failure to launch

November 30, 2006

Hopefully Sylvester Stallone wasn’t counting on his image selling a lot of this pudding. He better not quit his day job.

Does he have a day job?


how-to of the day

November 29, 2006

I love Google. I mean, how can you not? Anyone who is smart enough to know what a google is, like, a million in my book.

One of Google’s best deals yet is to allow me to personalize my google page.

I chose weather for Orlando and places of which I’m a weather voyeur.

I chose top stories.

But my best choice? The “how to” of the day from Wikipedia.

My favorite recently? How to stop a car with no brakes.

Oh, and guys? How to sweep a girl off her feet is worth college credit. Example 2a would so work on many of us. Just don’t tell us where you got the line from. We might laugh.

But then you’d be perfectly set up to use Example 2b.

Look how that worked out.

the anointing

November 29, 2006

A neighbor of mine, Stephen St. Claire captures truth on canvas. I first noticed “The Anointing” for its bold beauty.

Tonight, I notice the hand of Jesus on Mary’s head. And I feel it on mine.

Worship is often a mixture of sacrifice – like Mary’s perfume – and tears. And trust for the unknown.


life at the crossroads

November 25, 2006

I often joke that that God didn’t get a copy of my memo.

I had a great plan for what I thought my life would look like…and that at the wise age of 23. I would spend at least four years with Campus Crusade at the University of Colorado – Boulder working with sorority women. That made sense to stay there long enough to watch the freshmen become seniors.

*Smirk* Making sense seems to be the last thing Jesus prioritizes. Rather, He prioritizes being my Hero and asking me to trust Him.

God said move and I cried for three days. It was a death to my plans to leave Boulder.

Orlando has been home for six years now. New life has budded here like light green shoots on an old shrub. I’m living out more of who God made me to be than I’d ever caught whiff of in Colorado. For the first time I’m starting to swim in the ideas and desires He’s given me, knowing my best “memo” pales in comparison to His design for me.

And so at the crossroads of submitting to His good plans for me and my desires, I find life.

Max Lucado says it well:

“When we submit to God’s plans, we can trust our desires. Our assignment is found at the intersection of God’s plan and our pleasures. What do you love to do? What brings you joy? What gives you a sense of satisfaction?

“The longings of your heart, then, are not incidental; they are critical messages. The desires of your heart are not to be ignored; they are to be consulted.”

the bird, Colleen and Angie

November 23, 2006

Ok, so this is what happens when your Thanksgiving involves two people: there are no extras standing around to take pictures of you.

To the left of Colleen’s ear you’ll spy the best-looking bird, weighing in at a hefty 13.8 pounds. Can we say leftovers?

Colleen, you really do need to unpack that dream and move into a Bed & Breakfast. My heart and stomach were blessed by time with you today. So glad we got in our run/walk as the bird was cooking…making room for the culinary feast!

A few things I’m thankful for:

  • Long arms to take photos until I can convince the paparazzi to come by more frequently.
  • Those cornucopia-loving, risk-taking Pilgrims.
  • My insulin pump and how it prevents Thanksgiving from literally killing me.
  • Movies-on-demand so we can cheer on Akeelah in “Akeelah and the Bee” without having to leave the couch.
  • Jesus and how He continues to surprise me and strike me with wonder. This is the adventurous life I never knew to ask for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

verbs to change my life…and 10 piles

November 21, 2006

I face one, two, three, four (still counting…) 10 stacks on my desk. Under one of those piles lays (lies?) – patiently waiting – a copy of Getting Things Done by David Allen.

David, I want to read your book. Really. You look so charming and ready to change my life. But I don’t have time to read much. So I listen to your podcasts. And I read your blog. Loved this blog entry about project verbs. I think these really could help. But not as much as I’d be helped if you would come and be my assistant for about 21 days.

Here’s a taste of the project verbs David suggests: finalize, look into, organize, resolve, submit, implement, update.

And some fab next-action verbs: call, buy, fill out, take, gather, print, review, find.

I’m inspired.

the temptation to go back

November 19, 2006

I wonder why they went back to fishing. By definition they weren’t mere, smelly fishermen anymore. They were followers of Jesus. He’d called them to drop their nets and follow Him. They did.

That was three years ago. Unless I’m wrong, I don’t think they’d had their hands around slippery fish in all that time.

Now, Jesus is dead. The tomb is empty and Mary Magdalene is weeping. She runs to tell Peter and John that Jesus’ body is gone. The men see and believe.

The men go back to their homes. (What was that conversation like, I wonder?) Mary stays. (A great story for another day.)

The next day, “when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!'” (John 20:19).

Yet, in the next scene we see Peter announcing he’s off to fish. A few disciples scamper after him.

So Peter, the now-fisher-of-men, goes back to the fish. He’s most likely a capable man. He knows well how to do the job: location, timing, equipment. He’s no novice. Fish aren’t always predictable, but I wonder if he thought that that life was more predictable than the one following Jesus.

His thoughts were probably racing from the events of the last days: the triple-piercing crow of the rooster, the blood-letting death of his Hero, the peace-offering word of a resurrected Jesus.

Maybe sea air was good for a confused and grieving soul.

Maybe Peter thought, Let me come back to what I know that I know. What I’m good at. What my complicated life was before Jesus.

So the men fished. And they caught a whopping…nothing.

And then enters Jesus, stage left, but they don’t know it’s Him. He comes to them. He gives them fishing advice: “just throw your nets on the other side.” (I wonder what that did to their pride.) They did and the nets were bursting.

John realizes it’s Jesus and jumps in the water to race to the shore to see Him, surrounded by breakfast ready for the disciples.

I’m Peter’s daughter. I left my nets and my plans and said yes.

But the years have passed and the naivity of that choice is gone. I knew that following Jesus wouldn’t be merely WD-40 for a squeaky life. But I didn’t think it’d carry losses like this. And so, like Peter, my heart gets bruised and I bolt down the well-worn path. Back to what I know.

I assemble all the elements of seeming-control that I can, whether it’s working harder at the office, reading yet another book on taking hold of a disordered part of my life or organizing our spice jars to the surprise of my roommate (who asked if everything was OK with me. I’d also installed a closet organizer that weekend, too. She was onto me. I was clammering).

And so, like Peter, I net nothing.

But then my wounded heart falls in love with Jesus all over.

He comes to me. In the room when I’ve locked myself inside for fear of where this life of following Him is leading me. He comes to me when I’m in the throws of throwing myself into what used to define me.

If I was Jesus I would give up on me. I would say, “Angie, you should know better. It’s your turn. You come to me. I’m tired of coming after you. You’re seeking Life apart from me. You know you can’t and won’t find it. I’ve given you 43 chances, but I’m done. I’m tired, Angie. You just don’t get me.”

But He doesn’t. As scripture says, it’s His kindness that leads to repentance. Repentance that I ever looked elsewhere for a safe life.

Resurrection life that He gives His children isn’t safe. It’s not nice. It’s not mild-mannered. It’s not predictable.

The temptation to go back to the boats is great. To “take my ball and go home.” To say, “If You’re going to play like this, I don’t want to play.”

But I’m learning that running down to the boats isn’t a viable option anymore. It only offers distraction.

So herein lies faith: to stay (and not run) and trust my resurrected Jesus’ hands as proof that He loves me. That He spares nothing for me that’s for my good. That He, alone, offers Life.