Thursday, May 31, 2007

Post Pentecost Fast

The past two weeks and continuing this week the sermon series has been on Chapter Two of Acts. We're talking about the Holy Spirit and Pentecost and speaking in tongues and other manifestations and gifts of the Holy Spirit. This is not a topic that has been covered very much at my church or many churches I have attended in the past so it is pretty interesting and exciting.

The main point that my pastor has been wanting to get out about this particular chapter is what if we did what the early church did ie pray for ten days and see how God works in a mysterious and amazing way. The other tagline for this series is to ask God to amaze and perplex us as He did for the early Christians in Acts 2. Amaze us and perplex us. Most of us do ask for God to amaze us, but do we really ask us to perplex us. I think this is pretty cool because it means that we don't have God figured out. That He is constantly and consistently doing things that don't make sense to us, that force us in a way to continually rely on Him. Not because He's manipulative but because He is so BIG!

As part of this journey, we have been challenged to have a post Pentecost fast for ten days where we seek after God with a little more intensity than normal, where we are little hungrier than usual, where we listen to His voice calling to us a little more closely, where we open our hearts up to Him a little more vulnerably. And then we see what God will do. This is a time of no expectations other than allowing God the opportunity to amaze and perplex us.

A fast is not only a time to give something up, but it is also a time to add something, to heighten the spiritual quest, to deprive oneself of something usual which will heighten the senses and to add something unusual or out of the ordinary that will satisfy the heightened senses.

As I thought about what I wanted to fast I had lots of ideas: give up my car and walk, fast a meal, fast a type of food, fast television. I had ideas about what to add: focus on praying for something specific like a husband, a job, family or friend relationships. I asked God what I should give up and add. I thought about it. And then I realized what do I really need more than anything. I need to know God. That's it. That's my point, that's my focus.

So I am fasting an extra amount of sleep in the morning and getting up a little earlier than I normally do. I put on my walking clothes and walk around my neighborhood for 30 minutes. I have needed to make time to get to know God so that is my sacrifice. I am being intentional about what I am adding. I'm not praying about a set list of things. Instead, I have told and asked God that I simply want to know who He is. I want to know Him. I am walking with Him and talking with Him and wanting to get to know Him just as I want to walk and talk and get to know a friend or a potential mate.

Since there is so much to know about God, I wanted to make it simple for myself to get started. Otherwise I would never get anywhere. So I found a list of the names/attributes of God. Each day I will meditate, focus, ask God questions, sing about that one name or attribute of God. The list I found has about 700 different names and attributes of God found in the Word.

So instead of just 10 days, I have over two years of "material" to work with. I'm so looking forward to getting my focus back where it should be and knowing God. Everything else is a bonus.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

A Look Back

Three months ago yesterday, I had to put Paddington to sleep. I know, I've written about this before, but since I just downloaded my pictures, I thought I would post his final portraits taken the morning of his last day. I still miss him. I know he was just a dog. But he was my friend and I miss him.

Surf -n- Sand And I'm Getting Old

Yesterday I headed to the beach with my roommate Anne and friend Christy. We got up at crack of dawn and headed to Rehobeth. The drive was quick, parking was found easily and our towels were laid on the sand with an umbrella and chairs set up by 10:30am. It was a wonderful day.

I had my SPF 45, a floppy brim straw hat that Christy said was an old lady hat and Anne said was Coco Chanel at the beach, my iPod, and fancy black bathing suit. The day was gorgeous. We laid around, talked, didn't talk, trolled the boardwalk for lunch, went swimming and had an all around fantastic day. Even with my SPF 45 liberally applied, I managed to get some great color. I'm all about enjoying the sun without sacrificing my future health :)

We left the beach around 5:30pm after taking those really fun crowd-in-a-booth-draw-the-curtain-and-make-funny-faces pictures. They are really funny and as soon as I can scan them in, I'll post them.

We hit the outlet malls on the way out of town and ended up having a yummy dinner at a restaurant near the Kent Narrows bridge. I had a delicious lobster - sooooooo good.

Finally got home around midnight and crashed. Tired but very happy.

This morning I woke up crazy early to teach Sunday school and once I got home from church, I have been sooooo tired. Man, when I was younger, I could go all day to the beach, have a late night, early morning and hit it again. Now I need to get my rest together so that I can party again tomorrow!

Happy Memorial Day!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


I am really frustrated today. And I do not get frustrated easily. In fact, I'm a pretty laidback person most of the time. Sure when things get stressful, my fuse gets shorter, but I have never been so frustrated so frequently as I have the past few months.

I am frustrated with my job for a myriad of reasons. I am really frustrated with the quickly fading possibility of joining the Foreign Service. The reports coming out of the State Department (as heard through a listserv grapevine that I belong to) are really depressing and my hopes of getting hired sometime next year seem to be vanishing quickly.

I'm really frustrated with an online dating service I belong to. Yes, I have done these off and on for several years but I've decided that I'm over it this time.

I'm frustrated with my weight and my seeming inability to stop eating. Thankfully I'm not super overweight, just 10-15 pounds would get me feeling healthy and sexy, but man, I just can't seem to get motivated enough to increase the exercise and decrease the eating.

I'm frustrated spiritually. Next week we start a ten day Pentecost prayer and fast through church. I'm looking forward to it, but in the meantime, I'm frustrated with where I'm at.

I'm frustrated with my life in general. I've got a good job that pays well, a roof over my head, food to eat, friends to spend time with, more than one set of clothes, a loving family, the ability to travel and hope and plan for the future, the ability to freely worship anytime and anywhere, physical security and physical health and so much more. But I'm feeling stuck and frustrated by that. I'm grateful for the many blessings I do have but I'm still feeling dissatisfied somehow.

So I'm frustrated, but I keep putting one foot in front of the other and I'm not giving up and I'm still going. The road ahead is long and curvy and rough and hard and dark, but I'm not stopping or turning back.

I press onward.

On this road to remember.

An Authentic Life

I watched part of the Dateline interview with Angelina Jolie and something that Anne Curry said about Angelina really struck a chord with me. She mentioned that Angelina is so focused on living an authentic and useful life.

I want to live an authentic and useful life. I see so many areas in my life that aren't that way, but that is truly my heart's desire. I know that only way that I can do that is to ask God for His guidance and to do what He tells me to do. To walk in the freedom that He promises when I follow after Him. And not just follow, but actually do what He wants me to do. That means saying no sometimes. That means walking away sometimes. That means saying goodbye sometimes. That means being a good steward of my time, energy, talents, gifts, resources and using them in the right places for the right things at the right time for the right people. What that looks like I have no idea.

But I do know that I want to be focused on living an authentic and useful life.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Biker Banditas

Tonight my friend Christy picked me up from work and drove me home. Then she, myself and two of my roommates Susan and Anne all went for a bike ride. It was so much fun. Anne and Christy are training for a triathlon, I'm pretending to train, and Susan is just wanting to ride her bike.

Two road bikes, a cruising bike, and me on my tricked out mountain bike. The only thing really tricked out about it is that I have road slicks on it instead of the big knobbly mountain bike tires. Well that and the fact that my bike is red and black, my helmet is red and black and my gloves are red and black.

Because my bike is the smallest of the four, I found myself in the back of the pack pretty much the whole time. But that was fine. I thought of myself as the red caboose. We hit a really great trail near our house and except for the masses of gnats we kept running into, it was a great ride.

Then we came home and undid all of the calorie burning by eating Pollo Rico. It's this amazing Peruvian rotisserie chicken place near our house where the boys think the gringas are cute (even when we come in after an hour long bike ride) and the chicken is amazing. And the fries are amazing. And the dipping sauce is amazing (both green and yellow kinds). And the coleslaw is okay.

Ay yi yi for the Biker Banditas!

I Love Rodents

I love rodents. I always have and I think I always will. Some people find them really gross. I think they are really cute. I had hamsters growing up and I'm always excited when I see a mouse running around the train tracks in the metro, or a rat scooting across a road at night downtown. I'm not a fan of the diseases they bring, but I just think they are cute. Really cute.

This is a picture of the world's largest rodent - the capybara. They are found in South America near rivers. I saw one live and in person when I was 11 at a petting zoo in Washington, DC. My best friend Alana and I wore matching shirts to the event.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


So obviously my entries on this blog have lapsed recently. It's not that I don't have lots of things happening. It's just that I haven't found the time to update this. So I wanted to let you know. I think about you often and am grateful to know that you are still out there in some form and fashion :)

Here's to more posting in the future!