Tuesday, March 30, 2010

In my dreams; En mis sueños; Dans mes rêves

Recently, I've had two dreams in which I communicated easily and effectively in other languages.

I've had friends who've dreamt in other languages, but all of those friends actually speak other languages. Me, I don't. Not because of a lack of opportunity. Unfortunately, when I had the opportunity and was enrolled in Spanish courses in college or French classes in high school, I studied only enough to get by, not to learn the language.

The strange part about the dreams is that I have no clue what I was saying. In both dreams I was with people I knew, friends in those countries — Mexico and France. So there I was, just hanging out, laughing and being friends, completely engaging in the conversation. I remember hearing myself say words clearly and without hesitation. I was untroubled by fact I didn't know what I was saying.

I wish learning a language was that easy (I say as I'm sitting on my bed surrounded by my Spanish/English dictionary, picture dictionary and "Daily Spanish for Dummies"). But the dreams encouraged me that perhaps one day I will be able to communicate effectively in another language. Though I'm not holding my breath I'll be able to do it with as much ease as I dreamt.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The New Look

After an intensive and extensive (smiling because both of those words work) search, I decided on a new layout.

I was searching for something that fit me and my posts. There were several layouts that I liked, but they didn't seem to go along with the vibe from the content.

When I saw this one, I immediately liked it. The only thing I don't like is that "Big World" isn't clearly visible at the top. I'm giving it a trial run for a few days and then I'll decide if it's a keeper.

What are your thoughts, friends? Does it work for me?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hesitation — The Follow Up

Please, if you're interested, read my previous post before diving into this one.

As I was trying to sleep last night, I realized I didn't touch an important part of my thoughts on hesitation. Inconveniently, I woke up thinking about it too. (I despise my overactive subconscious. As if dealing with an overactive mind all day isn't enough, my subconscious is equally busy, at times making it impossible to actually feel rested.)

I always think if there's no takeaway, no application, no implementation, then what good is the thought. So here is where I'm going.

Hesitation in itself is not wrong. The important thing is to figure out what is causing the fear in the hesitation. After getting to the bottom of the fear—actually coming face-to-face with it—it can be brought before the Lord. Then the fear can be justly weighed.

What I'm getting at is it's important to figure out what the fears are and why they exist. And that's something the Lord can help with.

But don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting you go through that whole process before crossing an intersection in a vehicle. I say, "Just gun it and go!" :)

Monday, March 8, 2010


Most days, a thought hits me in the morning and clenches its teeth into my brain. All day, it refuses to loosen its jaw clasp around my mind. I spend the day feeling the individual imprint of each tooth, wondering if its really there, if its just my imagination, if I believe in its power. I question the truth of the thought and its applicability in all circumstances.

Here's what held my mind hostage today:
Every hesitation is rooted in a varying degree of fear.

I was hit with that thought while standing in the shower this morning. I wish I could remember the thought process that got me there, but I haven't the slightest idea. But immediately after, I began to question its truth. I tried to think about different types of hesitations and various times I've hesitated to do anything.

My initial link to hesitation was in driving. I don't know statistics, but I'm going out on a limb to say there are lots of accidents that happen because drivers hesitate. The think they have enough time to make it across the intersection. But then they hesitate before proceeding, and that's when a collision occurs. What caused the hesitation? The fear that they might not make it across. And what really caused the accident? The hesitation...rooted in fear.

I'm a rather indecisive person. If I don't see how the decision will play into the big picture of life, then I don't really care; I'm truly indifferent. (I honestly don't care what restaurant we go to!) But if it's a decision that directly affects the big picture of, say, my life, then I care. Example: Upon my college graduation, I was offered a position with a wonderful organization whose purpose I stood beside doing a job I was passion about in a foreign land that captivated me. I hesitated. Man, did I ever. I hesitated to even say I felt swayed one way or the other. My hesitation was rooted in fear—fear of making the wrong decision, fear I'd bypass an opportunity to serve the Lord, fear I'd step out of God's will for my life. I mention this specific time of hesitation to clarify I'm not saying hesitation altogether is wrong. After all, now more than ever I'm confident I'm where I'm supposed to be. (Plainville, Ind., happens to be the ends of the earth for me right now.)

I hesitate before I tell certain people things, hesitation rooted in the fear they my not receive the words the way my heart intends for them to be received. Or the fear they'll misunderstand me. Or the fear they'll disregard or devalue what I'm saying.

I hesitate before sharing the Gospel at times. I hesitate before letting myself care about certain issues or people. I hesitate before following my heart. I hesitate before making decisions that affect my future. I hesitate before doing anything that will make me uncomfortable or vulnerable.

So at the end of the day, as the thought begins to loosen its bite on my mind, I say I believe it: Every hesitation is rooted in a varying degree of fear.

I invite thoughts on this issue.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I'm gonna burn it down

I'm realizing that the more you try to focus on the Lord, the more you see Him everywhere and in everything. God is doing a work in my life, and if you want to hear about it, Reader, don't hesitate to ask.

I've always been a fan of Pink, even her old school stuff (I say unashamed). In her recent hit "Funhouse" (If you've not heard the song, I recommend listening to it on YouTube before proceeding.), she talks about leaving a place that used to be fun but is now just haunting her. It's about a horrible break-up that caused pain and hurt. The song is chock-full of emotion. She's comparing the relationship to something that was so natural and so normal—like a home. And now, she's trying to rid herself of everything that would remind her of that relationship. She's walking around this "empty house," and there are so many memories. She's not exactly sure where to go from there. She knows it's not where she needs to be now, and the whole house house must be torched.

That is exactly what happens when we become Christians. We must get rid of our old selves and become who we are in Christ. As pre-Christians, our "home" is our flesh. But when we come to know the Lord, our "Funhouse" doesn't seem so fun anymore. It just taunts us. The house of our old selves taunts who we are in Christ. We know, the Holy Spirit lets us know, our keys don't fit that life anymore. And it has to be burned.

This is typically something that takes a lifetime to do. Just when we think we've purged ourselves of our flesh, the day ends, we go to sleep, and we wake up. Our Spirit is in constant battle with our flesh. Every moment of every day, our Spirit is fighting for us. The Holy Spirit is urging us to keep moving forward, to continue fighting, to remain in tune with the Lord.

Our walk with the Lord is about refining who we are in Him for His glory to build His Kingdom.

So, Reader, I say, join me in torching our old homes. Let's trust the Holy Spirit to continue moving us in the right direction. Face it, the keys to that old house are worthless in comparison with the keys to the Kingdom of God.

"Funhouse" by Pink
I dance around this empty house
Tear us down, throw you out
Screaming down the halls
Spinning all around and now we fall

Pictures framing up the past
Your taunting smirk behind the glass
This museum full of ash
Once a tickle, now a rash

This used to be a Funhouse
But now it's full of evil clowns
It's time to start the countdown
I'm gonna burn it down, down, down
I'm gonna burn it down

9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, fun

Echoes knocking on the doors
All the laughter from before
I'd rather live out on the streets
Than in this haunted memory

I've called the movers called the maids
We'll try to exorcise this place
Drag my mattress to the yard
Crumb, tumble house of cards

This used to be a Funhouse
But now it's full of evil clowns
It's time to start the countdown
I'm gonna burn it down, down, down
I'm gonna burn it down

9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, fun

I'm crawling through the doggy door
My keys don't fit my life no more
I'll change the drapes, I'll break the plates
I'll find a new place, burn this fucker down

This used to be a Funhouse
But now it's full of evil clowns
It's time to start the countdown
I'm gonna burn it down, down, down
I'm gonna burn it down

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Waiting room muse

As I was hanging out in the hospital waiting room, I decided to write. It's been a while, and though I've been promising an Everyday Jesus story, you're still waiting. Maybe I'll work on that after this post (that is, if I don't fall asleep).

My Aunt (great aunt, actually) Marsha was admitted to the hospital today. She works at the hospital, which proved convenient when her face went numb, arms started tingling and head started spinning this afternoon. Currently, she is sleeping. Tomorrow will be a day full of tests for her, and hopefully, some answers will come. In the few minutes she was awake while I was in her room, she told me the doctor said it could have been a mini stroke.

Our other family members were here earlier. They left when she started falling asleep around 10:30 p.m. I came to the hospital after work, shortly after 11 p.m., to stay for the night. This isn't the first time I've spent the night in a hospital room or waiting room. A couple of months ago I stayed in my grandma's room with her, and my grandpa spent 21 days in the hospital a couple of years ago. That was a long month—August 2007. (Don't worry, no one stayed the entire time. But my grandma got pretty darn close.)

Every other time I've stayed in a hospital with a friend or family member, the hospital has been quite a ways away. Tonight, that is not the case. And because of that, I can't help but feel judged by the nurses walking by. It's like they're wondering why I'm here.

To be honest, I'm not doing anything. I probably could easily go either home or to a cousin's house in town. But here's why I'm staying: I think that regardless of if I'm in the room with my aunt or not, she knows I'm here, and I give value to that knowledge. I place weight on the fact that she knows someone is waiting here with her. Do I really thing she would care if I went home? No. She told me I didn't have to stay. But possibly by knowing I want to stay will be helpful.

It's more the principle of it. I think there is value in moral building. And if this situation was, God forbid, more serious, I hope that knowing someone stayed all night would be encouraging in some strange way. That's what I want to tell the nurses that keep walking by looking at me strangely.

I could be completely wrong; I have no idea. But I'm still going to stay.