Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Counting my blessings...

1.) Husband and I were looking into buying a brand-new washing machine and dryer--would have been a couple grand. But, I got an e-mail from my mom on Friday saying a friend of a friend was buying a new set even though hers were only about 4 years old. The lady wanted to just give the set away rather than selling it. The only catch was that you had to go pick it up.
So, we now have an almost brand-new set. The cost? $0. Is there a better price out there? That was a huge blessing!

2.) School's out which means my schedule at work slows down a bit. Yippee!

3.) A really cool journalism conference is coming up in Texas, but it was going to be really pricey. Fortunately, I got a help from my dad and now I can stay in the same hotel as the other reporters :)

I'm sure there are more, but those are on the top of my mind. Hasta luego!

Monday, May 22, 2006

For some crazy-strange reason, I'm actually able to log on to the blogger Web site today, so here I am again...finally.

It's been a while since I posted, mostly because access to this site is limited at work and the Internet isn't working at home. But boy have I desired to do some free-writing after writing all day long and listening to others' thoughts and visions and experiences.

I'm not sure when this all began, but a change has been erupting from the innermost core of my being over the last few months or so. First I think it began with listening to what I thought was God's voice. Inexperienced in actually following through with what the small voice is ordering me to do (when it seems crazy and illogical), I decided to take a small step of faith. I had to call a friend whom I hadn't spoken with in ages, a friend who is no longer a friend by his own decision several years ago. I called to tell him that God wanted to tell him something, for him to look at John 14 (I think that's what it was...) He was busy at the time, but promised to look it over. He asked me to call him again soon. That was months before Thanksgiving and now we're pushing for Father's Day. I haven't called him back mostly because I'm waiting on God to tell me "when" or "if."
That was step number one.
Next came the healing step.
I grew up in a conservative church where we believed the extent of healing prayers was focused on God--i.e. "God, please heal so-and-so of his foot. Amen." Not very extensive, it just wasn't a focus and the gifts of the spirit were not discussed.
Then I went to the Vineyard and my eyes and ideas were opened.
I stepped out in faith when the pastor asked if anyone needed healing. Physically, I didn't step out of my seat like the rest of the would-be healed. My injury just wasn't severe enough, I thought. I didn't have cancer. I wasn't struggling to breathe. My life was good, I just had a bit of a thorn in the flesh, namely a sore wrist that limited the pressure I could put on it.
But when our pastor asked us to lay hands on the injury and tell the ailment to "go," I did, to myself. I remember hearing the Joy Williams song running through my brain "I believe in you" and truly thinking to myself "yes, if you want to do it Lord, you're the ultimate healer and you can do it."
The pain was gone.
That was step number two.
Since then, I have been dreaming dreams and others have dreamed dreams for me. A lady in the congregation came up to me yesterday saying she saw me cloaked in a robe with a material she had identified as "international" or "missional" from other dreams she had had and the words God had spoken to her. She told me she interpreted the dream to possibly mean I was meant to serve the nations in a missionary capacity. It was a confirmation to me that God truly has always placed on my heart. It was love and compassion that drove me after my first mission trip to Mexico, to learn Spanish, learn about the culture and ultimately visit the border over and over. It was the stirring in my heart that has led me to pursue a trip this summer after watching a video when my fiancee returned from Northern Ireland after working with youth. My heart broke and continues to break when I see youth straying from God, devoid of purpose, chasing so many things that entangled and trapped me until the age of 20 when God grabbed ahold of me and I clung on for dear life.
And now He continues to work.
I may not fit in to what my former Bible mentor thought was what I was supposed to do to grow closer to God (memorize Bible verses, get in the word each day with a quiet time, etc--all good things), but still I am. I seek after God in my own ways daily and though I'm not perfect, he still sees me fit to invest in, nurture and love.
I am a Raggamuffin. I have been beaten down, called names, rejected, scarred in a number of ways, yet He still loves me and accepts me, flaws in all.
And I'm still growing.