Sunday, October 27, 2013

Drawings I Drew!

I don't actually know how to draw but I love making funny and ridiculous cards for people. My love for my friends and family pull out just enough of the talent it takes to make some magic. Here are a collection of most of my favorite cards and drawings I've done over the last couple months! 

1. Professor Blastoff fan art for the podcast Aaron is a part of. There he is on the right. Ain't he cute? "Name That Punky" is a ridiculous game they play on the podcast that the fans just love. It needed a picture and thus I was inspired to draw. The Facebook fan page for the podcast loved it! Yay! 

Description: David Huntsberger, Kyle Dunnigan, Tig Notaro, Aaron Burrell and Punky Bruster together at last. 

2. I have the most wacked out supa fly boss on the planet who has been so awesome to Aaron and I in innumerable ways that I needed to show some love back.

Description: Christine and I running with fro-yo in hand and baby to boob as Reiley the dog jets away to freedom. Following the sign "party" and fleeing from the sign "business", we dash toward Christine's surfer husband Ross and through the dove held banner of my gratefulness.

3. I said my boss Christine is supa fly and I mean it. One of the funnest drawings I've done and a favorite of mine based on it's pure ridiculousness. 

Description: Christine is a mother with many talents. Surfing, rollerblading, and pancake making all while holding her beloved Kitchen Aid mixer isn't hard when your husband already has got a wrangle on your parasailing baby from his boat. Reiley the dog, again flying to freedom, only this time drawn more accurately and adorably than ever, wishes Christine a happy 31st as I lounge under a palm tree.

4. Most missionaries are awesome, but these two Elders are amazing! Having them over for dinner about once a week I got to know them well enough to collect the perfect amount of information for an accurate drawing. They saw the picture I drew for Aaron's podcast and said, "Hey! Draw one of us!" But to throw them off I scoffed and said, "Pshhhh, not likely. I don't have time for that." Yet ironically, it was I that was played a'fool. The minute I was finishing it up and they were supposed to knock on our door to have dinner, they called and canceled because they were transferred. Heart. Broken. I had to drive to their mission office to deliver it. They called us and said they loved it though!

Description: Elder Davidson from Idaho stands proudly on his sack of potatoes holding his overflowing box of letters from his girlfriend of six years. (I know, right?!) Elder Black from Georgia stands over his box of peaches as he holds his root beer and a fishing pole that caught his favorite prey, a laminator. As he was assigned to work in the mission office and laminated every note and card and scrap he could find....because he could. The Los Angeles Temple in the background. 

5. A birthday card for my neighbor and rock climbing enthusiast friend, Kris. We first met when she locked her self out of her house. And look! A tiny misplaced key!

6. If you know my mom....that is IS my mom. Bag of Lays and cup of tea in hand. She also drives semi trucks, that's important to note. She's not just a 4 year old boy or something.....

And now the most time consuming, intense card I've ever talked myself into doing!

The day after the Elders got transfered out I got a knock on my door and behold! Two wonderful and amazing sister missionaries entered the picture (no pun intended) and it's been life changing just knowing them! I could write an entire blog about Sister Mellor and Sister Rackleff and my adventures with them over the last couple months. But just know that they are stellar and deserve all the hours coloring for this card to be completed! Gave it to them a few days ago. Theyyyyyyyyyy almost cried. Ha.

Description: Sister Rackleff from Texas gets a shout out from an astronaut flouting above the earth informing "Houston" (also her home town) that she is indeed THE COOLEST! Sister Mellor, from Washington state, but called spanish speaking, gets told she's incredible from the Telemundo satellite. I stand on my ladder holding my flag that says "SISTERS!"


And then I also drew these for the Sisters' daily planners and they were a fun too. Front AND back, people.

I drew them in a hotel bathtub.

Too many jokes to explain here.

And just something pretty to look at on their planners everyday.

And THEN I thought, Christmas is coming. Why don't I learn a new skill like sewing and quilting and make their Christmas extra amazing?! But....never again. Haha.

The end of a long month of amazingness. 

Sister Morgan's quilt of luxury.

Sister Rackleff and her quilt by the rooooaring fireplace.

I know those are quilts and not drawings but love knows no boundaries.

P.S. Welcome home every single LA missionary I knew in California! You lot will do great things. Still.

Monday, September 9, 2013

That Time I Met The Veronicas

I posted this on Facebook, but I need it to be cemented in history on my blog as well. 

Let me tell you about the greatest night ever. 

I live in LA, okay? I see celebs. I care very little. But we all have that top idol. I've always prepared myself for the day I'd meet The Veronicas because, to me, they are the only people so talented with their song writing, vocals, and beauty who are actually worthy of a fan-girl-hyperventilating freak out from this Provo girl. For my mom, it's Paul McCartney. Sister Bethany, it's Alicia Keys. Me? Australian twins with harmonies that sing into my soul.

So when Jess of the Veronicas announces on Facebook that her boyfriend's band Badflower will be performing at a club in Hollywood, I grab my Australian flag, a sharpie, and my lucky Michael Jackson belt and hit the 101! 

Badflower was truly amazing and I could see Lisa and Jess standing up front like a couple of groupies. After the band finished and people dispersed all around the club, Aaron and his overactive bladder (bless him) walked to the men's room. Though I didn't have to go, I decided to go to the restroom and make sure I'd be looking fly for when I hunted down The Veronicas later on. Opened the door, and it was surreal. All, like, 95 pounds of Lisa Origlasio standing by herself looking in the mirror. She is the size of a preteen.

I said, "Lisa...?" And then who knows what else came out of my mouth. We chatted for a while and she was so inviting and genuine! Then. Jessica Origlasio appears out of a stall to my left. Do you believe there's a God? Well you should. For a lot of reasons. But you don't just so happened to wonder into a bathroom in a busy club and meet both of your music idols then eventually just die and become worm food, right? It was miraculous.

I chatted with mostly Lisa for probably 10 minutes about their new album and just told them how their new song Let Me Out is SO powerful and other various ways I adore them. They talked to me so genuinely. Not like a artist to a fan, just a friend to a friend. I brought my Aussie flag and they laughed so hard and were so impressed I just had one lying around! Signed it "Aussie Aussie! All our love! The Veronicas Lisa xoxo Jess xoxo"

They even said their favorite show they've played was in Salt Lake because the fans were SO passionate! I'm like, "They were probably all wearing shorts and flip flops? Those are my friends!" "Yeeeeah!" (I was not at that show back in 2008, however. I was at Camp Romaca where I met all my Aussie friends, which I why I have a flag from the Veronica's home country in my house. And Australians are just cooler class of cool than regular people, let's be honest.)

And then. After we were BFs and took pictures, Lisa told me to shout out to her on Instagram with my pics of us. 

They liked them. 

AND LISA FREAKING ORIGLASIO REPOSTED THEM ON HER INSTAGRAM! And that's when I overdosed on happiness. That is Lisa's Instagram of US! I can't even.

Lisa, Carah, Jess.....NO BIG DEAL.

Well, that's the short version of the greatest night ever. Get me in person and I'll tell you the two hour tale. The Veronicas and ME! 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Please Welcome To The Stage: NEW CALLING! And The Opinionated Ramblings!

"AAAAAAHHHHHH!" *cheers* "She's baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!"

First I'd like to play a song for you called "New Stake Calling In The Works For Me And My Man".

Over the 4th of July weekend Aaron and I drove out to Arizona to see my nephew get baptized and also because we wanted to see what it'll be like visiting the Telestial kingdom in the future. (A lot of 7-ELEVENs.) Right as we were leaving Mesa to drive back, we got a phone call about meeting with someone from church that night as soon as we got into town.

The voice on the other end was raspy and unfamiliar. 
He said he had a job for us. 
A dangerous job. 
We had been recommended for a calling, by who, we'll never know. But this much I could be certain of: We'd be peeing our pants with anticipation as we drove home for six hours. 

Aaron and I are going to be Public Relations representatives for the LDS church in the Santa Monica Stake! Trying to make Mormons look cool! So ya know, relate to the public, represent the church, and if the need arises I can...

I know this was a calling meant for us, even though it'll be tough. Learning about other cultures and religions is something I love to do. But knowing how to explain mine to everyday people is something I need help with.

I wish there was an easy way to explain how important religion and my faith in God is to me. Outside of a brain transplant or Donny Osmond concert, I don't think I'll ever be able to convey to someone who isn't a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints what it's like (and what it's not like) to live like I do.

I could go through the doctrine of the church...
What the official statements are...
What the scriptures say...
Everything could tell you..
But those are all such one dimensional answers!

(But you can still click on those links for answers regardless.)

I could tell you all about my nursery calling each Sunday at church where I sniff kid's butts like a poop detective then chase down escape artists whose lock picking skills are confounding. When you hear about jobs like mine, it all looks very glamorous from the outside, but until you live won't get it.

I wish I could explain how I'm not a judgmental hypocrite who condemns people for their actions while I spout off some self righteous crap. If as a follower of Jesus Christ I am actually looking to Jesus Christ who came to shut. down. the Pharisees and people who do that and I hold Him up as my example on how to live, then it only makes sense that I shouldn't act like a douche to people.

"Carah! You write so elegantly!" 
-No one

But the door swings both ways too. Just because someone identifies as a "Christian", that doesn't give them any less agency or power over choosing less douchey behaviors. It should, but it doesn't. Stupidity exists wherever there is pride and sense of superiority. 

I wish people understood that I'm not a brainwashed, blind follower. After 24 years of my life as a Mormon girl, the only thing I've been TOLD to do is independently strive to receive my own spiritual confirmation if what I have been taught is true. And told to..."Get the hell out!" of Vicki Frank's tent at girl's camp. And my conclusion is that this church is true and also that if I don't grow up to be as hilarious as my Young Women's leaders who pee over camp fires and tell us we "kick ass" after testimony meetings, then that's no person I want to be.

If you don't like blind followers, then don't listen to the media because chances are good you're prone to be one.

People of the world, listen up. 

Whatever the media spouted off without fact-checking that you didn't hesitated to internalize...
Whatever stereotypes about Christians you've lapped up...
Whatever source you've bought into that tells you the most sensationalized version of the truth...
Don't act like ignorance has exclusivity to people who believe in God.

I wish I could explain that my beliefs are not actually that crazy when put into context. What is it going to take for people to get that our underwear is not magic and that by anyone insinuating that it is, after constant reassurance from the LDS community that it isn'tnor do we believe that it is, only further depresses us to the intolerance and irreverence of our fellow human beings. You wear a wedding ring that tells the world you're married, a Catholic priest wears a collar that tells people he doesn't approve of Sister Mary Clarence's teaching method and past employment, and under my every day clothes I wear a tactile reminder of the covenants I've made to God to live a good, clean, honorable life and in doing so keep the knee shorts and t-shirt economy booming. 

The world insists that by having faith in a creator I am "less intelligent" or "gullible". Aside from the homeschooled rednecks Lindsay Lohan referred to in Mean Girls, it just ain't true!

In our new calling for the church we get to do a lot of inter-faith discussions and meetings with people in the community including and even honoring prominent LGBT men and women! I'm totally stoked! But our first big event as PR peeps is to attend a "Break-the-Fast" Ramadan fest with a large group of Muslims this Sunday in hopes we can build friendships and, I dunno, talk about what it's like to be misunderstood all the time probably?

There better be a swimming pool of hummus or else I'm out.

But back to what I was saying about the stereotype that Christians are ignorant...There are multiple independent studies that have found that Mormons have significantly more education than the general public! Of the young men and women who've served LDS missions, 40% graduated with college degrees, compared to 18% of the general American population. Also, 25% of returned missionaries have graduate degrees, compared to 8% of the general population. I mean, I'm not one of them. I write blogs with all the ingenuity thirteen years of public school can muster. Tapping an empty well right about now, actually. (See terrible transition at beginning of paragraph.)

All I want to do is aline my life to what I feel and have experienced is true. I wouldn't force someone into a practice or lifestyle that wasn't authentic to the dictates of their conscience. (Unless they were one of those scary people who were born without consciences and go around wreaking havoc on the civil society. "Belibers" I think they're called? Then I'd force someone like that to. chill. the. freak. out.)

I empathize with the battle gays and lesbians talk about. The battle within themselves of what society and social pressures tell them a "man" or a "lady" should look and act like, all the while knowing if they were being authentic to how they really feel, they'd be shunned. Everyone just wanted to be accepted without having to wear a mask all the time.

So, WORLD... 

I'm being authentic to the fact that I will die at some point in the future. There are a lot of ways to find meaning in life but in the long run, what enduring and lasting happiness is there for me? A girl can only go on youtube and watch the crazy Shape Up With Jazzercize lady so many times before she's wasted 9 hours pressing the repeat button only to be left with 9 hours of her life gone and only 27 catch phrases to show for them. 

There are idols and false Gods everyone worships. Enslaving forces that promise satisfaction but instead enslave people on the alter of sex, money, power, and the false hope that if they give a little more then they'll be complete. But that God that tells me to experiment on His word? The God that tells me to plant a seed of faith and see if the fruits of my labors are sweet or rotten? Letting my happiness be evidence to whether this is the right or wrong path? Yeah, I can get on board with Him. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Aaron Has Something To Say

On March 28th my wife Carah took me on a walk on a beach a short drive up the road in Malibu. She bent down and drew a picture of a baby in the sand to announce to me that she was pregnant. I didn't catch on at first. I said, “What is that, a kid peeing?" "You're weird.” She said, No. It's a baby...? That's an umbilical cord!” I still didn't get why she drew it. I furled my brow and said, “Oh, it is a baby.” Then she pulled out a pink baby onesie that I had given to her a many months back one night when I announced to her that I was ready to start trying to have babies. Then, as I thought about why Carah would bring that to the beach, she pulled out the pregnancy test and finally all the pieces fell into place. I was going to be a dad!

It took me several days to wrap my head around the thought of being responsible for a tiny human being. I was elated of course, but I didn't feel ready for this. I'd have to change some major things in my life. No more staying up till 4am watching Star Trek. No more sleeping in until...ever. Then I thought, if I wasn't ready at 30... when would I be?

I quickly weighed the pros and cons and remembered when I was growing up how much I looked forward to being a dad. But growing up I always had the luxury of ignoring the logistics of being a provider. The good thing is, I married Carah, who has been a nanny for the last 6 years. A professional assistant mother! She was going to be great.

I wondered how we were going to pay for it all. We just celebrated paying off our credit cards, but had nothing in savings. Luckily we were approved by Medi-Cal, letting a major weight be lifted off our shoulders.

As things started falling into place logistically, my worries started fading, leaving more room for excitement. We went to Babies R Us to get us more excited for the baby. As a caveat to going there, I made Carah promise we wouldn't buy anything just yet. I changed my mind when I saw how excited she got over the clothes. I wanted her to pick out one outfit to hang up in our closet to psych us up for December 5th. Something to help her get through the morning sickness, and other discomforts that come along with growing a little life.

Early one Saturday morning Carah uncovered the blankets and nudged me. I woke up and she showed me she was having some bleeding. My stomach hit the floor. I remembered reading that some bleeding during pregnancy was okay, but we went to the ER and they really couldn't tell much from the ultrasound because the pregnancy wasn't far enough along. The way they would tell was to have a series of blood tests to measure Carah's hormones and if the key hormones dropped, we'd be in trouble. They told us to take the next blood sample in 48 hours, but we didn't have to wait that long. The next day there was such an upsetting amount of blood, it was clear she had lost the baby.

We spent the next few days praying and taking turns comforting each other. In the span of a few weeks we went from two folks minding our own business, being handed the keys to a new life with an unwritten future with endless possibilities, left to dream for a moment on that future, and then just as quickly as it came, it was pulled out from under us. The gift that was left in it's place however, was the galvanizing process it had on our relationship. The short tragedy was a force that made us draw closer to each other than we had ever done before.

I love my wife more now than I ever dreamed possible. We still have a lot to healing and understanding to gain from this painful period in our lives. When we try again to start our family I know we will have a new deeper appreciation for God's gift of life, and also have that much more love to share.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


I'm feeling really good.

I finally found a job after about a month of nothing. No income, using up our savings, then BAM!  Dream. Job. (Well, as far as nannying is concerned. I used to think I wanted to work in Hollywood, but too many pretentious a-holes have transfered my priorities back to changing diapers for some possibly ironic reason.)

I've had a very good history with just knowing when something is good the moment I set my eyes on it. I could get a hundred emails offering me a position (not saying I did, cause I didn't), and there's always one that sticks out and I know where I'm meant to be. This job is going to be awesome.

They are a younger couple who still have to move down from San Francisco and I won't be able to start for a few more weeks. So in the meantime...I'm not doing anything. My sister lives in San Fran, too. So...ROOOOOAAAAAD TRIIIIIIIIP!

Also, next Sunday I get to give a talk in church! I know it's like the "cool" thing to act all uninterested and intimidated to speak, but freak...screw that, I'm way excited. Only problem is I have to keep it under 15 minutes. Total buzz kill. I can't develop my thesis within the given time parameters! A few weeks ago my sister wanted the answer to the age old question of who killed Jesus and called me. I said "Do you want the short answer or the long answer? Short? Okay...blah, blah, blah, history, blah blah, blah, context, blah blah blah this guy:

He sure helped move things along.
What's your problem, bro?!

Five minutes into my historical breakdown of events she's like, "Carah! Carah! I said short! Nevermind. I'll just google it! *Click*" Noooooooooooooo!

I listen to audiobooks, talks, sermons, and read articles, scripture, and books so maybe one day I can get to the point where I could be asked any question or assigned any topic....."Oh, let me recall when the apostle Paul stated...*BAM-BA-BAM-BA-BAM!* Take that, Satan! *PEW PEW PEW* Knowledge blasting ya in the face, demons!"

I'm not totally there yet, though that's my scissor kick Satan in the jaw. Now, time to finish writing my talk and break all records for whatever the opposite of procrastination is!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Life Giving Words

Something you should know about me is that I love God.

And just like a father watching his son or daughter during their first big basketball game would naturally feel inclined to shout words of encouragement and inspiration when they step up to the foul line, our Heavenly Father does the same for us. Heaven is not shut off from it's children.

His words are written in scripture, preserved and waiting to speak love and encouragement in our lives.

They are parables, laws, warnings, proverbs, fundamentals, wisdom, truths, and triumphs over opposition all meant to be life giving words.

Jesus said He was the living water because in Him you never thirst again. It's in Him you have satisfaction. The scriptures are words that aren't just meant to act as simple cultural idioms. Instead, point the way towards the savior and give evidence to a loving God full of glory and mercy for His children.

It's no shocker that the words we say to one another can uplift or tear down. The message we want to communicate with our lips can provide life giving words of encouragement or a crippling eradication of hope. But whether good or bad, our words ultimately flow from our hearts.

I thoroughly enjoy reading God's word and keeping a journal to write down all the things He's spoken into my mind and heart. Now I feel like it's time to compose them into blogs and express my feelings, grow myself and others, hopefully receive positive feedback, and edit pictures I've taken of fog and trees and place typography on it. 

Proverbs 12:18 speaks of words cutting like swords. We all know the English language with all of it's contradicting it's own rules and pronunciations is ridiculous. Probably a practical joke, never intended for actual use. But God equates swords to our words in the bible? Words with an "S"? Upon my discovery of this, it's now apparent the entire English language is actually crafted around spellings that encompass metaphors. 

Learning about the way people's words can transform a spirit was really powerful for me when I took the time to apply it to my life. Thinking back on all the words, actual specific sentences that have stuck in my mind since I was a kid and tore me down. I remembered who said it, where, why, and how my heart sunk. And the fact that I have ever had the power over someone to cast my swords into them isn't something I can ever remember doing...but I know I have. I know there are people that remember me, what I said, where, why and how much like a piece of crap I made them feel. It really transforms a person through studying their actions into a more humble and empathetic person. 

I wanted to write down in my journal a list of all of those other times though. Every time in my life someone simply wanted to pay me a sincere compliment. There are specific sentences that have stuck in my brain like glue. Jotting down a quick list of friendly encouragements and affirmations from friends and strangers creates a high!...also like glue.

I did this a few weeks ago and here are a few of them:
  • "You are the funniest person in the whole school!" 
  • "She's really lucky to have a friend like you."
  • "I remember your ward's skits from girls camp! You are so funny!" 
  • "You were a red blood cell for Halloween! I remember you! You're so funny!"
And then there are tons of lines that stuck out from when I was a camp counselor back during summer 2008. Which, for the record, is still the BEST. JOB. EVER.
  • "I wish you were my counselor!" 
  • "Are you coming back next year? Will you promise?"
  • "Then my girls were all like, 'You know Carah?!' and I'm all like. 'Pshh, she's like my best friend!'" (That's actually two adorable compliments in one!)

And I think I'll save the best ones for me.

Oh, but also any time someone I highly admire for their spirituality, brains, or insanely funny sense of humor notices little ol' me. Pretty much whenever Maren Costa talks to me.

I thought I had a pretty good list going when I pumped all these memories out without hesitating. And then February 3rd, 2013 came along and something pretty epic went down. It shifted my perspective so all those words were left in the dust.

I was in Provo visiting my friends and family and attended my home ward Sunday morning. (The Edgemont 9th ward, the greatest ward in the world, in my humble opinion.)

I hope by now you can tell I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love to dig into scripture, it's context, it's applications. It being fast Sunday, I decided to walk to the pulpit to bare my testimony. It in itself was a unique experience to stand in front of that sea of faces as that girl who was so precocious growing up. I didn't want to use that word just now but that's what my mom calls me. If there was one word to describe never sitting still, smart alec comments, irreverent behavior, and silliness that was little Carah!

If you can imagine how much I like to read and write about the gospel, I like to talk about it even more. I like to speak very intentionally. Very concise and get right to the heart of it all. I personally just believe it's a disservice to give a thank-amony when *guuuulp deep breath* there is an omnipotent God who gave us His beloved son and affords us the opportunity to stop carrying our sins and burdens but place them on a miraculous and spotless Savior who was crucified on my behalf but arose from the dead as the resurrected Christ and serves as the beacon for all humanity.

I said a lot more. And took more breaths. But that's the gist of it.

After I finished my remarks and walked back down it was like there was an energy shift in the room....whoa. I was also sitting in the front row by the priests. The second the meeting was over, before I even had time to look up, my bishop hurried down the stairs, wrapped his arms around me and gave me a giant hug.

Bishop Rick Svendsen (Bishop-Rick as he's affectionately called) has already been one of my favorite people on planet earth for quite a while. He never ever smiles in pictures, has a dry sarcastic wit, and is known and loved as the only bishop who will endearingly walk by you and push you down until you hit the floor. He's just that cool. Oh, and he's also a spiritual rock and an awesome hard working bishop. Bishop Rick's words of encouragement, it's pretty safe to say, mean a lot to me.

It can be tough to know if I'm on the right track, if all my studying has affected, not only my countenance, but resonated with other people.

After Bishop Rick released his tight embrace he looked at me and said some new life giving words. Simply put, with tears in his eyes he said,

"Carah, that was the best testimony I have ever heard."

Okay, okay, okay....whoa.

Like I stated above, there are a lot of times people have encouraged, affirmed, or validated me. But it's easy to take a compliment and keep on truckin'...but when it's a testimony it's something different. I am so humbled by the kind words spoken to me after I bore my testimony. But it's not about me. It's about Him. That's the coolest part.

Speaking in front of hundreds of people your most sacred and personal beliefs isn't something we do. Our body, mind, and spirit were created to recognize and give glory to God. Me in my wickedness, impatience, and worldly desires can't possibly deliver a message from God without being made whole in Christ first and being fed through the Holy Ghost. When we try to, not only speak on behalf of Jesus without the Holy Ghost, but work our way back into the arms of our Father without the Holy Ghost, we'll be left exhausted. Because the truth is, God cares more about authenticity than much else. My testimony was already written on my heart long before the spirit gave me the words and courage to speak it.

"Following the spirit" shouldn't be just a nice idea, an ethereal take away from scripture. It needs to have literal illustrations. What can you say "By the power of the Holy Ghost I was able to...." Forgive? Endure? Finish reading this forever long blog post?  Power through, champ!

"By the power of the Holy Ghost I was able to express my testimony and touch people's hearts."

But that's mine. Dibs.

Just like our words have the power to build up or tear down the people around us, the way we see God's words do as well.

"You are forgiven." Ephesians 1. "You have been set free." John 8. "I love you with an everlasting love." Jeremiah 31.

These are the life giving words God makes readily available when we let Him speak into our hearts through scripture study and confirmation of truth from the Holy Ghost.

But too often God's message of love for His children is lost in translation. Sometimes people feel burned and rejected by religious leaders. It happened with the Pharisees and it happens now. For anyone who believes it's time to give up, your marriage is too broken, your sin is too bad, you're too young, too old, too poor, too late, too guilty....those words were never spoken by God. 

"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." Cut out all the noise, and those are the words God wants us to hear. It sounds like an open invitation. "If anyone"...sounds like anyone. In fact, God not only wants us to hear His word. He loved his children, the ones who ever lived or ever will live on earth, enough to hold back the powers of Heaven for His only begotten son to be sent to die in our place. This, all for the chance we would comprehend our worth in His eyes and accept His son as our savior. A path was forged, the debt was paid, all for us to return to our Father's arms where He can hear our words from our lips but this time it will be in His Heavenly embraces. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The In Between

Hi blog, it's been a while. You look good. I really like what you've done with yourself.

It's been one year since I've had anything to say on my blog. I really like writing but I pretty much keep it to myself. But now that I've been let go from two nanny jobs since July, I'm one TV marathon away from cat adoption so I's time.

I was suddenly let go from my 50 hour a week nanny job with a 14 month-old named Benny when his parents got off a daycare wait-list last week. A job I've only had since July when the Horn family with their hilarious troop of boys and insanely adorable baby Lola also quite suddenly moved down to Orange County. That's two families gone in 7 months. While I've been pretty blindsided, I get that feeling that God is preparing me. Something's coming. Pocahontas always does a better job expressing my feelings.

Measles are coming. Sorry, girl. 

Whether good or bad outcomes, it's the time we spend in between where we are and where we want to be that God works on us. Between the seemingly big events. When it appears quiet, He's still at work.

Between telling Abraham he'd have a son and making good on His promise was 40 years of refinement and substantiation. Joseph being thrown in prison for 13 years before his dream of his brothers kneeling before him manifested as he saved nations from famine and collapse.

The Israelites weren't led on the direct root to the promised land. God could have if he wanted to.

And the time between you reading this and me confirming that I have indeed been studying the Old Testament, maybe a lot, has only made you more keenly perceptive.

I think that's where God does his work. In the in between places.

In between dating and marriage. Marriage and childbirth. Job loss and new employment.

Stopping blogging and starting blogging. I can assure you, a lot of work has been done on this lil lady behind the keyboard in the past year.

Our primary purpose during a journey is to get it over with. But God is more concerned with who we're becoming, than where we're going.

Just like the Israelites needed time to be refined wandering in the desert or else they wouldn't have been sanctified properly to understand and receive God's promised land. But God has a way of preparing us now for what will be required later.

If it were up to me, I would have been married at eighteen and had hundred babies by now. All this wandering sure seems pointless in the moment, but every time I see a pregnancy test appear negative and get ready to groan I remember back to the years I thought I was so ready to be a mom.

I was a baby. Just a wee little girl mad because her dad wouldn't take off her training wheels. But as years go on I see the places I'm meant to be, the people I'm meant to help, and the lessons and foundation I'm going to need to raise those hundred babes. And not just raised well by society's standards, but by God's standards.

It's too easy to wander in the space between and lose sight of who we're meant to be. Too busy waiting for things to get better. "If only I had this, then I'd be set." "I just know if it were this way I'd never need anything again!" Being too fixated looking for deliverance when deliverance already came 2,000 years ago. He should be our rock.

I fall into the trap. It's easy to complain that things aren't the way I want them and fail to see the God who is holding up the walls of the Red Sea because I'm looking down at my toes touching the mud.

This week one of the ways I've seen God work on me while I'm in this "in between" stage is through humbling my spirit and giving me a heart for service. Yesterday I had a fulfilling day helping a woman I go to church with.

While I know this is a totally obscure head kept singing one line from Legally Blonde: The Musical.

No, not that song.  But good. It fits.

Actually it was the scene where Elle first uses her new lawyerly skills to help her friend Paulette successfully recover her beloved dog from her common-law husband's trailer.

This one...

But instead I feel like, "Service! Is this the point of service! I'm feeling kind of high!..." I think God has grown my heart a lot this year towards following Jesus Christ. Convicting me to say yes to Jesus and no to myself over and over.

God knows who is in need of help and knows whose name to place on my mind. Who is looking for help. He provides me with the time to accomplish things I wouldn't otherwise have been able to do if I were still working that 50 hours a week.

Being let go leaves a person pretty blindsided. But learning how to be used by God is more important to Him than the state of my bank account right now. It is the authenticity of my heart to choose Him over any comfort zones He is tapping into. So, no worries because it's been the "in between being single and being a mother" stage that He taught me how to be a great nanny which allows me to have full assurance....