Sunday, June 29, 2008

Reflections on a Sunday Afternoon

Reflection #1
The English language is easy to misuse and/or misunderstand. For example, take the phrase "Reflections on a Sunday Afternoon." This could be understood two ways: the events of a particular Sunday afternoon could be the subject of the reflections OR a Sunday afternoon could be the time frame during which reflections on other topics are taking place. In this case, it is the latter. I am just too lazy to think of a way to rephrase the title to clarify my intended meaning.

Reflection #2
I came to my parents' place for the weekend to help take care of my dad in case he got really sick after his chemo, which he didn't. Instead, I feel like my parents pretty much took care of me. Mom insisted on cooking every meal. Dad bought my ticket for the movie last night and my lunch after church today. The only time I drove anywhere was on the way home from the hospital on Thursday. At this very moment, my mom is going through some financial things I got in the mail that I don't understand and my dad is outside washing and vacuuming my car. Sometimes I pride myself in being a strong, independent, self-sufficient person, but at the end of the day, I have to admit, I really, really enjoy being taken care of.

Reflection #3
The last month has been an interesting one for me emotionally. For someone who typically feels quite "stable", I have experienced frustrating emotional swings while processing the news of my dad's cancer that have left me feeling like I don't know what to do with myself or how to explain myself. I feel I have returned to a point of internal stability, for the most part, but the one thing I still notice is that every time I am involved in corporate worship, I end up in tears. I am okay with this. There is something very sweet about standing there, surrounded by the Church, with tears dripping off my chin as my shaky, broken voice joins with theirs to proclaim, "Joyful, joyful we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love." My hardened heart has missed these moments of inexpressible adoration and sweet brokenness over the last few years and they are a welcome moment of intimacy to a spirit that is being healed.

Reflection #4
About a week ago, a friend of mine told a story about a girl who was in an anxious panic over waking up late one morning and her roommate rolled over and said, "There is grace for people like you." That phrase has not been far from my mind ever since. As someone who seems to spend a majority of my time feeling like there is not grace for people like me, I find the truth of that statement to be a comforting reminder. As I was reading a book for seminary this week, I ran across the sentence, "The message you preach is the same message that saves you." Another good reminder.

Reflection #5
This same friend sang "Jesus Paid it All" later that night and I have claimed the first verse of that hymn for my life right now:

I hear the Savior say
After a period of "silence," I actually feel like I can hear the Savior speaking to me again. What a welcome change.
"Thy strength indeed is small
This is simply a true statement about myself.
Child of weakness
If there is any "title" I feel I could readily self-apply, I think it would be this one.
Watch and pray
Two things that are NOT easy and/or natural for me to do. My beaver personality wants to DO something, to FIX something, to be practical and be able to SHOW what I have done about something. It is not my nature to watch OR pray, but I long to make it so.
Find in Me thine all in all."
I long for him to be my all in all and I am finding more and more so that he is.

Reflection #6
Another friend of mine randomly read the last verse of Psalm 119 as I listened on:

"I have gone astray like a lost sheep;
seek your servant,
for I do not forget your commandments."

Seek your servant.....after all of the thinking I have done in the last few months regarding seeking vs. being sought, in friendships but even more so in relationship to God, I have spent quite a bit of time this week thinking about the Psalmists' cry for God to seek him instead of vice versa. I was thinking about this again last night as I watched Prince Caspian, but I have already written about that connection in a previous post.

Reflection #7
I saw Prince Caspian in the theater for the third time last night. I can only think of one other movie that I ever saw more than once in the theater. I saw that movie twice. I have never gone to a movie three times. I like Prince Caspian, but not enough for it to be "that movie" that I saw in the theater three times. But Dad wanted to go, so apparently it has become "that movie" in my life. Whatever.

Reflection #8
Sometimes, I put so much effort into not being "that person" that I become "that person" who is trying not to be "that person."

Reflection #9
Nothing shreds my heart into a gazillion pieces faster than watching my dad break down in tears as he tries to tell me how much he loves me.

Reflection #10
I am still trying to do shorter posts more often. Apparently, this is a difficult thing for me to do. Especially the "shorter" part.

Reflection #11
This post is about life. It ends on a prime number. Seems fitting.
The end.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Road Trip Discovery #3

Taking a long-ish trip in my Lumina with nowhere to put my legs and a back that is sore the next morning only serves to remind me why I want to buy a small SUV this fall.

Getting here on half a tank of gas serves to remind me why I won't.

Dang you, bad gas mileage!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Road Trip Discovery #2

Singing along to worship music, listening to three of Piper's sermons and spending a solid chunk of time in prayer makes for a good ride.

Road Trip Discovery #1

I can make it from Rochester to Green Bay on one tank of gas.

Unfortunately, I can not make it on one bladder.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

T7 Things I Love About Camp

7) People who can make me laugh the kind of hearty laughter that makes my stomach hurt and my spirit sing.
6) Feeling fully known.
5) An abundance of big, long, strong hugs.
4) Feeling the freedom to sit in the back of chapel during worship unabashedly weeping tears of joy and sorrow.
3) Being gently rocked by the water while sitting at the end of the floating dock and feeling an overwhelming sense of peace and rest as I become absorbed in prayer, sensing God's presence and embrace.
2) Deep, healthy, genuine relationships with people who "get" me which saves a lot of time in having to explain myself.
1) Driving down the long driveway underneath the canopied trees and hearing that quiet voice whisper to my spirit, "Welcome home, dear one."

I know that things in my life are the way they are supposed to be right now, but I still find myself occasionally fighting the powers that be over the tension between my desire to be at camp and the commitments that keep me away.

Unfulfilled longings are no fun.

No fun at all.