Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Katie K

I have the quite possibly the funniest roommate ever. Part of the reason she's so funny, is she doesn't realize how funny she is, so everything comes out humbly.
As I've said before, our upstairs neighbors can be a little on the loud side, often leaving us reminiscing about the blissful quiet we experienced last year when it was vacant. Since it wouldn't be appropriate for us to give them walking lessons or burst upstairs when they're yelling at each other (it's a teenage girl and her mom...), we've taken to joking about the noise.
Last night, Katie had the hilariously brilliant idea to start our own screaming match to maybe show them how loud they are. I thought she was joking and told her I'm not really a screamer, unless we ran across a gross roach or something, but she wasn't having it. For the next minute, any time Katie wanted to say something to me, she screamed it and I simply laughed.
Sadly, I don't think it helped as there were trolls marching upstairs this morning. Regardless, it made for some Monday laughs, and we all need those.
Oh KK, blessed to have you as a roommate and friend.
PS for those of you who are curious by the intro picture, she's teaching us a dance move. Yes, Katie can not only speak ghetto, but she's a darn good ghetto dancer... :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

How Much Do You Hate Someone?

Yes, I know that's a heavy title for a blog, but it is a question that has circled around my mind for the past week or so; maybe more, I can't remember when I heard it asked. I've thought about it, but until last night the weight of this question and the realization of how much I've missed it have not sunk in.

This question was asked by an atheist in a random video shown during a sermon. I don't know the context for this random man's videos, if he just likes to film himself or if he has some sort of internet show. I don't even remember his name, but I remember his question. Essentially he was sharing a story about a man he encountered who gave him a bible and told him about Jesus. The point of his video was that if those of us who profess to know and follow Christ really believe his message, why are we not telling people? If we believe Jesus' words, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6, why are we not sharing with everyone we meet? Why do we keep quiet? How much do we have to hate someone not to tell them about the saving grace of Jesus, the only way to the Father, the only way to escape the horrors of hell? How much do we have to hate them?

Last night I skipped shoreline just to have a little break, but it ended up being huge. First, I flipped on the TV for background noise and came across a documentary on Showtime called Red Light. It was about trafficking in Cambodia. It was not visually graphic, but the even sheltered descriptions of what these 12, 13, and 14 year old girls and boys had been through was unbelievable, and it was obvious they left out a lot. The weight of this issue and how it has stirred my heart deserves another post, so I'll get on to my point with how this relates.

There was a young girl named, Sokhu who was rescued through the strength of her sister. As Sokhu talked, there was no light in her eyes; she almost looked like a lifeless girl opening her mouth to allow sound to escape. Her sister was on fire, seeking justice for her little sister and desperately trying to restore life in her. They showed Sokhu at some form of religious ritual in an attempt to free her from the pain and the shame (her village blamed her for her experience, though she was sold to the brothel against her will by a neighbor who kidnapped her). It was obviously not working and in the end, Sokhu returned willingly to the brothel as she didn't know what else to do. Her sister is now married with a family, but still desperately looking for Sokhu. I suddenly felt compelled to pray for this family, to pray that they will meet someone who knows Jesus, the only person who can free her from this dark world of bondage, and can love them by sharing him with them. I know there are many followers of Christ reaching into this dark world today in Cambodia.

Then a little while later I got an email update about my aunt who is battling the horrendous disease of cancer and hit by the truth that our life really is a vapor. The combination of these two battles against evil hit me in a huge way. I tried to watch Brothers & Sisters with my roommate, Katie, but found my mind distracted. I went to bed with a heavy heart and honestly didn't sleep very well. I then woke up this morning feeling almost sick and have continually fought back tears as the realization of how much I have missed it slowly weighed on me.

Jesus' message is clear. And the purpose of my life is clear:

Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:18-20

So the question becomes, why is his truth constantly on my lips? Why am I hiding the treasure that I hold? I mean, when I read a good book or see a good movie, I'm so quick to share with others. How much more good and valuable is this news, this treasure, this saving grace? How important is the weight of a soul? I think the answer is I am paralyzed by fear because I wonder if Jesus will show up, if he will provide if I'm persecuted. I don't fully believe in the weight of hell and the value of a soul, and that I am God's plan A when it comes to saving the nations. He uses us. So instead, I hide behind the fact that evangelism is not one of my spiritual gifts, regardless of the truth that I am called to it; that it's the purpose of my life.

And realizing all of this makes me feel sick, for I cannot continue in this manner. I'm at a crossroads of sorts, one in which I chose to jump-in and truly pray for the Spirit to show up and give me boldness to share with the multitude of people who I meet who don't know the saving grace of Jesus, or I can continue down a path of cowardness.

I will not lie, I'm terrified that Jesus will abandon me, but that's against his character and against his word, and I know that to be true. I'm tired of living a monotonous life of mediocrity and am ready to fully dive in to the adventurous life that Jesus holds and so desperately wants to give me. I'm glad I don't walk alone; I walk in the power of the Spirit of the Creator of the universe, who lives inside me. Oh Spirit, guide me and help me be brave.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Like a Child

I don't know this woman from Eve, but follow her blog and found this story so powerful. I love how much we can learn from the simple nature of children and how they easily distinguish when things are not right.

In other realms, I'm obsessed with Brooke Fraser's new song. It makes me want to jump up and dance around. I read in one place that it's a Kiwi song, but I don't know if that's true. Regardless, it's certainly peppy and I can't wait to hear the rest of her new album releasing October 12th.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy Fall!!

Goodbye summer and hello fall!! In case you weren't aware, today is the official first day of the greatest season of the whole year!! Although it's sadly still ridiculously hot, I thought I'd share a few pictures to bring in the essence of the season and get you in the mood.

The first two are from my favorite fall (and Christmas for that matter) destination, Williamsburg!

The second is a picture of the greatest fall drink; yes folks, it's BETTER than Pumpkin Spice Latte, I just can't get it anymore. It's Williamsburg's wassail that they begin selling in fall through Christmas. They always stuck a cinnamon stick in it, just adding to the loveliness. I found a recipe for it online while searching for a picture, so I'm going to try and see if I can whip it up! Won't be the same drinking here as opposed to strolling through the streets of Williamsburg, but I'll take what I can get.

These last two pictures are random places. I'm pretending the last one is of the Colonial Parkway in Virginia as I couldn't find a good picture of it. It actually does look similar except it's not an asphalt road.

I also have a deep affection for fall clothes, football, coats and scarves, the chill in the air, the slightly grey skies, the smells, pumpkins, the crunch of leaves, and pretty much everything you can attribute to the season. So bring on Billie Holliday crooning Autumn in New York, throw on your favorite scarf, grab a fall drink, and let's do a fall dance! Now if only the temperatures would listen...
What's your favorite part about fall?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Life Through the Lens of Seinfeld

I sometimes think aspects of my life would make a really good Seinfeld episode. I mean, the show already captured quite a few of my bizarro pet peeves/experiences such as muffin tops (I always eat them upside down), flip your dog’s ear over!, the soft talker, Master of the House getting stuck in your head… In light of the hard days I’ve had, there have been some would-be incredibly frustrating incidences that I’ve been able to make more amusing by imaging how Jerry, Kramer, George, and Elaine would handle them. Always leads to a smile.

Situation 1
I am an incredibly hard sleeper and it’s near-impossible to wake me up when I’m deep in sleep. I’ve slept through hurricane-force winds blowing my bedroom window in and only waking up when I was wet, fire alarms, etc. When I went to college, my parents were actually worried I would have trouble waking up so I slowly had to train myself to hear and wake up to my alarm. I now set four, different sounding alarms and wake up very quickly as I hate the sound! Part of my hard sleeping is the trusty built-in earplug.

Okay, now you have the stage set…Sunday night, hard asleep. But then I suddenly am woken by a loud bang at which I shoot up in bed and sort of flail my arms about. I’m sure that in and of itself was comical should someone have seen me. At first I think it must be close to wake-up time since I woke up so easily and know 8th grade girl living above me is a loud one, particularly in the morning. But then I notice I still feel exhausted so I click my phone and it’s 2am!! The banging continues, and it literally sounds like said 8th grader is bowling in her room. Maybe with some trolls. Seriously?

What would Elaine do in this situation? I’m envisioning something reminiscent to the episode when her neighbor leaves town with his alarm on and his cat without food. Kramer’s meat slicer was introduced to quiet the starving cat…

Situation 2
Background again. My mom is Grammar Queen extraordinaire and continually cut us off mid-sentence to correct a grammar error and always edited our reports or presentations. I have countless memories of her stopping me saying “ly?” or “you went to the store with I?” or “you like went to school?” It was definitely obnoxious at times and something we still joke with my mom about, but all-in-all, these grammar correcting antics shaped my brother and me into better communicators, which we’re grateful for. Along with this, I know I am a decent writer. Of course I have lots of room for growth (i.e. I can get wordy…), but know this is an area I am skilled and love to do!

Stage set… So yesterday I sent a reminder to the media group for our Wednesday Morning Meeting presentation today in which I said “join us for the first team presentation with Matt, Ashley, Colleen, and me.” There was a little more to it, but that’s the gist. A little while later I get an email from a person in media who is very high up that just said “and I.” Oh no, enters Sarah’s ridiculous grammar neuroses. I knew my sentence structure was correct, yet wanted to be teachable so forwarded the note to my mom and a proofer here. Both confirmed I was correct and the proofer suggested I correct this person. However, I wasn’t super comfortable with that and didn’t know if it would be beneficial as she is a superior; my boss agreed so I deleted it and didn’t respond. But my pride is annoyed as the email was pretty snarky and I was right! God is teaching me to let it go…

I think this situation would include George as he obsesses over random things to the point of personal embarrassment.

So there you have it. Yes, it’s quite ridiculous that I’m amusing myself by envisioning how random situations would exist in the world of television. Next up, a Friends episode, and we all know how much I love those six buds...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Being Carried

Today I feel as though I'm drowning. To be honest, I've felt this way for a few weeks, but haven't exactly known what to do about it, so I've attempted to just push through it.

There is too much going on...
Too much work
Too many hurt people
Too much poverty
Too much brokenness
Too much swirling around in my head
Too much to do
Too much I'm undisciplined at
Too much to keep track of

I really should be working now, but I needed a minute. A minute to breathe and think, so I thought I'd write it out as that sometimes helps me.

I was just asked to take on another account. In theory, I should be pleased that I was given another, but this is the fourth account added to my plate in the past month, and it is overwhelming. On top of that, another formerly dormant account is now incredibly active, I have Wednesday Morning Meeting #2 this week, have a new group director with a different style to work with, and feel like I'm doing a horrendous job managing the planners who help me. I also feel guilty that I'm not thinking of new things strategically for the account I've now had the longest, and they have asked for more of that. I know it will all work out as all things do, but right now, I can't even pick what to start with, how to prioritize, and what to do.

I am also overwhelmed by my desire to serve more deeply, yet feeling guilty that I don't know how or when I'll be able to fit that in. I went to West Dallas Saturday morning to serve, spending the morning cleaning out former drug houses that will be converted to rehabilitation houses. This area is five miles from my house. That much poverty is FIVE miles away. I knew it, but seeing it was so strange. Picking up gobs of cold medicine and razor blades amidst a broken down, nasty, holes-in-the-floor house was eye opening. There is so much poverty in this world. So much slavery. So much brokenness.

And then I'm overwhelmed by my own attempts to be disciplined financially, yet continually being slammed with obnoxious medical, car, and other bills. Yet I know I still can do more, do I have the courage?

And then my girls, my precious girls applying for college. And my community, wanting to grow in accountability but not knowing how.

Other things are also swirling in my head and overwhelming me. Things that I won't share here, but fill my thoughts and heart and leave me with more questions than answers.

It's all too much.

So right now I am clinging to God's word. Clinging to the truth that as I carry my cross, he carries me. That he will never give me too much to handle apart from him. Today I'm walking with hands open, asking for help, for I don't know what to do, but I know he does and I know he won't leave me alone.

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:4