sort of hectic here at Grandmas. We've had multiple visitors over the past couple of days. The nurses at the nursing home say he will probably die with in the week. Praise Jesus! Sometimes people look at me with confusion when I react that way towards his anticipated death. How could I not? He was a smart, godly man who loved his family and was generous with everyone he met, and now his body and mind are failing. Like I've mentioned before, it is about time he gets a new mind and body. I don't mean for any of this to be depressing, but watching him die is beautiful. It is just so peaceful and natural, the way I would want to go if I wanted to be old. For me, I'm just hoping for the good Lord's return. Please keep my grandma in your prayers as she goes through this process of losing her soul mate. Please pray for me that I will find opportunities to bless Gloria. Sometimes I just don't know how to respond to her sadness or know how to serve her best. I just want to take all other burdens off her. Gloria is an amazing woman.
I had something else to say, but I can't quite remember what exactly it was. Whatever it was can't possibly be that important in comparison to the thought of entering into eternity. I'll fly away.
I just visited grandpa Mac at the nursing home. Mac is 90 years old and can't even keep his eyes open. I sometimes wonder why God doesn't just take him Home. Earth has nothing to offer Mac anymore. He is skin and bones and it breaks my heart to see him. My grandma cried the whole time we were there. Pray that the Lord takes Mac home soon so that he can have a new mind and body. He deserves it. Let him fly away, oh glory.
No New Years resolutions for me.