Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Struggles and Musings

I know, I know, it's been awhile. And to be honest..the post upcoming is not my own. I am both linking and copying BekaStays below. It truly personifies a huge struggle in my life and her perspective on it.

beka stays faithful : being an exclamation point

(Someone call Hallmark. That title sounds like it was born to be a Made For TV movie. That should stop me from continuing this post…but it won’t. Here we go!)
For the life of me, I can’t remember where I found/heard this quote, and every search I’ve tried in an effort to find it again has come up empty. But recently, in an article or interview or something related to having good posture, the interviewee said this,
“You should try to walk like an exclamation point, not a question mark.”
She was referring to not hunching over, as per the curved top of a question mark, but what she said is bound to stick with me for a long time. For me, she was speaking to an issue much deeper than standing up straight. She drove an arrow straight through my Achilles heel.
I do walk like a question mark. Because I think like a question mark.
Sometimes it’s inconsequential. As in,
“Did I just trip? Over air? Again?”
Yes. Yes you did.
But most of the time they’re more pointed questions. As in,
“Am I doing this right?”
“Do they like me?”
“Are my dreams unrealistic?”
“Am I good enough?”
Confidence is definitely not my strong point. There is nothing I’m more confident about than my lack of confidence. I don’t just question certain aspects of my existence, I generally feel as though I am altogether questionable. As a person of steadfast faith in God, with a laundry-list of scriptures that refute having a questionable worth, and a pile of tangible evidence to the contrary…one would assume this should be a non-issue.
And yet (and it’s a big AND YET…) it is. I’ve been plagued by crippling self-doubt for as long as I can remember. I’d give you examples ranging from elementary school to the present day but they all end in me being…wait for it…crippled by self-doubt, so they’re fairly anticlimactic. Suffice it to say: I’ve gone more than a few rounds with insecurity.
And I’ve prayed, OH LORD, I’ve prayed, that it would just be taken away and given a makeover. That in a half-hour TLC special my lack of confidence would be shampooed, blown dry, and transformed into radiant self esteem. But it doesn’t seem to work that way. At the the of the day I’m still completely unsure of myself, no matter how much I try to will or wish it away.
This year, instead of pleading to win the battle, I’ve just given God the daily wars. I’ve started praying that somehow, God would use all of these unfounded doubts for his glory. I still hope that at the end of the journey I’ll emerge with a Christ-centered confidence that cannot be shaken. In the meantime, I’ll be happy to simply be faithful in this era of life. The one in which I trip over my words and flat surfaces on a daily basis.
But I’m also going to make a concerted effort to be an exclamation point, not a question mark. Not just to stand a little taller (which is a bonus regardless for someone who hovers just over 5 feet), but to really LIVE like an exclamation point (!). To turn, “Will this work?” into, “This will work!” To stop thinking, “Can I do this?” and start thinking, “I can do this!”
(Please note that this line of thinking also lends itself to other endeavors. To wit: “Should I have that brownie?” becomes, “I should have that brownie!” I’m already loving this new psyche.)
But seriously, I’m really going to focus on changing my punctuation. Because even if it’s hard to wholeheartedly believe it at first, I’d rather live with enthusiasm than with doubt. Doubt only sees the fear of what might be impossible. Enthusiasm sees the joy of what can be possible. Isn’t that the preferable option?
I don’t think there is a better current example of this theory than Tim Tebow. By the media’s standards, he has no reason to be confident. Even by football standards, his confidence had to waver a bit after homeboy put up a completion percentage and total QBR in the twenties during the Broncos regular season finale. He had to have had some doubts about his abilities.
Didn’t he?
No one gave him even the slightest chance against the Steelers in last night’s wildcard game. It wouldn’t just have been easy, it would have been normal for him to think, “We backed into the playoffs. We’re playing the defending AFC Champions. We’ve been clobbered by three weeks of crucial injuries and crushing defeats. Maybe I can’t do this. What if it’s really impossible?”
He definitely could have gone that route. Been the question mark. And no one would have blamed him for it. But did he?
Well, HECK no! If this isn’t the personification of an exclamation point, then I’m not sure what is:
[ photo : denver post ]
What did he have to say after the win?
Apparently so. And look at what has happened so far as a result! And who’s to say how much further they can go!
And how different would everything be if there was even the smallest margin left for question marks instead of exclamation points?
We’ve each been given a unique purpose. World famous professional athlete or unknown local blogger  – the status makes no difference. Our job isn’t to doubt or question our purpose, but to get excited about it! I feel like I’ve been given something visual and something verbal. But I’ll never make a difference with those abilities if I continue to ask, “God, can you really use me?” instead of proclaiming, boldly, “God, you can really use me!”
If I ever decide to tattoo a verse to my forehead (and it’d be great if you all wouldn’t let me do that), this would be a good candidate:
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
[II Timothy 1:7]
Go forth, and be ye excited? excited!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Ditch 1; Megan's Car 0

This week has been insanely hectic. In fact, we've had meetings almost every day at work, I've been training new employees, my house is a wreck, I've had assignments to do at home, my grandfather was in the hospital, I kept my sisters two days....phew!

On Thursday, I was playing "mommy megan". I picked my sisters up from school, swung through the Micky D's drive through for three medium fries and three large sweet teas (mmm!) and then headed to Mackenzie's basketball practice. OMG y'all, this team is like mini-NBA! I took work to do at the basketball court but was so drawn in to the practice, I got nothing done. So intense!

On the way home, Mac asked if we could go to the softball game. I told her no, but that I would swing by to check the score. We went down the back road to inspect the scoreboard to find a barricade up in the middle of the road. So...instead of backing into the parking lot about 10 feet behind me, I decide to swing around and do a quick U-Turn. My front right tire "slid" in a patch of leaves and ended up in a rather deep ditch. So, if you can picture it--Mackenzie is in the front seat and her tire is deep in the ditch. My tire and side of car are on the ground. The tire behind me is IN THE AIR and the rear passenger tire is on the ground. I say...Mackenzie, call Micah (brother) and get him, now..and don't get out! To which she replies, I can't...and I can't get out because I'm leaning over in a ditch! We call Micah and he, a random janitor from the local elementary school whose ditch we were in, and a local fellow all stood on the back left corner of my car while I turned my traction control on and backed up. A narrow escape of death's door..we (and the car) came out unscathed. The only injury was Mackenzie's club salad especially gotten at the Clock in Moonville (SO SAD!) Luckily, my chili-cheese fries were safe! Moral of the story--Don't do U-Turns after getting stuck trying to creep on the softball game--or something like that!

First Quarter Update!

Alrighty friends...The first quarter of 2012 is over...OMG!!!!

So, as you can see, my blog updating goal has been seriously lacking..but I have been keeping track of some others. Here's a quick update for my sake.

Spiritual Goals--So far, I have memorized 6 Bible verses (keeping me right on track :)), My QT is getting better..but I still have a long way to go in that department. I swear, consistent time with the Lord is SO difficult to manage for me.

Relational--I'm doing okay on these. The most difficult one is building serious, meaningful friendships. I will need to be more intentional about this. 

Financially--we have done really well so far in 2012! Our credit cards are all paid mortgage and student debt are our only sources of debt! We have tithed appropriately, and now that our debt is paid off, we are attempting to restructure and save some mulah!

Physically, my goals have been a little bit difficult to accomplish thus far. Medicinally, I have had some major difficulties..pray for me! With running, i have done fairly well..but a knee injury forced me to give away my registration for my March 31 10K :( I AM, however, running a Mud Run in April !!! 

I've done pretty well with my reading. i've tried to keep a record of the non-"fun" books I've read so that I can go back and see what I have learned. I will need to be more intentional about this. House cleaning has been great (with the exception of the two weeks Bible Study wasn't hosted at our house and I took a reprieve :) )....and well, you know about the blogging. I'll have to do better in Q2-Q4.

Professionally, I will attend my first grand opening beginning April 9th!!! Yay! I've taken strengths assessments and spoken with mentors about getting prepared for IM! I'm excited about moving forward in this area.

Thats my Quarter One goal update. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Night-time Conundrum Apparatus

Well, it has been a while since I blogged so I thought I'd bring you back up to pace. Everything is back to normal now after the quite hectic holidays, and I have to admit I was sad to see them go. I never was one for traditions and nostalgia, but now since being married to Megan for a year+ I find myself getting caught up in it. Maybe next year I might even help decorate. In the mean time, Megan and I were forced to move on and find something else to entertain us, for which we found the Big Bang Theory. It is a fantastic show and we just purchased the entire first 4 seasons, and starting tonight we are watching them all in order. I know, it sounds like a barrel full o monkeys, but rest assured, it is quite a funny show. The only draw back to this is that, as you may or may not know, Megan is 73 years old and has to potty and go to bed before 9:30. This creates quite the controversy between us, as I go to sleep late (midnightish) and she sees midnight once a year (black friday). Thus every night becomes a battle between how many more episodes we can squeeze in for sleeping beauty and me begging to stay up just a little later. I'll let you know how it goes and if we get in a slap fight over the remote.

With love and insomnia,

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


As Ray Stephens once sang, It's Me Again Margaret! Here I am on an off-Tuesday avoiding anything resembling productivity! In fact, on this 17th of January, I have officially taken down exactly half of my Christmas decorations. Luckily my sweet husband took our outside decor down weeks ago so our neighbors don't think mean thoughts about us! My main thought this morning has been, "oh goodness...when Bible Study starts back up in February, I'm going to have to clean my house more often than, hmm, never!" I am not a domestic goddess. In fact, I'm not domestic. I would show you pictures, but my more-domestic-than-me husband would be embarrassed that there are approximately 4 loads of clean, unfolded laundry in the hallway, two loads of clean dishes on the counter, three unpacked rubbermaid containers of Christmas decor in the living room floor, two undecorated trees still standing in their homes since before Thanksgiving, and a layer of dust so thick that if we had children, it would certainly be full of smiley faces and funny words. So what in heavens name am I doing here? Avoiding the aforementioned mess! I have until 5 to get it under control :)

As I put my Christmas decorations away I started to think about how each Christmas from here on out is going to entail change. A sweet couple in our church, the Barnes, gave us The Book Of Christmas Eves as a wedding/Christmas gift last year. I have written meticulous details (ok, bulleted lists) over our past two Christmas Eves and read them today. The changes in one year! Addition of pets, children, and in-laws, the loss of spouses, tradition, jobs...all in one year. I can't wait until we have several years worth of Christmas Eves to read about and smile/cry through. This is such a cool tradition to do at any stage of life. How blessed we have been to begin at the "beginning".

Moose told me the problem with my boring blog posts (nothing but the honest truth around here) is that I "muse" too much and am too serious. So, I will leave you with a slightly-embellished fun story of our weekend.

We took off with approximately 40 kids and 10 other adults to the Great Wolf Lodge! The kids at our church go on such AWESOME and we are so blessed that my mom is our Children's director--meaning we get to chaperon fun trips! We arrive at the lodge and immediately notice a few things. 1-a giant stuffed moose in the middle of the lobby (we love it already). 2-there are people (adult and children alike) wandering around wearing wolf ears and holding magic wands. 3-said people are wearing their PJs and no shoes. What an interesting hotel! Upon further investigation, there is a bedtime story told by this moose and his friends every night, the strange wandering people are in fact doing a magical quest (still weird), and it is socially acceptable to go without shoes at all times at this place. In fact, we joined in this luxury. Our bracelets were our room keys, water park passes, and fashion statements in one! Mom and I got whiplash on several rides that first graders thoroughly enjoyed (maybe we're getting old), and Moose (my husband, not the giant story-telling lobby decoration) was the favorite water-slide companion. Apparently, his weight along with the ability to lean "way far back" allow for optimal water-slide activity. I disagree...but maybe that's because my favorite water adventures include long hot baths and the occasional lazy river! Nonetheless, it was a great time had by all. I only consumed 7-10 dunkin donuts beverages in my bathing suit or pjs with no shoes, we water-parked for two days straight, and of course, experienced a great Chick-fil-A dinner on the way home. What could be better?

ok....on to tackle this house...............

Monday, January 9, 2012


The adults at our church are participating in a Bible Study based on the movie Courageous.

I feel like I've been bombarded with inspiration regarding courage lately! Here are just a few of the things that have stuck with me.

Joshua 1:9--Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go

Meg Cabot--Courage is not the absence of fear but the judgment that something else is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all. For now you are traveling the road between who you think you are and who you can be.”

John Wooden--Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts.

We Bought A Zoo--‎"Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage...literally 20  
seconds of just embarrassing bravery...and I promise, something great will come of it."

I pray we can be men and women of courage this year. May this year be a year of no excuses...and strength in the Lord.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Well, I guess I am pulling a Brett Farve and coming out of retirement. I am going to give this whole blogging thing another go and hope to just give you the alternate side of our lives. Listed below is a two part thesis describing my intentions with you, the reader, and my goals of blogging.

1: Just like a met-the-father-unexpectedly-first-date-night-gone-bad my intentions with you the reader are simple, to keep to entertained. I do not live a overwhelmingly crazy life, rather I like to keep things simple and light-hearted. Most blogs I post will be my warped view on everyday happenings. For example, everyday I drive to work I encounter one certain individual on the way. We will refer to him as "Mr. Hippie driving 45 in the left lane". Of course, this is not his real name as he is simply a tree hugging Subaru driving long haired hippie hogging the passing lane. Although I generally believe that the less said about Mr. Hippie driving 45 in left lane, the better, as to not encourage him, I do feel obligated to say a few things about Mr. Hippie driving 45 in left lane's unrestrained activities. Some background is in order: The impact of Mr. Hippie driving 45 in left lane's contemptuous driving habits is that it has made me lose faith in the Department of Motor Vehicles ability to license adequate drivers. You truly have to experience the pure agony of the entrapment of 45mph in a 65mph before you can fully appreciate the devastation Mr. Hippie driving 45 in left lane wreaks on my morning temperament. My personal thoughts on the matter is if you are incapable of traveling at an acceptable speed, you should have the common decency to move to the right hand lane. It's bad enough that you have to eye-badger us with your Zen Buddhist New Age mystical Bob Marley-worshiping pot legalizing and PETA themed ubiquitous bumper stickers, but to travel slow enough that one is forced to read every word of it is just contemptuous.
2: My goals for blogging are also simple. I hope to post once a week just like my wife. Hopefully enough happens to me in a week to garner enough material for a blog post.

Please move over hippie,