Lord you are worthy

Lately, it’s no secret that I’ve been blowing up my phone with a playlist called “God’s Heart.”

It’s filled with special songs that I heard at the exact moment I needed to hear certain lines in the lyrics, and promptly downloaded them and put them on the playlist.

I’ve had it on repeat for weeks.  Some songs will come around and I’ll put those on repeat for hours at a time, just soaking in the words that God has been giving me.

And today, I felt such love in the songs – where the purpose shifted back to the norm.  See, I believe that the mark of a true worship song is US praising GOD.  Not US promoting ourselves in front of God, but us saying how amazing God is.

Today, I’m listening to these songs as words from my heart to God’s heart.

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Just keep trusting, just keep trusting…

Sometimes I think I need this tattooed on my forehead. 

A long time ago God made me a promise. He used a crackpot, I mean, a cracked pot to do it with but he made me a promise.  I will not live my life alone. There will be someone in it who treats me the way I am worthy of being treated. It goes on but that’s for me and not you. 

That was over 16 years ago. About 6 or 7 years ago I needed a reminder and so At that time I did get a tattoo to remind me: 

  
I believe that God will keep His promose to me and that Love will win in my life. In many ways, but specifically in the relational, spousal sense.

I’ve certainly been alone a long time. For the first time really in what feels like forever, things seem like they are looking up in that department and yet that department is where pretty much all of my insecurities and issues and baggage lie. We are talking Louis Vitton luggage. I am skilled in baggage.

I think I’ve done alone for so long that it is a lot easier for me. I know how to handle myself alone. If someone else were to come into my life, I am almost not sure I would know what to do.

It triggers so many insecurities and issues. Second-guessing, wondering if I am really grasping and interpreting the situations correctly…I’m not going to lie – it’s a struggle for me.

And yet around every turn, every time I keep trying to unzip that Louis Vitton baggage of mine, I feel God giving me more peace, more reassurances that He is in control. 

I don’t do calm for me. I can be calm for someone else when they need it, but I have never been able to be calm for me. And yet I am pretty calm. I mean, I just did something fairly stupid and actually tried to panic. I tried to make myself crazy. And God with that still small voice of awesomeness reminded me that people are praying for me and that He is in control. It doesn’t matter what dumb things I do or “information” I try to interpret with no context, God is in control. 

This doesn’t have to be me anymore:  

And so I sit with the cadence of Dori in my head…just keep trusting, just keep trusting.

Because in all things, absolutely ALL THINGS, God is in control and only His timing is what counts. 
What in your life do you need to remember to keep trusting for?   

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The seeds of life

Last spring/summer I started going to a Young Professional’s group at the Issaquah campus of my church.  Truth be told, I picked the church because they had the YP group.  After a while, I met another woman from Michigan named Diane.  She was a missionary, and worked at the local ministry network office (denominational district office) and was an avid hiker.  In a cruel twist, she was killed after a tragic accident while snowshoeing a couple days before my grandma died.

Her memorial is tomorrow.  I won’t be going.  I was making my plans to go, and realized that my emotional bandwidth is sucked up right now trying to deal with the fact that my grandma and her velvety “hello” is never going to answer the phone again.  I’d be in a fetal position bawling in the corner and just can’t do it.  It wouldn’t be fair to Diane and those that loved her.

Because we were friends on Facebook, I have seen the way mourning takes place in the social media world we live in.  Within minutes of the word spreading, people were posting the most wonderful messages about how much she had impacted their life, pictures of their time together, etc.  It’s been fascinating to see, but hard too.  It’s such a cruel irony that we don’t get to know how the seeds of our life were planted and grew to fruition.   I hope that Diane has been looking down on this outpouring of love and been blessed.

To a lesser extent, in quantity only, I’ve seen the same thing with my grandmother.  She touched so many lives.  So many.  She impacted our family, and so many more outside of that.  Because my grandma didn’t have the largest Facebook presence, it’s really only been our family posting things.

At first glance, it is so hard to see something that immediately lets me know that she was not the one who posted it. And yet almost as fast, there is a sense of peace and comfort in knowing how loved she is. Reading her obituary was so very hard.  But it was so good too.

She had such a sense of adventure, and was fearless.  We had a family vacation once at (in?) the Wisconsin Dells.  She saw that there was para-sailing or bungee jumping or something like that and we ended up having to make sure that the entire trip she was not left alone.  We had to literally be her bodyguards to make sure that she didn’t try to sneak away and try to fly!

I can’t go to the memorial for her next week and it’s killing me.  Like I’m letting her down. A couple of weeks ago I was so fortunate.  I got to go back east and visit her.  I sat with her, I held her hand and my heart broke because I knew it was the last time.

My heart is so weary.  I have almost another full week of work to get through. For whatever reason, my brain thinks that the world will start to turn again after her service on Thursday.  Thanks to a policy of bereavement time, I’m going to spend Thursday morning at home.  That is one event that I am not going to work through.  I pushed through this week, but I draw the line there.  I might not be at her service in body, but my heart is there.

In her hands.

Holding Hands

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Legacy

leg•a•cy [leg-uh-see] noun: anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor

The West Coast Family - September 2012

The West Coast Family – September 2012

My paternal grandmother is going to die very soon. As my brother so eloquently stated, we are quite blessed to have had both my maternal and paternal grandparents alive for my entire life. Up to now.

Her dad lived with her when Ken and I were little – we called him Grandpafather. Being just wee babes, we didn’t know what we should call a great-grandfather. She was born in 1932, and her dad was a World War I veteran. Just being born in 1932 and knowing what happened in the world after that means she conquered one hell of a life.  I can’t even imagine what it would have been like to see the world change so much.

These things I know to be true, without question. They are my legacy.

• She loved the Lord, and I will see her again. No matter how poor they were, the first money that left her hands after every paycheck was her tithe. And God showed favor on

her and my grandfather’s faithfulness.

• She was took her marriage vows seriously and her and my grandfather raised amazing children together. Those children became adults that I would not hesitate to allow to influence my life.

• She was a breast cancer survivor.

• She was an extremely hard worker.

• She didn’t take anyone’s crap.

• She left her stamp on all of us. When I was a child, I looked like a tiny version of my mom. Now, I look most like whichever parent I am standing closest too. But when the Nussbaum side of my family gets together, there is no mistaking that we are related.

There are so many other things, and I could go on for pages and pages – things like her voice sounded like velvet. Hearing her say hello when answering a phone call always made me smile.

I am like her in so many ways, and I hope to be like her in even more ways. Her influence in my life is a legacy that I am grateful for. And the most important part is that I will see her again someday. For I know what the end of this story is.

I love you so much, Grandma N. You will forever be a part of me.

Selected lyrics from “Glory” as sung by Nichole Nordeman & Selah

One day all that’s divided will be whole again
One day death will retreat and wave it’s white flag
One day love will defeat the strongest enemy ….

We know not the day or the hour
Or the moments in between
But we know the end of the story…
When we’ll see your…

Glory
Every knee falls down before thee
Every tongue offers you praise,
every hand raised
Singing Glory
To you and unto you only
We’ll sing Glory to Your name

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Words and Actions

I’m sitting here in my backyard listening to the dogs bark at every passing noise and enjoying the cool evening breeze.  Tomorrow is a day off work, and today was interesting – still recovering from a migraine while dealing with two dogs that each had a surprise case of the sharts. 

On Sunday I had the 2nd Annual Family BBQ at my place.  Last year, the BBQ was held at my rental, two weeks before I found the house that I was blessed to be able to buy.  I hadn’t seen most of my family in a while, so there was a lot of catching up to do.

Mostly with my dad – I love my dad.  He’s the Piglet to my Pooh.  He took the train down to help me with some odds & sods around the house, and we got every single thing done that I had on my list.  There is only one thing we didn’t do, and that’s because I completely forgot to even put it on the list.  Anyways, I was catching him up on what had happened with the guy that I was interested in.  Dad sees lots of his students develop relationships, and he is almost equally stumped as to why I have trouble finding someone that is worth being in a relationship with. 

As I was filling him in on what happened, he gave me some good advice.  Should the question ever be asked as to why I’m not interested when I previously was, don’t explicit explain in detail why I’m not interested.  That would only be hurtful.  Let’s face it…I could go on and on and on.  Instead, be honest and succinct.  “Your actions didn’t match your words.”

As much as we all want to destroy something that belongs to him, or “accidentally” run over his golf clubs, (kidding, never actually did anything like that), I think it is part of human nature to want someone else to feel the same pain or level of discomfort that we felt (and we think they caused).  But that’s not really the way the world works, and I don’t think that’s what God wants from us.  Have you ever been able to say to someone exactly what you wanted to say right when you wanted to say it?  How did you feel?  I’ve had that experience – and I felt like shit.  It doesn’t make you feel better – it turns you into a lower, smaller version of whoever you are in conflict with.

Quite frankly, I doubt that I would ever get the chance – I think this guy is actually pretty delusional based on what has transpired during and after our “casual dates.”  But even if I do get the opportunity – I don’t have to say anything other than these two simple sentences, which Pinterest so kindly provided.

Image

The thing is, this should be something that we all adhere to – no matter what the circumstance.  From friendship, to work, to your belief system, words are words.  But actions that back up our words???  Well, let’s just say that there is a reason that “actions speak louder than words.”  I like to think of it this way.  You can’t have words without action and your action might not make much sense without words.  You can’t have one without the other.

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Learning a lot…and trusting myself.

About me, about others, about me….about how others treat me, and about how I react to others.  My dating philosophy centers around being friends with someone – it’s a lot easier to be friends with someone first because I can tell pretty quick if we would get along dating – or if we so would NOT and are better as friends.  However, another big tenant of my dating philosophy is based on a quote from Randy Paush, author of The Last Lecture.

“My colleague told me: “It took a long time, but I finally figured it out. When it comes to men who are romantically interested in you, it’s really simple. Just ignore everything they say and only pay attention to what they do.”  ― Randy Pausch

I’m not going to lie – that is something that has been hard for me, until this summer.  And let me tell you, I can expand on that thought.

You have to pay attention to what they do…ALL the time.  There was this guy who was great when it was just he and I. So intentional, respectful, and made me feel safe. But as soon as there was someone else there, I quite literally didn’t exist. As in he didn’t even acknowledge my existence on the planet.  And to be honest, there were a couple of other red flags. He wasn’t always respectful. In fact, there were a couple of occasions where he was (attempting to be) downright manipulative.  Yeah, that’s another thing that doesn’t go over very well with me.

But the tipping point was the whole I-didn’t-exist-in-public thing. Now I’ve been treated lousy by guys before, and I was trying to learn from that.  There is a difference between holding something against a guy that someone else did, and refusing to put up with the same crap again. Fool me once, shame on you.  Attempt to fool me twice, get your ass kicked to the curb for being a disrespectful jackhole.

Dudes, most of the women I know and most of the women I don’t know deserve some serious respect.  Now I get wanting to play something close to the chest, not letting everyone around you know your business (if you’d bothered to find out, that’s what I would prefer too).  But ignoring someone is not likely to get you anywhere (especially any of the popular “bases”).  Being polite and having common courtesy (which is apparently not so common) is imperative.  Without it, you just look like a douchebag who is trying his luck with a bunch of different girls at a time.  Oh wait – that’s what he was doing!  Apparently he also doesn’t think that a bunch of girlfriends talk to each other.

I kind of feel sorry for him.  I’m a catch dammit.  So are my friends that were also not putting up with the same treatment.

The real point is, I’m learning and respecting myself.  If I don’t respect myself, how can I expect anyone else to?

And even better, I’m proud of myself. I saw those red flags and I did something about it.  I didn’t try to explain them away, or ignore them.  I checked with some friends that I trust, and I let him know that behavior wasn’t acceptable.  And when he did it again, dude (whether he realizes it or not) is in the friends zone. Permanently.  In fact, he’s on the downhill slope of the exit ramp OUT of the friends zone and into the “you look familiar but I don’t know why and don’t care” zone.

I might not know why he acted the way he did, but I know myself and I know that above all, I’m worth a hell of a lot more than that.  And I’m going to hold out for it.

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I am NOT broken.

Today at church, Pastor Larry spoke in a series about “Faith in Action.”

Here are my notes:

James 3:1-12

Grace transforms us by the way we speak, and how we speak.

  • The problem of the tongue. Verse 6 – full of poison, set on fire
    • one little spark starts a huge fire
    • be quick to hear and slow to speak
    • Prov 18:21 life & death are in the power of the tongue
    • gracious words bring health to our bones
    • our words have power – the greater the influence, the greater the impact
    • Our words have power to direct or shape >bits on horses, rudders on ships
      • instead of complaining & being negative, start talking about how big God is and see how your circumstances change
      • God created the universe with WORDS
      • Our words have power to destroy; they are sparks and bombs
        • What kind of words destroy? James 5:12 – Lies, slander, gossip…
        • James 5:9 – don’t grumble, don’t be unloving (words without love)
        • Eph 4:15 – Speak the truth in love (especially the truth of the Gospel)
        • Hebrews 10:24 – provoke love & good works
        • Your job is not done once you have spoken the truth – it matters how you tell it, not just that you told it.
        • If the tone is harsh, there is a resistance to the truth
        • Prov 25:15 – the best way to break resistance to the truth is to speak in love
        • If you control the heart, you control the tongue; complimentary, not competing
        • How am I speaking? How I speak reveals what I am living for. What am I living for?
        • Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks
        • Surrender your heart
          • The misuse of our words reveals that we are trying to secure for ourselves what God had already secured for us.
          • We already have acceptance & security in Christ.  We don’t need to seek approval, we are already approved by Christ!
          • James is a picture of Jesus and a promise of what we can become
          • No one is perfect, except Jesus.
          • Isaiah 6:5-7 – take the coal and cleanse my lips

At the end, the pastor asked us if there was something that had been spoken to us that had changed our life.  At first, it took me a minute to think of something. I was trying to convince myself that I didn’t let what people said to me affect me like that (cough bullshit cough – of course I let what people say affect me).  And then I immediately thought of a phrase. “You are broken.” {Caveat: In no way do I think this was said in a mean-spirited way, but definitely proof that no matter what you are or are NOT intending, words still have power.}

A long time ago, my older brother looked at me and said that I was broken. In the years since that, I have had issues and baggage about how I react to what other people do or say.  And inevitably the conclusion was always, well, I must be broken.

As the pastor asked us if we wanted prayer about those words that had been said, my whole being screamed out (thankfully in my head and not out loud) that I am not broken.  I AM NOT BROKEN.  All evening after that prayer, it has been going through my head. I am not fucking broken, thank you very much. {sorry for the bad language Mom, but that’s what went through my head and I’m not censoring myself.}

I am a person. What you say to me might hurt my feelings.  What you do might affect me. And I don’t think {anymore} that makes me broken in any way shape or form. I think that makes me normal. I refuse to think that I am broken anymore.

And quite frankly, you’d better start to realize that if you say something to me that is kind of shitty, I’m going to let you know that it is not okay….in truth and love just like in Ephesians 4:15.

 

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