Encouragement for a Monday morning

Ephesians 1:18 – I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he has called – his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.

This was my verse for today and it really encouraged me.

With the end of Judgement House this year, I’m expecting a bit of gloom to settle over everything. It always does. So I was super excited to pick up my e-mail this morning and see this verse smiling at me.

What a difference a single little modifier makes! The word confident shouted out from the page at me this morning. Paul didn’t pray just for us to remember the hope we have in Christ . . . but that we would remember the confident hope we have. Confidence makes all the difference in the world.

You can hope for something without really believing it will come true. I do it all the time, I hate to admit. I’m an unpublished writer. =) Hope is my bread and butter. But confident hope? That’s something different.

We can hope confidently in the promises God has made to us because He is trustworthy. We can trust Him–and be confident in Him–because He is who He is.

Pumpkin Spice Lattes make the world go ’round

I love pumpkin.

I love pumpkin bread and pumpkin muffins and pumpkin coffee.

I think I have blogged about pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin cream cheese muffins from Starbucks for my birthday for the last three years . . . but they’re such a treat, it’s the only time I get them. Of course, my blood sugar is doing funny things today as a result of it.

It has been so long since I posted anything. So much for trying to keep everybody updated.

Well, hope springs eternal. And I am going to try yet again to get a consistant line of thought going on here. At least once a week . . . because I know there are SO many people out there who really care about what’s going on in my life . . . . =)

But for now, as I celebrate my 28th year on Earth, I’m going to drink my pumpkin coffee and probably go have Indian food for lunch because I need something spicy to help with the congestion from the massive allergy attack I’m suffering at present.

Ah, fall! The season of change has returned to Kansas with a fury . . . . In all honesty, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced this much change before . . . .

But that is for another post. Hopefully. Eventually. Possibly. =)

Craziness

So . . . Life is crazy. I just thought I’d share that.

Work is great but really nuts. So much to do. I’ve been pulling 12 hour shifts with no real break for lunch, and now I’m going to have to start working from home on some weekends too. But it’s all good. =) Once November 1 hits, all the deadlines will pass and things will slow down.

Judgement House is getting ready to start too!

So exciting! I will try to post more when I have a moment . . . but no guarantees! =D

Comfort

What do you do when your world turns upside down?

I’ve always considered myself to be a person who can roll with the punches pretty well. I inherited much of my dad’s personality, the easy going, level headed kind of personality that makes it easier to accept difficulties and move past them. I’m thankful for that. But even then, change can still be hard for me.

I’ve also always considered myself to be the sort of person who doesn’t need a lot of comfort to be content. I’m perfectly fine with not having a lot of modern conveniences. I try to live a life that doesn’t keep me too comfortable in any sense of the word, although I’ll readily admit that my level of comfort has increased dramatically in the last four months since I know for sure that I have enough money to buy groceries. And that’s something I hope I never cease being thankful for.

But there’s been something that’s been on my mind for many months now. It’s something that concerns me. And I think getting this new job has a lot to do with it.

I also know that I’m the sort of person who feels God’s presence in my life the most clearly when I’m struggling through difficult times. It’s in the bountiful times that I struggle to keep close to Him. And I’m afraid that I’m getting too comfortable now.

Maybe it’s just me but there are times when I can almost tangibly perceive that events in my life are balanced on the edge of a cliff; maybe it’s just me worrying or maybe it’s just that I have an overactive imagination. But when things in my life go so well for so long I start wondering when the floor is going to disappear from under my feet.

Please don’t misunderstand. I’m so very thankful when life is good. I wake up in the morning (it’s actually daylight when I leave my house now; talk about a blessing) and I drink my coffee on the way into work and I praise and thank God over and over for what He’s done for me. I go to church every week and I thank God over and over again for the amazing place that NewSpring is. I hang out with my friends and my family and I thank God over and over again for the awesome people God’s put in my life.

But beneath my thankfulness, I always try to be ready to give it all up. Does that make sense? Is it even possible to be thankful but willing to leave everything behind? Or is that the essence of learning to live and be content no matter what state or stage of life I’m in?

I said before that change is still hard for me.

In high school, it seemed like life changed daily. I never knew what was going to be different from one day to the next. (Bro. Poore, I think that’s your doing. =D) And I learned how to step outside my comfort zone. I learned that being comfortable isn’t really something that I should strive for. Be thankful for—yes—but not to make it a goal to achieve. And I don’t think I have. I don’t really want to be comfortable.

Being comfortable means you’re perfectly happy to stop trying. Being comfortable means that you’re perfectly content to stay on a plateau and never strive for something bigger. Being comfortable, to me, means that I could produce a manuscript and be happy that it’s not the best it could be. Who wants to live like that? Who wants to accept the implications of living a life that doesn’t strive for excellence? That’s the kind of life I want to present to God—a life that never stopped trying to be the best it could be for His glory—not a life that stopped short of what it could have accomplished through His power.

It’s one of those things that I believe but I don’t know what it looks like. And I’m not sure how to live it. Do I pick up everything I have and leave? Do I give everything away and chase after dreams? Or do I do what I always do—stay put? I always end up staying put while everyone else around me moves on. But is that wrong? I don’t think so. But I don’t really know.

I really don’t know where any of this came from. I just know that things are getting ready to change. I know a huge part of my life is getting ready to turn upside down, especially when my last bunch of kids leaves for college. I mean, there are a couple of teens still in ClayHouse who I worked with—but this batch that graduated this year are made up of the ones I worked the closest with—and when they leave for college, that’s it. Major turning point for me.

Is it possible to have empty nest syndrome when you have no children?

I don’t know if this is stemming from “my kids” all going to college or from friends getting married or from other friends getting ready to leave town, I just feel like life is going to change. I feel like I’ve gotten too comfortable in spite of my best efforts to avoid it. And I feel like God is going to have to shake me up. I’m excited about that, honestly. I mean, part of me is scared to death. But the rest of me is excited. Because God always knows what He’s doing and no matter what happens, He’ll always bring about a change and a result that’s better than anything I could have designed.

Change is hard for me. And I don’t know when I started getting comfortable, but, God help me to get uncomfortable—or to at least be ready to be uncomfortable. Give me strength to accept whatever change you bring my way, especially the giant change approaching in mid-August (Brookie, dear, I’m going to miss you so much). Help me to remember that change is good, that change is inevitable—a part of growing up—and that there are no surprises for God . . . and that He’s the only One who never changes at all.

Gravity is a drag . . . especially when you’re uncoordinated to begin with

So . . . I discovered that it’s not a good idea to be chased by wasps shortly after I wake up in the morning.

I’m not a morning person. At all. So right after I woke up, I went outside to feed the cat today and opened the garage screen door into a herd . . . horde . . . pack . . . gaggle . . . swarm (there it is!) of wasps (or some other kind of random buzzing insects) and they began to dive bomb my head, thumping off my scalp, trying to run away from them was an unwise choice.

But, admittedly, I was still half asleep. And I have gotten wasps stuck in my hair before (refer to the few blog posts on that subject on the Everyday Adventures of Dorkus Dingbat). But apparently my gross motor functions don’t kick in until later in the morning. Because my balance was all off.

So in trying to escape said buzzing insects I ended up stumbling and eventually falling right on my knees and the palms of my hands, while the wasps were still dive bombing and thumping me on the head.

So . . . long story short. I escaped with no stings . . . just bruised knees and scratched palms . . . and I won’t be feeding the cat first thing in the morning anymore . . . at least not until the winter freezes those horrible little buzzing things to death.