8. March 2010 Thanksgiving list

  1. Bus shelters when it’s raining really hard
  2. Phone dates with long-distant friends
  3. Books loaned by friends (thanks Jesse, you’ll be missed)
  4. People who pray for me
  5. Good hugs (the hold and squeeze kind)
  6. A full pantry with lots of options
  7. Running into people I know in many different parts of the city
  8. Quality dark chocolate
  9. Discovering new bookstores
  10. Having people in my life that give me good feedback/advice

7. Cynicism

I keep up with Donald Miller’s blog.  He had a recent post about cynicism and how it holds you back.  Cynicism is something that I have been working on the past few months, and his post really struck a chord with me.  Here is his post:

Leaders aren’t Cynical.  The Character Trait That Might be Holding You Back

Some of the reasons I am cynical are:

  1. I’ve been disappointed before and I don’t want to be disappointed again.
  2. I’m afraid to hope
  3. I don’t want to be hurt again
  4. I’m jealous of where someone else is at in life
  5. I feel guilty

When I’ve been hurt deeply, I tend to become cynical.  Hiding behind that wall, to protect my heart.  Not wanting to be hurt again.  Afraid of what would happen if I opened up and yearned to hope.  I want to stop becoming cynical, because it holds me back from my full potential and keeps me from growing.  To be all that God wants me to be.  And I want to fully hope in the future, for all that God has in store for me.

Cynicism is not realistic and tough. It’s unrealistic and kind of cowardly because it means you don’t have to try.

-Peggy Noonan

6. Be Still

As I sit here, staring out of my kitchen window, with a cup of coffee, the phrase: “Be still, and know that I AM God,” keeps filtering through my brain.  I admit I have a busy life.  I’m glued to my smartphone most days with my email and internet at my fingertips.  I run from activity to activity, obligation to obligation, without slowing down.  And when I’m at home, I’ll spend time online, catching up on blogs, face book, or other random websites.

But I need to learn to be still.  To drink in God and all that He has for me.  To listen, to meditate, to commune.  To be quiet in Him.  To sit in His presence, all of me.  So that I may grow, to learn, to praise the one who created me.
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“Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 46:10

5. “Family”

“Family.”  What does this word conjure up for you?  Laughter?  Pain?  Joy?  Feelings of being known, or feeling forgotten?  We all know families aren’t perfect, they all have a skeleton in their closet somewhere (some more obvious than others).  This past year, I have been incredibly blessed to have a group of friends come into my life here in Seattle and have become “family” to me.  In the summer of 2007, I moved across country by myself, only knowing one person in this city.  It was one of the hardest things I had ever done, and I was incredibly lonely.  I joined a community group through my church and it has changed my life.  This group of people, who come from all walks of life, have become my “family”.  They have supported me, loved me, been there through shit in my life, and have taught me what it means to be part of a “family“.  They have come to know me so well, I can’t hide anything from them.  I’ve experienced some definite healing from scars of past relationships within this community.  And having formed these roots has helped me to grow.
Your blood relatives “have” (or are obligated) to love you because of a common background.  However, when a group of people choose to love and support you regardless of your background, it can be incredibly healing and full of amazing encouragement.  The biggest key is “choice”.  Having someone choose to love you is humbling.  It is a reflection of how God chooses to love us, no matter what.  I am so thankful for these people in my life, they have been such a blessing from God.

4. Superchic(k): Stand in the Rain

I was chatting with a friend today and in our conversation I mentioned that I had started a blog.  The name reminded her of a song by Superchic(k) and when I listened to it, it really reminded me to that I need to stand when going through crazy stuff in life, otherwise I can drown in the rain of life.  Here’s the video and and lyrics:

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Stand in the Rain

She never slows down.
She doesn’t know why but she knows that when she’s all alone, feels like its all coming down
She won’t turn around
The shadows are long and she fears if she cries that first tear, the tears will not stop raining down

[CHORUS]
So stand in the rain
Stand your ground
Stand up when it’s all crashing down
You stand through the pain
You won’t drown
And one day, whats lost can be found
You stand in the rain

She won’t make a sound
Alone in this fight with herself and the fears whispering if she stands she’ll fall down
She wants to be found
The only way out is through everything she’s running from wants to give up and lie down.

[CHORUS]
So stand in the rain
Stand your ground
Stand up when it’s all crashing down
You stand through the pain
You won’t drown
And one day, whats lost can be found
You stand in the rain

So stand in the rain
Stand your ground
Stand up when it’s all crashing down
Stand through the pain
You won’t drown
And one day, whats lost can be found

[CHORUS]
So stand in the rain
Stand your ground
Stand up when it’s all crashing down
You stand through the pain
You won’t drown
And one day, whats lost can be found
You stand in the rain

3. February 2010 Thanksgiving list

I read on another blog recently where the author would write a list of ten things they were thankful for that previous month.  I really liked the idea because sometimes I forget how much God blesses me.
  1. Friends who take time and travel to come see me
  2. Grace from a friend in the midst of a difficult conversation
  3. Sunshine and good weather when you have out of town guests
  4. Vacations
  5. Coffee (I feel this is going to be a recurring one… 🙂 )
  6. A pastor who is not afraid of teaching about singleness
  7. Flowers on Valentines day
  8. The UPS driver who sometimes brings me chocolate
  9. Making new friends
  10. Getting real mail out of the blue