Monday, February 22, 2010

another 'blonde in high altitude' moment...

Blonde moment #749120391

So the garages in my apartment complex are set up in a pretty little row…right across from my apartment.
Like so…

I park in one of said garages.

They are these horrifying, claustrophobic, tiny little spaces, that I can’t for the life of me understand how anything bigger than a geo or a smart car actually fits into them. I always greatly struggled in the last car I had…and even scraped the sides several times actually…but now that I’m currently driving Big Boat Bertha…the tension and stress of pulling in and out is almost too much to bear.

So today...I pulled up into the parking lot…safely avoiding the patches of ice, toys and footballs that were left out by some kids…hit the button to my garage and tried to maneuver Bertha safely into her sanctuary. It seemed a little more awkward than usual…but there were kids that had stopped playing and were watching me, so I figured it was all that added pressure I was suddenly feeling.

I opened the door to get out…and noticed horrifying gashes in the wall…that I knew I didn’t make with my door…and thought “Wow, I’ve never noticed those before. Sure hope they don’t try to make me pay for that.”

I gathered my groceries, purse, coat, etc…and started walking out of the garage and to my apartment. One of the kids was still standing there staring at me as I hit the button for the door to go down.

Except the door wouldn’t go down.

I hit it again, and a door 2 garages over started going up. I thought, “Oh that’s funny, someone else is coming and maybe we jammed the signals or something.” So I hit the button again. This time, the door 2 garages down, stops, and then starts to close. I THEN think... “ohmygoodness- maybe the bad weather is making things screwy and my opener is triggering someone else’s garage…how embarrassing.”

Mind you, I’m still being stared at by the kid…and I’m standing in the middle of the parking lot, arms full of stuff, repeatedly hitting the opener and making the “other garage” open and close.

AND THEN…it hits me. I look at it carefully…count the spaces from the end…and realize…

I had just pulled into the WRONG garage.

Oh the insanity.

So…I had to go BACK to the car, load my stuff back into the car, tediously reverse out of the garage…and then start the process of maneuvering BACK into my actual garage.

I have no idea, besides the kids, if anyone else in their apartments were watching the whole thing from their windows, laughing hysterically and pointing at me…including the owner of the garage I had borrowed.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I want an M-E-A-T burrito, please*

I’m in an interesting moment of life. I’ve debated not talking about it till I was finally through it all…but what’s a blog for if not to be completely vulnerable sometimes, right?

I’ve mentioned before that last year was not the greatest year…and even the start of this one isn’t fabulous. Well, it’s not bad actually…but on a personal level, I’ve just been in a funk. A weird, unfunctional, don’t remotely care about a dang thing funk. It’s like I’m Eeyore living under a black cloud. It hasn’t been pretty.

So all this is going on as the new year was starting and I was praying for things to change…and that breakthroughs would finally happen that I’ve been praying for a lifetime about…but I wasn’t seeing a smidgeon of victory…or even a finish line in sight.

Well, on a Tuesday night (see previous post) sometime in mid-January, I was just hanging out with God…totally worshipping and getting lost in His presence…things were all sweet and lovey…and then...He decided it would be a fun time to mess with my head. Out of the complete and utter blue, BAM-He drops the bomb.

He said- “Hey Jenn- I’m going to need you…to go on a meat-fast... for 40 days.” (queue sound effect of needle scratching to a halt on the record)

Now, let’s review Jenn’s life for a moment, shall we? Would anybody like to take a guess as to what her most favorite thing in the world is? Pepsi? Well, there is a deep love relationship there…but we’ve broken up several times and we’re not nearly as co-dependent as we once were. Sweets? Actually…I could care less about chocolate and sweets. I do love them of course…but it would only be a small sacrifice if God said to stop that for a while. No, the correct answer would be C. Or really- M…for meat. I. love. meat. Steak, burgers, chicken, fish…loooooove. (I’m pretty sure it’s a well-established fact that this kosher girl doesn’t do pork) I don’t care if it’s the “healthier” choice to live without so much meat. (which, now after reading the ingredients to a lot of the fake meat stuff- I GREATLY beg to differ!) …I don’t care if we don’t really need meat to survive in life (which I also beg to differ-otherwise God wouldn’t have told Noah to fire up the grill after they got off the ark). I do love veggies too…but I like them as a side…to MEAT.

And let’s just be frank, shall we? I think vegetarians are clinically insane. (no offense to anyone-I know several vegetarians, and even some ubberly crazy passionate vegans) But I just don’t get you people. I don’t understand why anyone, in their right mind, would choose to order the vegetarian entrĂ©e off the menu…when turkey, chicken, and beef are available on the next page over. It’s weird I tell you. Weird. And people’s reactions have been funny when they find out about this fast- cause the great majority have said “Oh, wow, that’s great! I could easily do that.” It kinda makes me want to shove a hamburger patty down their throat. Crazy tree-hugging anti-meat organic vitamin lovin Coloradoans.

Now even though when God told me that, I panicked...and called Him a meanie...and debated running far, far away…and tried to pretend I probably wasn’t hearing right…this Ezekiel-Obedient girl, of course, said Yes to God.

And here we are.

Oy. Vey.

So it started February 1st…so I’m not even half-way done yet. (hence the previous deep sarcasm to all my non-meat-loving friends. Sorry ya’ll.) The weekend before it started I basically ate an entire cow and chicken…so it was waaaaay into the first week before I started to miss any form of meat. (fyi-I'm not doing fish, but am doing eggs) Plus, the grace of God is an amazing, amazing thing. Unfortunately, by the next week, I was craving ridiculous things I wouldn’t want on a normal basis- like Chicken McNuggets. I was actually trying to justify the fact that they weren’t “really” meat, so it would be ok. No worries…I didn’t cave under the pressure. I’ve had momentary moments of despair…and debated giving in and cheating just a little…but I haven’t. I’m baby-stepping my way through my 40 days…and am so thankful for the grace, strength, and perseverance God is giving me.

And yes, there is great purpose to why He’s asked me to do this. And it partly has to do with the funk I’m in. I’m keeping most of the details to myself, for now…but I am praying for victory in different areas…and do think this fast is part of the key to unlocking those things. I’m having to be very determined in my footsteps…planning meals in advance, going outside of my comfort zone looking for new creative ideas to cook, etc. And those actions are spilling over into much needed other areas of my life. So perhaps, victory is finally in sight once again.

Fyi- March 13th…somebody better be showing up at my door with a steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, and a side of Wing Stop.

*the title was a Taco Villa reference, to all my non-Lubbock people

**and I must point out that my fast in NO way is connected to Lent.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

ONE characteristic of a multi-faceted God

I can’t believe I haven’t talked about Tuesday nights before. I LOVE Tuesday nights. I ADORE Tuesday nights. I LIVE for Tuesday nights.

What’s so fantastical about Tuesday nights?

Well, dear friends, let me share…

Back in one of those summer J-months…several of us went to a Onething conference up in Castle Rock. Onething is hosted by the IHOP (prayer-not pancake) peeps in Kansas City. It was phenomenal on so many levels. I can’t even begin to tell you what God did in mine and my friends lives during those few days. IHOP are some passionate praying/fasting/worshipping people…and of course emphasize those concepts constantly. On the way home on one of the days we all started sharing some of the things that God had been telling us during the conference. As we were sharing with each other, we realized that God had put it on our hearts to start incorporating fasting into our lifestyles more often. Actually, there were several similar issues that God had placed on all our hearts. So basically, we decided to do it as a group-and set aside a time each week. So our Tuesday nights began.

Our group fasts from Monday 8:00pm to Tuesday 8:00pm. On Tuesday’s, by at least 6:30, we meet up at our church…and worship and pray together. Each time it’s slightly different…depending on what God wants for the evening…but it’s overwhelmingly amazing each and every time. I am really in awe at the concept that in His faithfulness, He truly meets with us every time we get together. Even on the days that have been chaotic or hard or exhausting...and in the back of my head I think “I bet we’re not going to encounter Him as intensely this week”…I am proven wrong every time. And it’s amazing how similar our days seem to go. Even a couple weeks ago…we had all had really bad, tiring days…and had about 18 different things that needed to be happening that night instead of being at the church…and all secretly wished it would be cancelled. But we showed up. Exhaustion, headaches, and a list of agendas were all set aside to come and focus on our King. And within the first 20 minutes…our energy, our joy, everything was restored. We felt like God told us in the beginning of that night that it was important that we had all come anyways…as a prophetic act of making God priority-no. matter. what. It was important to lay it all aside and worship Him. I felt that He said we could actually quit a little early that night and go home to rest. But we were so lost in His presence that night that we didn’t want to stop. It’s really hard to explain it all with adequate words. But I find it an honor and privilege to set aside my schedule, my needs, and my feelings…and truly focus on Him and Him alone.

OK…so all that to say… (besides the fact that if you’re in Colo Springs you should be coming! And we actually have some people who can’t meet w/us…but still fast and pray during that time) …God has given us something fabulous that must be shared.

Actually…I’ll just share the email that came from our lovely Sarah B…

“Hi everyone!
…I wanted to let you know about something He's been speaking to me about recently, and hopefully it will become one (simple) way that you can also hear His voice in your life right now!

I heard about something on the Christian radio station called, "My One Word" that sounded kind of interesting. It's basically an opportunity to pray and choose one word for your life in the coming year that will help focus your/God's vision for your life in 2010. The nice thing about it is that it's a simple and easy way to remind yourself on a daily basis of God's vision for you. However, I started praying about it, and I kept being reminded of the same thing:

Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you;
Your name and renown are the desire of our hearts. -Isaiah 26:8

I want to take this concept a step further and suggest that God is calling us to focus on HIS character in 2010! I like the idea of praying about one word to encompass God's vision for us in the coming year, however instead of focusing on a word describing our state of being, let's desire God's name/renown/character above all else! This week, I think we need to be praying about one word that describes God's character for our lives in 2010. For instance, "this year, God is a healer in my life," or "I am focusing on God's faithfulness in 2010."

Please be praying about which specific character trait God wants to reveal to you in more depth in this coming year. Here is a list to get you thinking. (remember, a great place to learn about God's character is in His Word!)

I believe God is going to have a lot to say about this, so we'll be praying in the prophetic a bit on Tuesday to go even deeper and really hear from Him on many levels. Then, throughout the year, we will be able to remind each other of these words when challenges arise, and also recognize God's presence and how He is answering our prayers through these aspects of His character. God is wanting us to go deeper into His heart, and in order to do so, He wants us to know Him intimately and understand His character.”

Ohmygoodness…I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this concept. I LOVE the idea of having one characteristic of God to focus on for this year…and I really want to encourage EVERYONE to participate. And I want to know…throughout the year…how God is revealing Himself to you through that word.

Forgoodnesssakes…between this…and Paige’s concept of One Thousand Gifts …Dang! I think this year could be the best year yet for us. How much better off are things when our perspectives are actually focused properly? Oy!

So far…the characteristics that He’s been giving to people are Truth, (ha-no that wasn’t actually mine!) Lover, Counselor, Sovereign, and mine…is Portion.

I can’t wait to truly experience another facet of who God is. I believe He has treasures of deep revelations just waiting for us to receive them.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

No, no...I still ♥ Leviticus

Ok, this will be the last installment of Tat Talk with Jenn…even though I could probably write 5 more posts about the whole thing. I don’t want to bore you by going on and on and on with stories like, about my friend who is so fearful of needles she chose to have a natural childbirth INSTEAD of getting an epidural or even an IV...yet, she still chose to get a tattoo. Ya. That whole process was entertaining for all to watch. She did scream loudly and kinda lost it…and the artist felt REALLY bad and was nervous for her…but all ended well…and she now has an amazing purple elephant that goes with her everywhere she goes. (I was SO worried she wouldn't make it through the whole thing!) But I digress...

This little post is just to address the issue of the “What the heck, Jenn- we so don’t get you” reaction that was had by many.

Yes, I am a lover of the Law. My God declared the Law...therefore- I heart the law. I adore the Law. I think we should follow the Law.  BUT…I think we need to be smart about the Law and stop throwing it into general categories of either All or Nothing. And I am DEEPLY refraining from tangents here…that I am sure will come at a later time…but for now…let’s just address the Leviticus 19:28 You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD.’

As I’ve said a bazillion times before…you have to research the Bible. You have to look at the context of the verses, the original language it was written in, the culture and time it took place, and then the overall entire context of the Scriptures.

If you look at the word for tattoo here in this verse…it is ‘qa aqa’. Without all the song and dance…this is what it all boils down to: First off- this whole chapter is telling them to stop being idiots and following after the religious pagans that are around them. (which, was an ongoing theme we should probably be paying more attention too) This specific verse and issue that God is addressing is a practice that was carried w/them from Egypt that had to do with pagan mourning rituals to appease the Egyptian gods. They cut and marked themselves with deep gashes on their faces, arms and legs as a respect for the dead and making an offering to the gods to appease them. Our Uncreated God was telling them that it was crazy and to stop doing that. Simple enough.

And just to be really clear…that was NOT my purpose in getting my little decoration for my personal Temple. ;-)

So I felt very confident that I wasn’t breaking a commandment… and that God thinks my ink is cute.
The End.

Ohhhh…and there is a story about the flower...but it’s still being processed in my head…so it won’t come till much later…