Monday, April 30, 2012

Fire Kisses and Triggers

     Photo Credit: Hannah Cruz

     Today was my Sabbath. My day of rest. The purpose of my day today was not to have my usual list, the "To-Do's" lurking and following my every move. Today, I wanted to make sure I accomplished nothing.

     It may seem like a setback of sorts, but it's actually the opposite. If I don't take one day a week to get my mind right, I get anxious, cranky, out of sorts and such.

     So I took my time today. I have a new robe of surrender wrapped around me. And I feel freer than I have in years.

     Alone, I headed off to one of my beloved Greek-style eateries, ready to feast on one of my favorite meals. As I walked outside to find a table with a good view, I noticed another firetruck. Yes, another. I saw the first one around the corner. But there didn't seem to be an emergency. Guess everyone at the station got hungry at the same time.

     The table I wanted was going to be stuck with a view of a firetruck, and not the city view beyond it. And then I realized the firetruck in front of me, full of firemen, was about to pull off. Which would then afford me a stellar view of the city from the table I wanted to initially sit at.

     As the firetruck began to slowly pull away, I had this thought of how much I love firemen. They are brave, they are rescuers, and almost all of them are extremely  handsome (Not quite sure how that happens). And note: They once rescued me from a bathroom I got stuck/locked in, on the second floor of a large apartment complex. They came in by way of sirens and axes. I loved every minute of it.

     Oh, and I just remembered my encounter with a "9/11" Fireman. Whoa. It played out like a proper movie scene. I was there in NYC, less than 6 months after 9/11. I had just finished leaving an area near "Ground Zero" with my team that was helping with clean-up. There were police officers and firemen everywhere. The whole atmosphere was a bit overwhelming. My team had finished our shift for the night and we were getting ready to walk home.

     And that's when I saw him. I couldn't even fully describe him to you now, but this NYC fireman was tall and beautiful and walked with a sense of silent strength and that east coast swagger that I love. I am 100% sure my heart had a palpitation. This mystery fireman seemed like he was en route to somewhere important, and now he was about 15 feet in front of me and we locked eyes. But I kept walking with my group, trying to hide the fact that I had been struck by lightening. And then we walked passed each other. Without a word exchanged. But I looked back.

     And I found him looking right back at me.

     Hmm. Nah.

     So I walk a few more feet. And he's even further away. And I look back again.

     And I find him looking right back at me.


    ...And then I just kept walking...


     So those memories came flooding back into my mind. And as I casually look back up at the firetruck pulling away in front of me, one particular fireman starts waving at me. I almost look behind me, but I stop myself. I keep my gaze locked on his, to ensure it's me he's waving at.

     Yes. It's me. I smile back, like an idiot. And then he blows me a kiss.

     Wow. OK. So I do the natural thing.

     I wave at him--like an idiot. Like I'm waving my long-lost lover goodbye as he goes on a train ride across the rough rails of Europe.

     But just as he finished blowing kisses at me and the firetruck had almost completely pulled away, something glimmers in the bright shining sunlight, and catches my eye...


     Just his wedding ring.

     Womp. Womp.

     Well, then.

     But rarely do things happen to you and I haphazardly. It wasn't until I started writing this post, that another piece of the dream came to me. Another piece of the puzzle. "A lifetime of laughter with the one I love" now coupled with the fierce bravery of a fireman.

    Today would have been a much different day, if that weird moment hadn't happened. But today wasn't about that awkward moment, is was about getting past that to remember something else. Something else vital:

Remembering my own moments of bravery and the times in which I felt the most protected and safe by someone else bravery towards me. 

     Yes. I want to be brave like a fireman. Brave.

Wisdom's Knocking:

Who in your life makes you feel safe and brave? Hang on to that one. They just might be a keeper.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I'm So Excited. And Weird.

     Photo Credit: Me

     Just pretend you're hearing the Pointer Sisters' song, "I'm So Excited" throughout this entire post. Because I'm definitely playing it on a loop while I write this.

     Remember my post, "When You Pass a Test"? Well, not only did I pass a test last weekend, I just graduated. And not that K-5 to First Grade graduation. We're talking Junior High to High School. This is major.

     My love and patience was put to the test as I faced going to one of the weddings of the century stag, you know, solo.

     But I felt good. I was in a really good head space. My 2 hour car ride afforded me ample time to get real with God. To get real about my past crush (Of whom would be at the wedding...). My disappointments. My lack of humility (The ability to learn and grow) in certain areas. And my overall lack of vision for my own future.

     It's funny, almost everyone has hope and vision for the outcome regarding my future and future boo (The 2 being distinctly connected), except for me. I just couldn't see it as clearly as I did 10 years ago. After 5 years of a desert full of prospects, coupled with another 5 years of well intentioned prophetic words (ie: "Soon", "In a year", "This is your year", etc.), I was simply left limp. I had more vision for all of this when I was 16. But now, I was just tired.

     But I go to this wedding.

     And I feel as though God reminded me, again, of how good He is.

     I genuinely cried at the wedding. Saw friends I hadn't seen in years, was honored and loved well. And sat at one of the best tables (My table was titled: "Belief" Ha.) for the reception. Good wine and laughter. And lots of dancing. Lots of dancing. And I felt beautiful.

     Something changed in me. And I didn't even try. I now understand Grace just a little bit more.

     Who knew self, could be so good.

     He knew.

     That's what it's been all about. All along.

     And now, I can stop trying so hard.


     I had a conversation with a good friend of mine recently, and something slipped out. A real true honest moment. We were talking about men and boys, life, and of course romance, and then I blurted out, "A lifetime of laughter with the one you love. Now that sounds like a dream to me."

     It wasn't until it came fully out of my lips did I realize what I had said.

     And I think this is part of my dream.  My vision coming back.

     But there's no pressure this time. There's no, "5 Step Plan to Get a Man", there's no fear.

     A lifetime of laughter with the one you love. Believe me. I know that could be defined in a plethora of ways. But once again, I'll let God bring forth the true definition of that in my life. And He never disappoints. I trust that now, more than ever. I feel free. A true sense of graduation.

     Yes, you appreciate sight so much more after being blind. I wonder if a season of blindness was necessary for me in some way? The colors seem so much brighter now. How did that happen? I don't know all of the ingredients, but I do know surrender and humility played a major role in this transformation.


     So today, I wrote a letter to my future son. Yes. I'm weird. I don't care. I did it. And I cried.

     You know why?

     Because I'm so excited.

Wisdom's Knocking:

Good things come to those who wait.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

When Everything Is Almost

Photo Credit: Ashley Johnson

     I was trying to find the lesson in what happened to me recently, so that I could look on this time fondly. And say, "Oh, yes, granddaughter of mine...and that is how I learned that you always....and never...when it's almost."

     Yeah. That's pretty much how that sentence played out in my mind. There was no concrete answer in between the "Always" and "Never".

     Picture this. Your name is on an RSVP. You've received the confirmation of your RSVP in the mail. You get to the destination with overwhelming anticipation. Then you finally reach the semi-intimidating name-list-checker person at the front of the line. This person seems to control your immediate destiny. Will you pass "Go" or simply "Go to Jail" as it were.

     You give your name.

     And like clockwork.

     Your name is not on the list.


     "I don't have time for 'but's'," says the stern list-checker.

     It's decided.

     And where's the fairness in that?

     You walk away in disgrace and confusion.

     But it can't be over? It hasn't even begun??  You waited all your life for this. You're just about to pass the official doorway, when...

     A second door opens before you can process the first slap.

     You think to yourself, is this an open door or a trap. Not sure.

     And a stern voice asks your RSVP'd guest. "Have you been checked off on the list".

     The air is silent. Then the wind carries the rest.

     It's a faint whisper of a Yes, from some one's lips. And I didn't stop them.

     "Alright, then. Right this way." says the big man at the door.


     So wait. Did I just get in by lying? Even though I was already on the official list?

     Why did I bother making reservations? And preparing--Trying to do it the right way all this time. What for?

     And then today, something flashed in my mind. Matthew 12: 1-4, 6. When clinging to the right and perceived proper protocol to do in a given situation wasn't necessarily the thing to do. But there's still a deep lesson of humility in this. Of which I'm still dissecting.


     I think one of my greatest fears is preparing for something great, RSVP-ing, going about it all the right way, only to find out my name mysteriously disappeared from the list, or being denied, or my invitation revoked. Yes, that was a marriage metaphor.

     There's a verse in the Bible that says, that God is not like man, God doesn't lie (Numbers 23:19). (So clearly He wouldn't have been tangled up in that RSVP scenario, since God is truth, the reality of His name being on the list would have immediately surfaced...I digress) So in essence there is no deception in God. What a freeing thought if I could truly grasp and believe that whole heartedly. Because I'm sometimes thrown off by His mysterious and humorous way of doing things.

     And then I hear Him gently whispering to me: What I have for you is good. It is good.

     And perhaps that good and perfect that God has for me, won't come in the package of marriage. Gasp!!! (I know, it almost sounds like blasphemy coming from my lips) Even though I've often defined His good and perfect for me as marriage. I also trust God way beyond my own present whims/crushes and desires to define good and perfect for me. And YES. That. is. difficult. To surrender, wholly and trust God. Yes. I cry often. But, I also laugh a lot.

     Being emptied and dying to self isn't in end in itself. It's unto life, unto so much more. Unto being filled with more of God and the capacity to not just receive blessings but to give them away--because of the rich overflow.

     So clearly my hypothetical RSVP story wasn't hypothetical at all. But at this point I know it's trying to show me something. Something to be emptied, that will soon be filled.

     Everything at the moment maybe almost. But God is always--Good.

Wisdom's Knocking:

That good thing that you've been waiting for is GOING to happen. 
God is good.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

When You Pass a Test

Photo Credit: Me

     Not surprising. Weeks after writing a series on Jealousy and Contempt, I was tested by these very foes. How would I respond to this gang? Would I run in fear. Would I be paralyzed by fear? Would I yell at them and throw my purse up in the air and try to create some awkward diversion. Or would I try to bargain with them for my life.

     But somehow, instinctively, I knew this was a simulation.

     How does one pass a test?

     You study.

     And say a prayer.

     I have been wrestling these past few weeks, with my "Non-existent" Crush. So much so, that at one point, one guy that I work with, who thinks that I have a boyfriend--of which I have not corrected him of this thought, asked me in cold blood, "How's Mr. Lucky?"

     You all already know what I said.

     I chuckle and say, "He's good."

     I know. I'm horrible.

     My next blog post will simply deal with the topic of:  "How do you reject someone without 'rejecting' someone?" I'm horrible at this, and I tend to skirt around the issue or as you know. Straight up, lie. Ugh. This is no good.

     That seems to be my go-to. Coupled with the fact that I wear a ring on my 'wedding' finger.

     But as corny as this sounds, I feel as though my heart is already taken. I just don't know by who yet. But I'll know when I know. Until then, God is keeping a close eye on my heart and the ring is dedicated to my commitment to Him.

     But I did have this re-occurring thought this past week: "I miss my husband."

     I know. I'm not married. Not dating anyone. But nevertheless, I miss him.

     And then Jealousy and Contempt started taunting me. "You're nothing without us. You know you want back in. Give up this good girl crap. You know you miss us."

     What does one do to pass a test?

     You study.

     And you say a prayer.

     I'm still wrestling a bit with my feelings about "Him". But at the same time, there's something beautiful that's happening in the wrestling. I'm learning.

     So today, I passed a test.

     Where I would have normally jumped to the worst of all conclusions, screamed Bloody Murder, and "How dare you disrespect me!" I paused. I now knew that those responses were products of my previous covenants with Jealousy and Contempt.

     But this time, I would take a bite of one of the "Fruit(s) of the Spirit--Patience".

     I was once told by a very wise older woman that "Patience was somethin' the Devil couldn't cultivate. But when you've chosen patience, you've made a pathway, like a fresh stream of water through a desert, to reach you straight from God to bring forth the very thing that you need the most."

     What do you do to pass a test?

     You study--patiently.

     You pray--talking to God while in the test, no matter how hard it gets and how uncomfortable you feel.

     And know that everything is going to be absolutely alright even when everything feels all wrong at the moment.

     --And that is when Jealousy and Contempt disappeared right before my eyes, like an old magic trick. Only leaving a billowing cloud of smoke where they once stood.

     And I found myself full of hope.  Not necessarily knowing all the answers, but enough to pass this distinct test.

     And that is how I passed a test.

Wisdom's Knocking:

If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again.