Thursday, February 28, 2008
I am studying Leviticus at the moment. It is a bit difficult to listen to what God is teaching me through this book as I trudge through the different types of sacrifices and laws and so on and so forth. Maybe patience. Maybe just the understanding of that time and place. Maybe to greatly appreciate the sacrifice of His son, the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. Maybe to realize that God still provides guidance.
Nevertheless, last night I read Leviticus 18:4, "You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the LORD your God." Now of course there could be a better word used or translated, but I began to think about the word "careful" used here. Be careful to follow my decrees.
To get a better sense of the scripture, I looked up careful in the dictionary. Now, don't get me wrong...I do have a general idea of what careful means. But I just wanted to dig a bit deeper. There were several definitions, all which we know such as,
- cautious in one's actions
- done or performed with accuracy
But the one that really caught my attention, was
- solicitously mindful
Solicitously means anxious, particular, even eager. Some synonyms include regardful and attentive.
I thought about the commands He has given us. I thought about the things He has called me to do. Have I been "careful" to follow, to obey? To be thorough or solicitous I must be aware of Christ's presence in my life at all times. I must be open to Him and listen carefully as He guides me. I must be eager and mindful, focused on Him.
So maybe I am learning somethings from Leviticus...
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
But God provided rest this weekend!
I spent some amazing time with Grace and Tyler on Friday. We watched movies and of course ate anything we wanted...well Grace and I did. Tyler was stuck with baby food and formula. It was just some much needed time with these two kids!
Then the family came over Saturday. While Amos worked on finishing up my kitchen (yes, I said finishing up...yea!...post will be coming soon), Jess and I had some great conversation and you know I enjoy any moment spent with her and her family. Not to mention, she knows how much I have going on and created a to do list for me, to keep me organized and to help me not feel as overwhelmed. It was so greatly appreciated and really helps me take things one at a time. She even went as far as to place behind the list, a watermark of a picture I took in Africa, to remind me of my focus on God and His plan. It was incredible.
My dear friend Sarah then had me over for a delicious dinner that evening. We enjoyed some good conversation and fabulous tacos and brownies!!! It was another wonderful moment. It is always great to catch up with her and to just spend time with this great friend. We ended up watching the movie, No Reservations, which I highly recommend!
Sunday, I joined my extended family, Ang, Brad, Addie, and Ethan for church. They generously took me out for lunch where we met up with Susan and Randy. It was a great meal and I was just so grateful for the time spent with this family. I decided not to rush home, but spent the rest of the day just talking with Ang, Brad, and the kids. We talked about everything and the time just passed so quickly. I ended up staying for dinner and then leaving a bit afterwards.
I got home and thought about the time spent this weekend. I am once again reminded that I am not alone. Family and friends surround me, and God provided the much needed rest and helped me redirect my focus back on Him.
How wonderful that we are not alone...
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Maybe once or twice...or a million times!
You see, I moved around a lot when I was younger. It was always exciting being in a new place, meeting new people, being able to start all over. Even after college, I found myself never really settled. I moved to Indianapolis, and ended up living in three different places, in three different parts of Indianapolis, during the three years I lived down there. And then I moved to northern Indiana, with the future plan of eventually moving out west.
Yet I have been here for almost four years....
I can't believe that I have lived in the same house and had the same job for almost four years now. That is seriously a record for me ;)! I am settled, and I love it! It isn't the area that makes it "home" to me. Nor is it my house. It is the relationships, the family, the friends that have come to be an important part of my life.
And yet, God is leading me away.
Why after I have developed these strong relationships? Why after I have been surrounded by such love and support? Why now?
I shared my concern with my sister this past weekend. And as the encouraging sister that she is, she reminded me of the greater plan...not mine, but His. The relationships built on His love will remain strong and will continue to support me while I am away. But it is my trust in Christ that guides my steps, provides the strength that I need, and the peace that His will is greater than mine.
I have been looking into a couple of different opportunities, and though no final decision is made as of yet, I want to thank the special people in my life for the love that can be seen through them, the support and encouragement that they always share, and for teaching me the strength of relationships built on God's love.
I will take that with me where ever He leads...
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Yesterday, I spent the morning cooking an African meal with my co-workers for our boss. Yeah, it was another grueling day at the office. Yeah right! You see, when it is someone's birthday they get to choose what they would like for lunch. Dave's birthday was about a week ago or so, but since Monday was the first day we all could be here for lunch, that is when we celebrated. And it was a very tasty celebration.
A couple weeks ago when asking Dave what he would like for his birthday lunch, he remembered that I purchased an African cookbook and requested some dishes from that. And I of course couldn't have been happier. The staff was a bit hesitant, so I offered to cook most of it, while another co-worker or two offered to help and try to make some dishes as well. It was so much fun!
We spent the morning in the kitchen mixing our spices, our sauces, and just laughing and talking. And in the end, the meal was delicious! Oh how it all reminded me of Malawi. The food was a bit different as they are in each country, but there are so many similarities. The seasonings were similar, the starches of course are common, and the gathering of people just reminded me of the nights Phil, Aaron, and I were taught how to cook nsima, chambo, and breakfast. We spent those nights in Malawi laughing as we attempted to try to cook some of these dishes and just enjoyed the time spent with each other. And that same environment was found in the kitchen yesterday.
In the end we all enjoyed an Ethiopian dish known as doro wett, shiro, or tibs wett, which is a traditional Ethiopian-style stir-fry made with beef or lamb. There was a dish of candied yams and plantains which are two staples of West African cooking. Along with that we had garlic roasted potatoes. And then finished off the meal with a dessert known as Koesisters, a doughnut like dessert found in Cape Town. Not to mention we also had tea. As delicious as the meal was, I truly enjoyed the interaction with my co-workers.
I sure do miss Africa, and hope God does lead me there again, but He definitely showed me the community we can have here, where ever we are, as long as we are open to each other and just take the time to listen and laugh with one another. It definitely was a great moment!
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Yeah, it has been a while it seems. I know you know all, so you probably know how busy I have been lately. I do have communication with you on my to do list, but then something comes up and time escapes me. So I haven't quite reached that task yet, but will do so soon.
If you need to reach me for anything, feel free to send me a text or email...or even one of those burning bushes you sent that Moses guy. That would definitely get my attention. With all the distractions here, it would be best if you could speak up. It is kind of hard to hear You these days.
I hope you are enjoying the furnishings of the closet I put you in. I had hoped to allow you into the other areas of my life, but at the moment they are filled with my own wants and desires. I will get to cleaning those out later, but have to get back to my favorite show right now.
Keep in touch!
All my love (on Sunday, Monday, and sometimes Wednesdays),
Okay, so maybe we don't actually write God letters like this, but I think our actions speak differently. I am studying Exodus, and came to the story of Moses and the burning bush. Moses says to God, "Here I am."
And I couldn't help but think about where I am, not physically, but on the spiritual journey. Of course there are ups and downs, but it seems to me that my life shows more of the response in the letter, than Moses' response...Here I am.
I say, well God should speak up. Why can't I get a burning bush or something big like that? But why is it up to God to speak over all the distractions I add to my life? It is up to me to quiet all that is around me so that all I can hear is God? So that all I can hear is his voice whether it be a small whisper or a loud call guiding me, loving me, calling me.
Some of us wonder what our next step in life is. We worry, we stress, but we don't listen. I am not saying that it will all become clear, but I am saying it isn't on us to plan our lives. God has called each one of us to follow Him and He will provide that path. Listening to God isn't a task to put on your to do list, it is a part of life, every day, every moment.
Do you hear Him? Do you hear His call? Where is He leading you?
Monday, February 04, 2008
Not only did we enjoy the Giants win over the Patriots in the Superbowl on Sunday. But we also celebrated another wonderful season of our ladies fantasy football league at our annual awards banquet!
Saturday we gathered together to enjoy each other's company off of the competitive playing field. We enjoyed a great meal of "stadium food", which was followed by the awards presentations and distribution of playbooks and programs containing the stats of each team.
We spent the evening laughing as each coach received their unique award. And even had the pleasure of a coach in North Carolina accepting her award via cell phone. You must check Jess' blog for that video. But it was just a great evening.
Award Recipients are as follows:
Amy (pictured above) and Kelli both received the Adrian Peterson Award since there are two Adrian Petersons playing in the NFL and these two ladies produced our first ever tie in a matchup.
Alicia (pictured above) received the Bears Award because her team made it to the playoffs last year, and didn't have a chance this year.Sarah (pictured above) received the Colts Award because for the past two years her team has been in the top three. She is definitely someone we need to always watch out for.
Victoria received the Kevin Everett Award for making it through a big obstacle. Kevin was injured pretty seriously, but then recovered and is able to walk again. Victoria missed the draft...the only chance to pick a good team. We all drafted for her and she ended up being second in the league. Yeah, we are that nice!
Cathy (pictured above) received the Miami Dolphins Award because just as they won one game, she only beat one team in the standings.
Jamie received the Patriots Award because she cheated by making 12 moves, pretty much changing her entire team during the season.
Kristina received the Dallas Clark Award. Because she is another Clark that belongs in Indiana!!!
Jess (pictured above) received the Ronde Barber Award. I chose this award for her because I won both of our matchups and Ronde always fought for attention, but his twin Tiki always got it.
I (pictured above) received the Michael Vick Award chosen for me by my sister. She gave me this award because she believes I am a "thug" for "stealing" the last playoff spot from her ;).
Our awards are proudly displayed in our homes and we are all gearing up for the next season. As commish, I not only have to thank these ladies for another great season, but I also must thank my assistant commish - Jess who always wears many hats... from chef, to party planner, to award distributor, to master of fun and games ;). There isn't anything she can't do! So thanks everyone for participating in this league and for all the great times we have together!
You know, I can't help but think during times like these how much I will miss these ladies, these moments, when I leave for a short time. But God continues filling my heart with all of these memories and friendships so they will continue to be close to me know matter where I go.