Monday, September 28, 2009

We Make a Pretty Good Team

This week I am not quite myself. After 8 years of marriage, funny how your spouse really DOES seem like your other half. The Frankster is off to some computer-y thing-y with his co-workers this week. Being a pretty independent woman and all...I'm okay with managing the kids by myself for awhile.

BUT...some of the things I miss the most:

I do not laugh nearly as much. And when I do, it's not quite as fun.


I have become totally dependent on him when we lead worship together! Seriously, God knew what he was doing (Doesn't He always?) because we compliment each other so well and have led music so many times together that we pretty much share a brain every Sunday evening.(Cue mental image of Frankenbeth.)

Anywho, last night I had to lead by myself and I got a lot more nervous than I should have... Something about being alone up there and if I make a mistake, there it is for everyone to see! Which is ridiculous, since it was all of our friends and their kids at our little church, and they love me mistakes and all. And God never said he requires perfection for it to be worship and pleasing to Him! (Can I get an Amen, people?) But, there it is. After being in choirs and singing solos and being a part of worship teams for pretty much all of my 30 years...I. still. get. nervous. For no logical reason. Bleh.

So as things like this go with me, nerves got the best of me. I messed up. People had a hard time following the songs. all went so well in my head during practice. By myself. Where it's just God and me and the piano! But the moment I started to settle down a bit out of nervous/hyper mode and actually worship...God just took over and made it a beautiful thing for Him. So why can't I do that from the get-go?

I haven't figured that one out yet, but I am thankful for the opportunity to stretch a little bit and grow! It's a good thing to have the rug of familiarity and comfort pulled out from beneath my feet. It's a good reminder how far I have to go and how dependent I need to be on God. And how great of a worship leader Frank has become! Really. I could not be more proud of him. Not only is he an excellent musician that brings out the best in the people that play with him...he really has developed a deeper love for God that is apparent during corporate worship.

We used to say when we first started dating that "we make a pretty good team." (Said in a very cheesy over-animated way with thumbs up, of course.) Back then it was a way of using humor to mask the slightly scary truth that we really and truly were good together...but it continues to hold true! I miss my teammate! But I'm sure we will have loads of fun catching up on his travels in computer geekdom when he returns.

P.S. The rest of the service last night was a kids' service. It was soooo fun! It was like going back to VBS, but I got to do it with my daughter. We need to do that more often! I dig church as a family.

Friday, September 25, 2009

You Never Know What'll Happen at the Wal-Mart

So...I just got home from the Wal-Mart. The Sullivan Wal-Mart may be the smallest Wal-Mart in existence, but I did manage to score some trash bags (I was totally out) and soda pop (how retro) because the 'rents (that's cool 90's teen mag speak for parents) are coming and I hate to offer them a choice of water or water to drink. :)


The kids were getting cranky and it was raining a little and I'm sure I had about 8 different thoughts rolling around in my brain...and when I got home I realized I forgot to put the sodas into my car! It had only been about 10 minutes or so since we left the store, so I called the store just on the slight chance that maybe my poor pop was still sitting lonely and wet at the bottom of the cart in the cart corral. After waiting on the phone approximately 863 minutes, I was informed that the Diet Pepsi I had bought had been rescued and could be picked up at my convenience. The Sierra Mist, however, was nowhere to be found.

There you have it, folks. If you're going to steal someone's soda pop, don't steal the crappy diet stuff. Go for the gold!

Be sure to visit my friend Wendy's blog and participate in her "Life is Funny" blog carnival. If I can do it...surely you can get off your lazy bum and do the same. :)

Happy weekend to you! May your Wal-Mart travels be filled glee and criminals who hate diet soda...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dog Walk

Quiet and clear and hush-hush
I pad along the sidewalk
Trying not to break the spell
of peace and solitude
But not loneliness

For the wide porches smile
with their painted rocking chairs
And the coffee brew wafts
out of an open kitchen window
Causing thoughts turn to grandma's percolator

Orange Cat sniffs his disdain
But my brain-light doggie
doesn't notice Kitty's pomp
in her quest for MORE SMELLS!

And I run through the day in my head
Finally un-interrupted (hoorah, hoorah!)
Content...full of thanks
for small town streets
for maples and oaks
who guard the sidewalks at night

It seems something lingers
of the grace and friendship
rumored to be prominent
in those decades past

I want to cling to that sense
Community, familiarity, safety
So absent in a day
of Manufactured this
and cookie-cutter that
Where I can't for the life of me
remember the next door neighbor's last name!

And sure, it's a fantasy
Every generation faces giants
Heaven alone is utopia found

But for now...
It's nice and right and a lovely evening
for walking a dog
in small town U.S.A.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Happy Blogiversary to Me!

Today is the one year anniversary of That's Not Me Anymore! We've laughed, we've cried, we've learned how to grocery shop with small children...I'll try not to make this random, rambling, and discombobulated...but truly, that IS my style, is it not? Would you expect anything less? I hate to disappoint...

My first post ever was about how God was forming me into a new person, thus the title of the blog. And just one short year later, I still feel the title is very appropriate! I hope I never stay comfortable with who I am. Don't get me wrong, my self-esteem is a-okay (most days, at least :P), but I do not ever, ever, ever want to be a content, safe, and bored with my relationship with God. Gotta keep growing. Gotta keep changing. Gotta keep cleaning out that gunk that gets lodged in my soul and doesn't want to budge. Gotta keep LIVING.

I feel like the past week has been a fresh calling to do just that. To be brave and intentionally put myself in places where my faith is stretched. My pastor, Eric, gave a powerful message last Sunday that ended in one of the most moving videos I have ever seen. If you want to see it, here's a link: Run. (Warning, if you have somewhere to go in a few minutes and don't want to arrive teary-eyed, you may want to wait to view it.) Then on Monday, I went to my women's group meeting and heard a devotional from Proverbs 31 ministries based on the Bible passage where Peter tries to walk on the water. (Matthew 14: 22-36). It focused on Peter's reckless faith. I love this idea, here's just a bit of it. The whole thing can be found here.

"He had reckless faith: Without thinking, without distress over consequences, without anxiety over what might happen, and without concern for what his friends might think, Peter had faith. Peter had reckless faith. And we can too! Reckless faith means doing what God has called us to do, commanded us to do, and prompted us to do – because it brings Him glory. Those who witnessed Peter's reckless faith didn't ooh and aah over Peter. Instead, like Peter, they fixed their eyes on Jesus. "Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, 'Truly you are the Son of God'" (Matthew 14:33, NIV).

Man, do I want to bring Glory to God! And especially over the past year, I've found that doesn't necessarily mean jumping up to do these huge grandiose things for Him...a lot of times it means just being faithful to take care of the things God's given me already. And follow the commandments that I already know. Urg. Wait. That's not as exciting as running into burning buildings and walking on water...?? Not fair, God!! Where's the adventure? But it does take a tiny bit of bravery to get up each day and face a life of wiping poo booties, making lunches, paying the bills, exercising patience and love even when I don't feel like it... And I think all of those little bits of bravery prepare us for times when God does bring us a situation that requires a leap of faith instead of a baby step.

I've got a long way to go. There's some saying about the more you know, the more you know you DON'T know...yeah. I like that one. Two steps forward, one step back. You get it. Lately it seems I'm in that ridiculous step back. Grrr. Just last night we went out in the neighborhood where our church is, simply to invite people to our little outdoor block party on Sunday. We were already tired from a long day...Frank had an online training he had to listen to all day for work. I had taught preschool in the morning, did some errands, did school pick up, etc. We did not have enough sleep. We weren't in the mood to be "friendly." Okay, at least I wasn't in the mood. We got there a little late and there were no more fliers left to give to people. Not exactly the exciting work for Jesus we had envisioned...It was all so simple and easy in our minds, right? Still, we were struggling to DO it. This simple little thing. We made each other take turns talking to strangers(Who were perfectly nice, by the way, and receptive to an invitation to the block party. No one pulled a gun or hexed us or even said anything remotely rude...yeesh, I need to work on being less dramatic in my head!). No reason at all to be nervous. So why was I nervous? Probably because I am still working out those basic elements of

So here's another to another year of the blog. Another year of working through this constant change we call life...of raising a family, of having a church plant turn into a "for real" church...of finding my voice in cyberspace and listening to God's voice...

Thanks to everyone who takes time to read! Whether I know you in person or via my little mac, you have really encouraged me this year!

Friday, September 11, 2009

8 Years Ago

8 years ago today, I was on my first big business trip. After graduating college, I worked for a company that did review courses for doctors about to take their board exams. This was the first course that I had a big part in. I was nervous and excited. We were in Denver, Colorado in a hotel and the course was scheduled to begin the morning of 9/11. I was up early that day trying to get everything ready, and as I went downstairs to the lobby for something, I saw many people had gathered around a TV...

Suddenly strangers at a hotel were more than strangers. It was numbing and surreal. We all just stood around the TV. Soon the hotel staff set up extra TVs around the lobby. People from New York and D.C. were calling home in a panic. My company's staff realized that there would be no presenters flying in for our course. And there would be no participants able to fly home. My boss made the decision to continue the course anyway. I disagreed with his decision, but I worked pretty much non-stop that week to make sure that the people who were stuck there had the best course they could have, considering the circumstances.

It was a long terrible week away from family and friends. There were some tearful phone calls to Frank and my mom. My wedding was scheduled for September 22nd, just 11 days after September 11th, and in the back of my mind I was wondering if all our guests would be able to come or if we should even re-schedule the whole thing...

I had made plans ahead of time to meet one of my college friends (who had moved to Denver) for dinner one night. Both of us needed to see a familiar face, I think, and we kept the dinner date. I remember us discussing the hate-filled remarks my friend had heard where she worked toward a person "appearing" to be "Arab." More fear and hatred does not erase hatred...

We ended up driving back to Indiana from Colorado at the end of the week. We drove through the night just to make it home as soon as we could. I was never so glad to be back at my little one-room apartment on 7th Street in Terre Haute. It was early Sunday morning and I remember laying down, exhausted, wishing Frank was there. I think I grew up a lot that week. I found a strength in my faith...that I didn't know existed before that week.

On September 22, 2001, Frank and I were married. It was a beautiful September day. My grandmother made a trip in a plane across the country by herself. (She's always been a brave lady!) Our guests celebrated with us. It was a day of joy. It's not that we had forgotten the tragedy of just 11 days before. It was that we knew that the world had NOT, indeed, ended. And that the God of all creation held us in His hands despite this hell on earth that had taken place. Sin and evil seek to separate us from God, but He is a God of restoration and redemption. He never changes. To these beliefs I cling...on September 11, 2001. And on September 11, 2009. And on September 11, 2017.

Reminds me of Isaiah 61...

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,

2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,

3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.

4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Well, At Least It's a Post People!

I was going to write an update about what our church has been up to. (Renovations to our building and an outreach coming up!) Or about the start of preschool. (Oh, the crying children!) Or the things I think about while walking the doggie each evening. (I came up with the phrase "geek chic" last night. Like it?) Or about our sweet "new" ride. (New to us, at least. 2002 Ford Focus. I KNOW. Practical. When did we become practical?) Anyway, since we were down to one car for awhile, that meant a lot of playing taxi driver last week and this week with the holiday and start of preschool, the running seems to continue. However, this morning I have the comfy jammy pants on! Yesssss. No running to be done until I pick up Annabelle from school. And once we get used to this new fall normal, I'll flesh out some more posts er somethin'.

SO...I give to you this lovely masterpiece created by our friend and babysitter, Haley:

Ironically, I am the only one in the family who regularly wears glasses... :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ode to Helen

Oh blogging friends, I know apologies about not blogging get old to, uh, no apologies. But I canNOT let today go by without a huge happy birthday to my friend Helen!! She wrote a poem for my birthday, so I will return the favor! And I think she will be okay with me taking liberty on some of the syllables in this haiku based poem...

Helen is funny
Not your every day funny
Like drop dead funny

Helen is caring
Not your every day caring
Calls to encourage

Helen is thoughtful
Not your every day thoughtful
Causes me to think

Helen is loyal
She will champion her cause
Tell it like it is

Helen is salsa
Dancing in the grocery store
I'm gonna join her

Helen is family
She holds her own near and dear
Honoring, loving

Helen is teaching
Her students are a blessed bunch
Past and present, too

Helen is unique
Not your every day unique
True one-of-a-kind

Reading mysteries
Muumuus and velour galore
BunBun the rabbit...

The internet is
Much brighter with her on it
Someday we will meet

But her computer
Better not break before then
(Torture for us all)

Helen is Helen
I am so glad that is true
Happy Birthday (to) you!