April 23, 2013


After dealing with my first loss, I learned that comfort comes in a variety of ways.

The first came when I was walking down the hall at school last Tuesday. I had just received the text about grandpa and I had 15 minutes to get to work. I was holding my tears in pretty well.
I kept thinking,
"As long as I don't run into my friend Sarah, I will be okay."
But what I really meant was:
"I really need Sarah."
About that time I came around the corner and there she was. She smiled and waved. Then she assessed my smile and wave. As she met me she simply embraced me and stepped to the side out of the way. I barred my head in her arms and sobbed. Snot and all, Sarah stroked my hair. Snot and all Sarah provided comfort.
Wednesday-Friday my friends surrounded me in just enough laughter and games to mask the reality of what was happening. Some would call this denial, but lets be real. There is nothing I could do  that would bring my grandfather back to life. I wasn't ready to lose him but I was also not ready to cry. I wanted to laugh and they provided that for me. They provided comfort.
By Saturday I was fading fast. I had to work before we hit the road for 6 hours of awkward somber silence. While folding towels (I work at a salon and spa ) an elderly massage therapist simply stepped beside me and noticed I was in deep thought. As she asked if I was okay I began to sob as quietly as possible. She picked up on the fact that I did not want attention on myself and simply blocked the way for others to see my face. She stayed with me until I could swallow with ease. She provided comfort.
At the funeral there were small moments that others would simply brush off, but they were deep impacts of this healing process:
Holding my Aunt Donna's hand as we walked to the cars.
My 6 foot 6 cousin Neal reaching down to give me a bear hug.
My grandma stroking my arm.
Seeing my Aunt Lila finally let a tear fall.
Giving my mom a pep talk in the bathroom.
My husband leaning over to tell me joke during the funeral.
People say "everyone grieves different." This is true.
You may say I am in denial, or that I'm too "Happy-go-lucky" but I don't want to focus on my grief process. It's not the grief I need, it's the comfort.
If you are hurting, or when you do, don't ignore what sooths your aching soul. Don't force yourself to stay in pity. Don't be afraid to laugh, and know it's okay to be comforted in a variety of ways by a variety of people.
~Renda says.

April 16, 2013

First Loss

I am so thankful that I lived almost 25 years before experiencing the harsh loss of a close family member. Sure I have lost loved ones before but this is the first of my immediate family. From now on I will have to speak of grandpa in the past tense. My children will role their eyes as I try to describe how handsome, strong, and tender this 1/2 Cherokee man was.

At Bible college they try to teach us how to be leaders in difficult situations. How to minister to those that are hurting. I have tried to aid those in their loss. Now I find myself trying to cling to my own advice and reminders. Bible college wasn't just preparing me to deal with others grief but how to handle my own.

Even though I am in a roller coaster of tears, homework, and daily stress, I do find peace in remembering that my grandpa did know Jesus as his personal savior. Grandpa accepted Jesus Christ and that means that he is in Heaven right now. I don't have to just say "he is in a better place" to make myself better, I can actually know that he IS in a better place.

Tonight my grandpa is young and energized.
Tonight he has received a new name.
His ragged tired clothes are traded in for a pure white robe.
He is not restricted by any ache of any kind.

I love you grandpa.
It's going to take me awhile to get used to this.
But I will see you again.

Love you grandpa.

April 12, 2013

FrUstratioN Friday

I don't want to be the Debbie downer of the blogs but this week what not on my radar.

This is a look at the questions that have kept up me at night this week.

  • Did I do the laundry ?
  • Should I be worried about North Korea ?
  • I hope there isn't a test in class this week.
  • Is there a test ?
  • What happens if I don't get my dream job ?
  • Should I create a living will ?
  • When is that hand bag that the orange strap ?
  • When will I finish my degree ?
  • Where will I work when we move back to Oklahoma ?
  • Will we move back to Oklahoma ?
  • When did my arms get flabby ?
  • What am I going to do for my 25th birthday ?
  • When should I start researching adoption agencies ?
  • Am I ready to attend a funeral ?
  • What color do people wear to funerals?
  • Did I wash enough clothes for the week ?
  • Will CNN update Twitter if we get bombed ?

It doesnt surprise me that the less I read my devo the more stressed I became. I would always find an excuse. The first day I overslept, then the next day I just had to check my email.. and then 5 days later it collected dust. I need to fight the urge to be selfish. I need to continue to run this race.

April 8, 2013

Meet Dillon: Part II

He went to Bible college, went home, and overdosed before he was rescued by Jesus.

Some Christians would take a disapproving look at Dillon.
Some would scoff at his tattoos and assume that he could not possibly understand the love and saving grace of Jesus Christ.

But the truth is that not only has Dillon experienced the saving grace of Jesus but He deeply desires to share it with the rest of the world.

Dillon is helping people meet Jesus.
Here is a snippet of his experience after God saved his life:

"Me and a married couple flew over the 8th of January. He has preached and taught all over the world, and I have never learned so much in my life.

Haiti has no rules that I can think of, dogs, goats, pigs, horses, cows, trash, and naked children every place you look; much pollution, your nose is constantly filled with dirt.
All night you here dogs fighting, roosters, and the satanists drumming, and chanting in the streets. Many very crazy people there, I met two men that killed people; one was baptized.

Baptisms took place, God opened a lot of doors.

I preached at many churches with my time there; also did much street preaching to the homeless in various areas.
We prayed for a family that was practicing voodoo, we had church every morning every night no exceptions, I believe that's biblical.

[God] really opened my eyes. Really made me appreciate the states. I am definitely going to continue doing Mission work. God has been radically changing my life, and waking me up to this world.
[Now back in the USA] I do a prison ministry and inner city ministry.
Gods opened doors for me and been with me the whole time. God Bless"

Join me in prayer for Dillon, that God would continue to protect his heart and life so that he may continue to spread the Gospel. That when Dillon grows weary that the Holy Spirit would remind Dillon of the powerful work God has done in his life.

April 7, 2013

Late night post.

I am going to miss this.

I am sure 99% of the students are ready for summer. They are ready for their freedom, ready for adventure, but really just ready for no homework.

It would be nice when I don't have to write another theology paper or take a quiz but I am the 1% that is not completely looking forward to this summer. When summer comes, the students go back home. Except... when your an off-campus student. Then.. then you stay here. While everyone goes..

My husband and I love having our classmates over to our house.
It keeps us young.
It keeps us laughing.
It makes me clean the house.
But also.. it keeps my spirits up.

I like quiet... after it's been crazy.
If it's just quiet then I am alone with my thoughts and that is a very dangerous place to be.

Tonight we had a group of friends over. We laughed so hard. We laughed so hard that some people farted.
Now that is a good time !
Good food.
Good friends.
Good times.

I am going to miss this.

April 5, 2013

Fun Friday

70 degrees
Flip flops
Grilling out

This winter has been way too long ! I am just craving this sunshine ! I hope it is warm where you are from. I hope you can enjoy flip flops and pull out those sunglasses.

This week I learned that if you put enough carmel on a Carmel Frappe, I will forgive just about anything.

This week I also learned that my husband will be participating in a tournament of Settlers of Catan.

If you know this game, you will think my husband is awesome.
If you don't know this game you are probably judging me.
Either way, he has a chance to win a trip to Indianapolis !

Like I said,

70 degrees
Flip flops
Grilling out

What are your weekend plans ?

April 4, 2013

Meet Dillon: Part I

Sometimes God feels far away. Sometimes we think God is observing us on the outside of a snow globe, just turning our life upside down anytime he wants. I know this isn't true.
The best way to remember that God is an alive part of our life and desires for our faith to mature, is through hearing the testimony of others.
This new series is called "Meet." In this series you will meet believers in Christ & see how they are helping the lost to "Meet Jesus."

Meet Dillon

My life: through high school I partied a lot, abused alcohol, and marijuana.
I was a hypocritical Christian.

I was raised in a christian household but whatever my parents told me to do I would usually do the opposite. Bad company corrupts good character is where I was at when I was young.
Girls and the weekend were the main focus of my week.

I had attended college in Missouri for a year, and was away from my group of friends for that period of time. When I returned home everything spiraled down hill. It was the summer so we'd party through out the week and the weekends. My parents had no control of what was happening to me, and it was killing them inside.

My heart was hardened toward them and God, but I knew there was a battle for me.

We started to abuse hallucinogens 18-20 pills a night 2-3 days a week for about a month straight and I was addicted to the feeling. The high took me from my depression and from reality for a day, it was worth it to me at the time. I OD'd on the pills and was taken to the emergency. It didnt stop me from carrying on the next week.

Then there was a night my mom found out where I was at and I felt the strongest pull on me from Satan's attacks and God trying to get me out of the place I was. She brought me home and said to me crying:

 " Dillon what are we supposed to do anymore? Your going to die if you keep on the same path your going, I love you but you cant stay here if this is the lifestyle your going to keep."

 I told her:
 " Mom dont you think if God was real he'd take this addiction away, I cant stop. What am I supposed to do."

That was the first time it had broken my heart to see my mom in such distress, and I cant imagine God's. I had hit bottom I had no where to go. So I asked my mom and dad to pray over me and I prayed:
 " Lord if your real, please take this addiction away, make me new, forgive me."
Simple and sincere. And I felt peace for the first time in a long time. I woke up, I felt totally different, a feeling I had never experienced before.

Colors were so much brighter.
Music was more clear.
God Woke me up. And [now] I try to serve him in everything I do.

*Dillon went to Haiti in January. Read more in Meet Dillon Part 2 !

April 1, 2013

mess-day: Blessed-Day

What happens when you write about hope hunting ?
God calls you out on it !

This morning was Monday, no April Fools here.

Monday means back to work.
Monday means Spring Break is over.
Monday is where I am put to the test.

I wanted to stay in the cozy comfort of my own mess. I didn't want to deal with anyone else's mess.
And Monday's should just be called "Monday Mess-day."

My first phase of my mornings involve turning the lamp on in the bedroom, and giving myself 10 30 minutes of Facebook, Twitter, and Email time. But this morning my phone was dead and I was very convicted about spending my first moments with Godly wisdom instead of gaudy chaos.

I had a deep desire to dust off an old morning devo.

The passage read: "You yearn for a simplified lifestyle, so that your communication with Me [God] can be uninterrupted. But I challenge you to relinquish the fantasy of an uncluttered world. Accept each day just as it comes and find Me in the midst of it all."

On the way to work, I took that advice. I lifted up in prayer my stresses and worries of the day. I told God about that co-worker that hates me, and that project I had been meaning to get to. I asked for energy and a positive attitude.

Now before bed I'm reflecting on today's events:
That positive attitude continued even through some "unglued" moments.
I may be yawning now, but I did have energy when needed most.
I surprisingly had everything I needed to complete a project !
And that hater was dealt with better than I ever anticipated.

Proverbs 3:6 says,
"In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight."
I didn't get me through today. God got me through today. God turned my Mess-Day, into a Blessed Day !  I think it's safe to say I have a new morning routine.
Start with God.... And go from there.