Memphis was my Mecca.
So after crying and feeling neurotic and sorry for myself because I am being dramatic and fickle, I decided to go outside and pump serious iron (with two ten pound dumbbells). Mosquitoes attacked instantly and I just purchased (had my dad purchase) some repellent on clearance. I went inside to get my car keys, unlocked my car, got the spray, sprayed vigorously. Then when I shut (too loudly, I guess) my car door, something ruffled the bush behind me and scared me. I knew it was a bird but I couldn’t tell where the bird went. And then I saw it: the nest. I thought it was pretty cool, even from afar, then I looked inside moving some leaves and branches out of the way. Two tiny, featherless baby birds with eyes bulging out of their heads turned up their beaks, opening their mouths, heads swirling in small circles. There was a small, tiny, egg in the nest that hadn’t hatched yet. It was light blue with some brown spots. It sounds pretty average I guess, but I think it is the coolest thing I have discovered to date. Definitely. I got my mom’s camera to take some pictures and then felt guilty so I looked for worms to feed them but couldn’t find anything but centipedes which seemed to big and like a real choking hazard. I am not sure if birds can smell but I hope not. Maybe I left no scent behind and the mother bird has returned with dinner.
Mosquitoes were still attacking me but I kept going back and looking at the nest. The two hatched birds would cuddle up and one’s neck would drape across the other and they’d go to sleep (I guess, their eyes are shut) this way. The egg was nestled in there, too.
Today I’ve been thinking, what if the choices I’ve made in the past month have been wrong, what if the things I thought were right, the sounds, signs, sights, feelings, all those things I thought were the voice of God were not and I had just screwed things up beyond repair dooming myself to inescapable unemployment and misery forever. Realistically I know I am not doomed but I still fear making the wrong decision. Maybe I did make a wrong choice or two and what I really thought was the right thing wasn’t. All I know is that I was really trying to find and do what I felt was right, what I felt God wanted me to do. Which opportunity to take, which to avoid, which place to go, which place to stay.
Aside from an interview I did not make it to, I got a call for another one right before I found the bird’s nest. And God told me so many things through that bird’s nest like: Even though you set out to do one thing the way I set out to exercise, God can drastically redirect you or He can use your own plans and steps to redirect you. When I found the bird’s nest, in a place I never planned to be, I was (overly, a little) excited and it brightened my day in an unanticipated way. The mother bird was with the babies (before I scared her away) probably feeding them or just coming back to take care of them and check on them. Even when she was gone she was doing things to take care of them. I am like the egg in that nest. At this stage in life, other people have hatched and are in the same nest (phase) so to speak, but in different situations all together. Newly married, new professionals, new at the whole adulthood thing. I am trying not to compare myself to others as far as determining my worth and value and competence. Some people are ahead and that doesn’t matter. Some people are behind and that doesn’t matter. What matters is that God is taking care of me until He hatches what He has for me next and I know He is preparing me for whatever that is, taking extra special care of me right now the same way the mother bird is taking care of those birds and her egg. She was even smart enough to get the nest into a place where rain (at least light rain) doesn’t affect it. It’s raining now and they’re dry. I know that whether I feel it or notice it or not, God is taking care of me and protecting me, giving me a time of rest in His nest before He gives me what He has next for me.
Today a 7 year old boy told me he loved his church. He told me the reasons he loved his church were: they gave him snacks and everything and played games with him and because he got to worship God there.
I am not sure if I’ve ever felt more spoken to directly by God that today during my nephews school parade walking past two churches with two seven year old boys on either side of me.
Today I debated turning left instead of going straight through the light to save time and decided too late to turn and got stuck in the straight lane. But then I thought, well, maybe my lane will get the green light first and we didn’t, of course. I always, without fail, choose the worst line of any to be in.
I thought about merging over but would have clipped the tail end of the car in front of me and probably have missed the arrow to turn anyway by the time I pulled up. I was pissed.
Then I asked myself how much time I would have really saved. There were about three times as many stop-lights the way I was trying to turn. If I really wanted to take that street though, I could have. I could have remained in the lane to go straight and turned left a little ways down, left again and then taken a right and been in the same spot. It really wasn’t that big of a deal. There was an alternative route but it really didn’t matter because I was moving in another direction that led to the same location. And that thought really spoke to me because that’s where I am professionally in my life right now. I’ve taken turns and not taken turns and gone straight and circled back a few times. I don’t know what I am doing or what I should be doing. But the whole time I’ve been driving and turning and stopping, I’ve been thinking and trying to figure it out. I don’t know if I have yet, but I know eventually I will.
I worry a lot and I am trying to do less of that. I am trying to learn that you really can’t mess this life up too bad when you are trying to make wise, responsible choices and your intentions and motives are good. I am learning that a detour or circling the block are OK and that people do that all the time. I am happy to be doing that instead of being stalled or parked but if I need to do either of those things at any point, I am trying to learn it will all be OK regardless.
God has my road map and He knows where it leads. I feel like I can’t see it or read it or even locate it sometimes. And I know I go off course sometimes with pure intentions and sometimes not. But I know when I seek His will, no matter where I am, He WILL lead me in the direction I need to go and I WILL arrive to the destination He has planned for me.
It’s hard to keep two hands on the wheel, read the road signs, make decisions about turning and also really let go. But I am trying.
I spent the last week living on an air mattress in my apartment with a partly furnished kitchen, a well stocked refrigerator and a very full closet. I turned down an opportunity because I didn’t want to spend life on an air mattress, in a bedroom, with a roommate… and still ended up air mattress living but only for a short time.
I spent lots of time crying as I packed up in Memphis but mostly in telling people good-bye.
I left my completely empty apartment this morning just before noon. Then on my drive home I remembered the fish in the freezer and towels hanging in the bathroom on the back of the door.
My car was totally packed and still is. My dad’s house is overrun with my things and so is my mother’s… as well as my car.
And now I am waiting for an opportunity (that I really hope works out) to actually work out. I’ll know in 9 days. In the meantime I am home, resting, clearing my mind, spending time with my family, missing Memphis and all of my wonderful friends and the delicious food we found there.
Lately, I’ve felt like my moving day… sometimes empty and not hopeful but other times quite peaceful and full. I am so scared I’ve made the wrong decision and that something horrible will happen to let me know that, almost like God will tell me, “You freaking idiot. Look what you did.” In praying for discernment and confirmation about my choice, I’ve been given discernment that God isn’t really here to remind us what fools we’ve made of ourselves or about the messes we’ve made of our lives and situations we face in life. He is here to help us through them and the clean-up afterwards.
I don’t know what I am so scared of really. I know something will work out either way and that there is no worst case scenario. I have so many things to be thankful for that focusing and worrying about one not going my way distracts completely from the thanksgiving I should be giving.
Rest and thanksgiving. Just those are on my to-do list for the next week.
a $9.00 slice of cheesecake.
The entire time following swiping my debit card for a $9.00 slice of cheesecake, I told myself, you can’t put a price on good food with good people in a good place for a good time. So, it’s nine bucks.
And then when my friend dropped me off at my apartment, we actually sat in her car and talked for almost 2 hours and it was so refreshing and uplifting and I felt both encouraged and encouraging at the same time.
It’s late and I can’t remember them all but God revealed so many things to me tonight in the passenger seat. I feel reassured, I feel at peace. I feel so thankful we went for those $9 slices of cheesecake.
And in reading this for spelling errors, I see the significance in typing “God revealed so many things to me tonight in the passenger seat.” I am not in control, He is. His sense of direction for my life is so much better than my own and trusting Him to get me there feels better than it ever has before.
A stillness in my soul. I have no clue what is next but I am not scared. I know You’ve got it. I am excited to see what’s next as You reveal it in your perfect timing.
Listening to lyrics of, “Please keep my eyes fixed on you,” while reading words that say I have no need God cannot meet and that desiring God above all else is the best way to live.
And the verse to go with it: “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen,since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18.
Again, I do not believe in coincidences.
I am so tired of getting an e-mail from this clothing website everyday. I have hundreds. I scrolled down this morning and taa-daa! a click ‘here’ to unsubscribe. This link led to another asking me to click again to confirm my unsubscription. Immediately on the same page another link appears saying, ‘opt back in.’
Damn, I thought. We’ve become so impulsive and indecisive and unsure as a society that we get an ‘I change my mind button’ before we even make a choice. Too bad life doesn’t work that way.
I’ve changed my mind recently more times than there are seconds in the day. It’s driving me crazy. Well, not so much anymore but it was. Yesterday I got a really inspiring and much needed card from a friend and it had what a pastor recently said are the four most powerful words you can ever say to anyone in it: I believe in you. It was only about 11:00 a.m. but I cried for two hours and sat on the balcony drinking a beer. Rough day. Then I got over it.
This, all these events, made me wonder why we are so unsure, uncertain, so doubtful, so confused, so impulsive. What makes these things happen? Confusion and fear. When we constantly question something, we have no peace about it. Peace comes from God. Usually, making decisions independently (at least in my experience) leads to all of these feelings that result from a lack of peace.
I’ve already made some pretty whimsical decisions lately and I’ve changed my mind several times even though the decisions had already been made, unable to be unmade. Maybe not necessarily unmade but also not without risk of appearing to be (or actually being) a little neurotic.
Yesterday I decided to stop questioning what had already been done and I told God I had really maybe f’ed up some things. I hadn’t waited patiently, I acted out of fear and dissatisfaction. I was a little cry baby telling God I couldn’t wait, couldn’t take it, couldn’t handle it. So I took care of it and now here I sit, patiently waiting for Him to straighten it all out and bless the mess I’ve made despite it all.
Pro/Con lists are the worst ideas ever. I only focus on the pro side which makes me feel that I’ve messed up and missed out. For some people, maybe they work. And for you, well, you should keep using them.
This morning my devotion was about receiving God’s PEACE. It says this is the deepest desire of our heart. Isn’t it? All I wanted was to feel at peace about decisions I’d made. So what is peace? Assurance, belief, understanding, an affirmation that everything is all right. Makes perfect sense. It also mentions worry and says that peace will result from troublesome situations when we thank God for those. God’s peace is the only thing that will combat the fear and worry and indecision and impulsivity and uncertainty we feel when we don’t know what to do or which direction to go. And there are things I have to start doing to find and keep this Peace. I’ve been subscribing and unsubscribing at my convenience.
I feel like I’ve been pretty good at recognizing ways God talks to me through people, music, different events or happenings, and all those cool and easily received sorts of things. More and more lately I’ve been reading the most important way to be sure you’re hearing the voice of God is to be in His word daily, not just when you need him to repair some damage or send a big blessing or answer an extra special important prayer. I’ve got to start doing that.
I am clicking here to ‘opt in’ and I know I’ll ‘opt out’ whether intentionally or not at some point. But I know the ‘hey, it’s OK, I knew you’d do this so opt back in’ button will be there waiting for me. I guess if there’s a word limit it will just say ‘Mercy.’