Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Thanks to those of you who wrote or called in response to my last blog, and especially for not trying to fix me or my circumstances. I'm a fixer, so I know how easy it is to want to swoop in save the day for someone, but more often than not, people just need to be heard and encouraged, so thank you. I hope I can return the favor.

A quick update, lest you think I've fallen into some anxiety-ridden depths of despair: I'm much better this week. While the anxiety issues go beyond just the circumstances, to be fair, I was kind of experiencing a lot at once last week, and now that some of those big changes are behind me, the pressure is off a bit.

I have more serious, silly, and downright ridiculous blog ideas in the queue, but for now, I'm just offering an update...and managing to use the words "swoop," "lest," (not to be confused with "lust" or "molest"), and "queue" in a single blog entry--without meaning to. Does that make me just a little nerdy? Probably.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Depleted, Anxious, and So Very Loved

Do you ever have those days where you feel like you have nothing left to give? Nothing at all? Days when you're completely depleted and everyone who's in your life needs you to pray, needs your advice, needs your help, needs you to come over, and you feel like you're the needy one and you have no idea how you can help at all?  That's been my week. And then in the midst of feeling so helpless to help, God shows up and is strong--even when we don't stop to ask Him to be strong. Even when we've been so ridiculously busy and anxious about all kinds of things that we can't control, and even when we don't even pray, He shows up. He's so gentle that way, isn't He?

My last week has been one big ball of anxiety. In fact, much of my life has been that way--something I wish weren't the case, but something that keeps me needing Him. I spent last week sleeplessly, waking up in the middle of the night and worrying about a gazillion things like:

  • The 50 good pages I need to crank out on my thesis in the next three weeks
  • Packing up all our stuff to move it to Birmingham this weekend
  • Moving in with my parents for a few weeks
  • Staying on top of the class I'm taking (in addition to the 50-page thesis)
  • Studying for my comprehensive exam in June (again, on top of aforementioned class & thesis)
  • Teaching a new subject next year and not having enough time this summer to prepare (or so I feel)
  • And then all the daily things that won't even make this list
So it's been a week of sleep deprivation, a knotted stomach, a body that wants to move all the time just so I feel like something is being accomplished. And in the midst of all that useless flurry, God shows up. He sends me a young woman who wants to know about the gospel. He sends me the words of a hymn. He sends me Psalm 121. He sends me perfect timing on moving out of our apartment (and having someone move into our house for the EXACT days we need someone to be there before we move down). He is so gentle. So undeservedly gentle. And I'm grateful. 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Truth/Grace Project

I'm working on something that I've dubbed the "Grace-Truth Project." What is it? Glad you asked. 

John 1:14, John 1:17, and Colossians 1:6 all use the phrase "grace and truth," and it's an odd pairing, really. When we think of grace, we think of mercy, kindness, compassion, second, third, ninetieth chances. But when we think of truth, we often think of judgement, exposure, hard honesty. Of course, that's truth's dark side; it's other side is a place of depth, confidence, authenticity, and value. Now, I love truth. Love it. I'm always looking for it, trying to live it, and appreciating it when I find it. I'm extremely discerning and so it's usually easy for me to know right from wrong, truth from deception, to "read" people, to tune in to motives. So, truth is my natural bent. But grace--that's a different story. As much as I love receiving it, I'm not the best at giving it out. It's much easier for me to be critical and judgmental concerning my own failures and those of others than it is to offer grace. 
It seems that most people are heavy-footed toward grace or toward truth. Phil steps toward grace. He is one of the most non-judgmental people I know and he has a kind, non-accusing way of making his points. However, he hates confrontation and will often avoid it to keep the peace. I step toward truth. I don't shy away from necessary confrontation and I'm not afraid to speak up for what is right. However, often, I come across as harsh and judgmental, lacking grace. 

So, the "Grace-Truth Project" is a way to remind myself that I need both grace AND truth. Sometimes just naming something makes it more real. So, there really isn't a "project" in the sense that I have a plan and specific goals and a blueprint of how to get there, but I'm working toward a more grace-filled life and calling it the "Grace-Truth Project" makes it more of a reality for me. 

So, I'm wondering: for those of you whose natural step is toward grace, what are some ways that I can fill my life with more of that? 

And for those of you who spend time with me, feel free to remind me of this project when when I'm displaying a bit too much truth! 


As of last Friday, Phil and I are homeowners! 

We got the classic picture in front of the "sold" sign (oh yeah, that's a self portrait):

And then we thought we might as well do some painting in the bedroom while there isn't any furniture in it. Let's just say that the "spun gold" color looked great on the swatch, paired well with the accent color, and then...it got on the wall. And it was, well, a little too sunny. So, sometime in the next few weeks, we'll be fixing that little problem and doing the whole room in the rust color (Martha Stewart's "Graham Cracker Crust," which I love). OR, instead of doing the whole room in the rust color, I could go back to a more neutral color and just have the one accent wall. Thoughts? If anyone needs a gallon of "spun gold," it's yours.

And here are a few pictures of the inside (staged by the seller's realtor):

Let the mortgage payments and debt begin!