Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Balance

Sometimes I just want to go back here. Life is insane, things pile up, and I think about the beautiful beach and beautiful people of Haiti. I think about how challenging, yet how simple life is there. Granted, we were there for a defined period, sort of like a strange vacation, so real life somewhat fades away. But it was certainly more simple.

Some days lately I feel as though my brain may explode. Not literally, but there's so much going on and I feel pulled in a hundred different directions. Work has exploded again, and there's added pressure as our agency is merging offline and online (which I know probably doesn't mean anything to folks not in my industry), so I essentially will have to learn a new role while still managing all of my accounts...this starts on Monday.

Student ministry has returned full-force. While I don't feel the same level of connection as usual since I'm with a new group and don't know them yet, I have a mix of feelings as I want to get to know the new girls, lead them well, and keep track of my college girls (which is proving difficult given their college crazy schedules).

I'm working on a few things personally which, are ultimately good things, but hard and take lots of time, energy, and emotional focus.

I'm 14 lbs away from my goal weight. And yet it seems so far away, partially because all of the above things steal my time and attention and I feel like there's little left for me to cook healthy meals and work-out to the level that I'd like to, and that I was last spring and this summer. I haven't gained anything back since life exploded to this level a month ago (and actually lost some two weeks ago), but I'd like these last pounds to come off! And I want to be diligent and work-out, partially since I've experienced the benefits...so I miss it right now.

I long to invest deeply in friendships, but sometimes I find myself empty at the end of the day. I care so much for my friends, especially my community, but feel like I'm not loving them well and am focused too much on my junk right now, which just makes me feel guilty.

I have so many other things I'd like to do. I randomly decided I want to learn how to knit. Currently I'm only a crocheter. I know the knitting basics, but have not really made anything further than a basic scarf. I have books I want to read, both fiction and Scripturally-based, clothes to make (I even have the patterns and fabric!), there are places in Dallas I want to go, etc., etc.

All that to say, my life is suddenly quite busy and full. Realistically, it's all good things (though some are challenging, I'm trusting they're ultimately for good), but I'm struggling with balancing it all. Some things will have to give and then some things are necessary for mental, physical, and emotional sanity/stability.

I don't have any wild "ah ha!" thoughts. I suppose ultimately I'm working to balance everything, give myself grace, but also fighting to prioritize the things that are essential, including gym time, friend time, and the personal work stuff. Thankfully I know it's a season and won't last forever. And I know it's not a surprise to the Lord, so I'm trusting that all of this colliding at once is purposeful and will teach me more about him.

But this spontaneous-loving, schedule-hating girl is ready to return to a slower-paced life. :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sweet Babies



My brother sent the above pictures to me yesterday of my dear niece, Morgan. And can I just say it gives me great joy that she has the Buckley family eyebrow raise down pat? She also has a Franks family dimple; it's just not showing in these pictures. And selfishly, I'm glad both of these mirror mine: left dimple and right eyebrow raise. :)



But she most definitely has my brother's black olive eyes. And the first picture is so reminiscent of his facial expressions. I'm excited to hug this little rolly polly girl in a few short weeks!


This morning I read a blog entry of a couple I've never met, yet feel a bit of a connection to them due to our mutual loves for a country in the ocean. My friend Kristie introduced me to the blog (thanks Kristie!) and I found today's entry so real, and yet so scary.



This couple lives in Haiti with their family and work for a ministry called Heartline Ministries, that sounds as though it has similar goals as MOH. The wife works as a midwife for the ministry and the entry I read this morning was powerful, so I thought I'd share.

I originally found myself jumping onto a soapbox in this post as my view of poverty alleviation has shifted so much from going to Haiti, hearing from MOH, and reading When Helping Hurts. But then I decided me going on a rant would not be helpful and I feared it would overshadow the truth of this particular blog entry.


So instead, I simply will say read it. And then join me in praising God for the successes and the lives that continue to be changed in Haiti. And pray that more will be changed, more will be educated, and more will glorify God as they learn how to care for themselves, their families, and change the nation of Haiti for God's glory.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Little Joy


I am very priviledged that I have many memories of five of my great grandparents.

One set of great grandparents, my Big Mema and Papa, lived a few miles from where I live now. Every trip to Dallas from wherever we happened to live always included a visit with them (and my great grandmother Mimi), even if we were staying at my grandparents' house in Ft. Worth. I have many fond memories playing in the "old timer" stuff in the garage of their Oak Cliff home. A home which I always remember being huge yet in reality, it's pretty darn tiny.

Even now, I sometimes catch a whiff of perfume that immediately makes me think of Big Mema and I always smile. Grandfather clocks make me think of their home. And any time I hear How Great Thou Art, I'm reminded that that's her favorite hymn (I'm not sure I'd remember that on my own, but my dad told me).

Given my fond memories of them, years ago I was honored to be given their dining room set. It wasn't necessarily my style, per say, but the memories and people tied to it made it special. I kept it for many years, until I was moving into an apartment that it would no longer fit. It took some time (I don't let go of sentimental things easily...), but I finally felt okay parting with the set, knowing it would go somewhere good.

This process of selling the furniture ended up being bad. I won't go into it, but suffice it to say, it tarnished all good memories of this furniture.

Well today while taking a quick break to eat lunch, I perused a few craft sites and stumbled upon something that brought a smile to my face and warmth to my heart. See here.

This looks EXACTLY like the hutch! And the blog's author lives in Austin, so could it be that Big Mema and Papa's hutch could have landed into the hands of a crafty person who would refurbish it to enjoy in her family?

I hope so. Or if it's not this exact piece, that some other family is enjoying it.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I Have No Great Title

Last night was the first high school “church” (aka shoreline). It was my first one without my dear college freshman girls, and my first one meeting my new high school freshman girls. It was weird, to say the least.

I continue to be shocked by how much reminds me of my sweet college girls. A song (or lots of songs, really…we were a musical bunch), a story, a book, a bible verse, and so much more. Multiple times last night something would occur and I’d almost lean over, only to remember they weren’t there. While it seems like that would sadden me, it doesn’t really. Don’t get me wrong, I miss them terribly, but instead these moments bring me deep abiding joy as this group of girls have been written into my story of grace. I am privileged to disciple them and it is a privilege to know they are carrying the torch well. Every time these moments occur (and other times with the Lord), I smile and then pray for them. Pray for their hearts to remain entwined with the Lord’s, for the Holy Spirit to help them withstand temptation, for them to do mighty things for the Kingdom, and for anything else I may know they need prayer for.

And then meeting the new girls. I was quite nervous and, honestly, still am. I question if I have it in me to lead them, if I’m strong enough and I question how to balance and not compare. While it was a little chaotic last night and I couldn’t really tell you most of their names as it was super loud (which doesn’t bode well if you have a hearing loss…), I was invited to chat one-on-one with my new co-leader and one of the girls after shoreline. That, too, was a bit overwhelming, but also encouraging. This girl shared big things with me, a complete stranger! I again questioned this morning if I am equipped to lead them. And then interestingly today’s portion of a little study I’m doing was on the Holy Spirit and the Lord graciously reminded me that I was not equipped (nor am I now) to shepherd my college girls through the plethora of hugely challenging things that came up across our six years together. But he is.

So again, I was pushed to my knees (well, figuratively as I was sitting in my bed) and into his Word. I am worthless to shepherd and lead any these girls apart from the Holy Spirit’s power. My words are utterly meaningless unless they are seasoned with God’s words. I’m thankful for the complete dependence true discipleship reflects.

Healing also requires this type of dependence. I’m going through something else on my own that, if I’m completely honest, I so wish I could avoid. Or wish I could fast-forward and skip. It is probably the hardest thing I have ever chosen to take part in. Sure, I’ve had other hard things that have happened to me or a season I’ve fallen into, but this was something I chose to walk into.

This past week we were looking at lies and how we must identify them, combat with truth, and then continue to walk in that truth until our minds are renewed. I’m sure when you read this you may think that doesn’t sound so bad. Yet it is ridiculously hard. You see, many of these lies I’ve believed for 20+ years and many I’m sure I don’t even recognize. And then of those I do recognize, I don’t exactly know how to combat them with truth. How do you make yourself believe something you don’t? And how do you beat lies you can’t even see?

I decided to return to a place of biblical comfort. Yes, I’m a little all-over-the-place at times with my bible reading. And yes I read multiple different things every day, but whatever. Anyway, I decided to step back into one of my most favorite books ever. Exodus. The last time I spent considerable time in this was during CR a few years ago. After someone mentioned it last week, I felt like it was an ideal place to walk through as I literally try to walk from slavery into freedom. And already I’m seeing things I’d never noticed before.

Anyway, this is a little on the rambling side, and I don’t necessarily have deep profound thoughts to share (not like I ever do) but it’s where I am. Grateful, challenged, overwhelmed, and trying to step from bondage into freedom even though it is ridiculously hard.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fifteen Minute Lunch Break

I took a mini lunch break as I needed a moment to not think about TRPs, flowcharts, decks, and TV. I ran down to the deli in my office because I couldn't be bothered with packing a lunch at 6am. I don't eat at the deli very often and, when I do, typically just get a sandwich.

As the guy was making my sandwich, I couldn't help but wonder if I had something crazy on my face or if he thought my sandwich toppings were weird. Why? He kept laughing and chatting with someone else in Chinese. But not the kind of conversation where it's happening while you're ordering. He kept looking at me funny.

I think I'm getting paranoid...

Prior to speedily sharing this, I also read this on my mini lunch break. Short, sweet, and pretty awesome.

Can I saw how much I cannot WAIT for this weekend? One afternoon and a trip to San Antonio left before I can bask in my few-to-no plans over Labor Day weekend. Come on sweet rest!

Positive Self-Talk

So, I've always been one of those who thought the notion of positive self-talk was goofy. I guess realistically, I didn't understand how many detrimental lies I tended to feed myself, but am discovering that now.

I'm in a group right now in which the study is big on self-talk. I mean, at the end of each lesson, one of the directives is to say a particular phrase outloud. To be honest, I haven't done it. I've read it in my head and moved on.

I got to work this morning extra early (i.e. the sun was barely waking up) and thought about this morning's positive self-talk from my lesson. Why is this so goofy feeling to me? They talk about it a lot in WW, too; everything from not beating yourself up if you gain or don't lose to converting your way of referring to foods as good and bad (which I've learned is a quite ridiculous trend of ours; it's not like food can do good or bad things in and of themselves!). I've gotten pretty good at it in the healthy living realm, so why can't I seem to carry this over in the rest of my world?

If I'm honest, I guess I've never believed there was much power in positive self-talk, yet I do believe in the flip side. I see where negative self-talk is extremely powerful. I've seen it in my girls and pushed them toward stripping that away. So, why is it hard to recognize in myself the tendency to speak ill of myself, to myself?

I have no "ah ha!" moments in this. It was purely meant as a few minutes' break from an early morning work day to get some random thoughts outside of my head. Maybe I'll try to give this positive self-talk thing a try. Perhaps it'll work.

And happy September! We've officially entered into my four most favorite months of the entire year, thought September is my least favorite of the four. But whatever! Happy months of ber!