esau syndrome

December 31, 2006

The doctor opened the door and his 6’6″ frame took over the room.

Clad in a grayish white gown and, figiting with its paper-yet-plastic texture, I caught his gaze. I didn’t waste time. I knew something was wrong. That’s why I was there.

“What did the test show?”

“I won’t lie to you. I’ve seen this many times. It’s serious…”

I felt like someone just hoovered all the air from my lungs.

“It’s called Esau Syndrome.”

“What syndrome?”

“Esau Syndrome. Named after Jacob’s twin who sold his birthright for a bowl of chowder.”

“Stew,” I corrected. Call me a firstborn.

“Yeah, whatever,” he said. “Either way, his decision-making was diseased. He only saw short-term needs and lost view of the big picture. This, I’m afraid, is what the lab tests show. But, Angie, there’s good news. You don’t have to be saddled with this your whole life. The diagnosis is reversable.”

Yet again, God used The Message to challenge my thinking today. The setting was Starbuck’s and Hebrews. This passage stirred me to think about the Syndrome that I, and many others, suffer with daily:

“Watch out for the Esau syndrome: trading away God’s lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite” (Hebrews 12).

The writers of Hebrews is referring to Genesis 25 when the story of Jacob and Esau is told. It seems so ridiculous that Esau would have traded his birthright for something as trivial as a bowl of soup. Yet he did. He was a trade-er.

I’m a trade-er, too.

Chowing on chocolate in lieu of stopping and considering if I’m really even hungry. If I’m not, what would my heart rather have?

Trading in 30 minutes of reading life-changing truth in the morning for staying up late watching a TV show I wasn’t really even interested in.

“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how He did it. Because He never lost sight of where He was headed” (Hebrews 12).

As I walk up to 2007 tonight, my desire for the new year is this: That I would trade acting on my short-term desires for believing God and being patient; living with my eyes on the bigger picture.

Happy New Year, friends.


last day in lincoln

December 28, 2006

God has a sense of humor. Looks like Lincoln might get snow. Tomorrow. As I fly away to 74 degree Orlando. Alas, at least my teeth haven’t chattered obnoxiously like they usually do when I come home for Christmas.

Today was my last day in the Husker state. I spent it:

  • sleeping in until 10:30
  • one hand wrapped around a peppermint patty mocha at a new, quaint coffee shop and the other journaling about Hebrews 10 & 11.
  • embarking upon a maiden-voyage eyebrow(s) waxing. I mention this because I wondered at the wisdom (and humor) of it all as soon as I sat down. I don’t live in Lincoln anymore. I don’t have the intuition of a local. I don’t know the woman. I merely happened upon her because she was on wax duty today. I haven’t seen her work portfolio. And it’s not like a bad wax job would go unnoticed. So I tilted my head back as she poured liquid candle on my face, pressed a piece of cloth on the wax and ripped with the strength known only to pioneer women. All for the sake of beauty. Thank you, Joanna. You waxed eloquently.
  • faux painting my parents’ bathroom. That wallpaper – circa 1986 – didn’t want to go without a fight.
  • falling in love with Willie LaHaye in Love’s Enduring Promise. Who doesn’t love a good Hallmark movie? And when it’s based upon Jeanette Oke’s novels and directed by Michael Landon, Jr., you can’t go wrong. Last weekend at the cabin, we watched the first one in the four-part series, Love Comes Softly. Here’s an idea for the fifth movie’s title: Love Comes Loudly & with Whiplash Speed. I think it’d sell well.

another christmas a-ha

December 27, 2006

I love how God uses a southern-speaking, 34-year-old preacher in my life. Tonight I was watching the video of this weekend’s service. What an incredible parallel the virgin conception is to salvation.

“God placed a life inside of Mary that she didn’t work for; didn’t participate in the conception of. All she did was receive the life that God placed inside of her.”

music to my ears

December 27, 2006

Thanks, Chad, for the CD I’m eating up like peanut M&Ms. Or Christmas leftovers. Especially Aunt Sharon’s hash brown casserole.

Chris Tomlin’s newest CD, See The Morning, is good.

I think.

I’m sure.

Yet I can’t get beyond track 1: How Can I Keep From Singing. Here’s a taste:

I will lift my eyes
In the darkest night
For I know my Savior lives
And I will walk with You
Knowing You see me through
And sing the songs You give

How can I keep from singing Your praise?
How can I ever say enough?
How amazing is Your love?
How can I keep from shouting Your name?
I know I am loved by the King
And it makes my heart want to sing

the bring 4

December 26, 2006

Sweet Gram. She’s the photographer behind our family picture. Good thing Chad isn’t taller.


our high priest came as a baby

December 22, 2006

I’m in chapters 5-7 of Hebrews and am standing in awe, yet again, how we’re celebrating God becoming man for our sins. But not just to pay for our sins, but to give us life. Here’s what strikes me afresh:

“We don’t have a high priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all – all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to Him and get what He is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.

“Every high priest selected to represent men and women before God and offer sacrifices for their sins should be able to deal gently with their failings, since he knows what it’s like from his own experience. But that also means that he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins as well as the people’s….

“So now we have a high priest who perfectly fits our needs: completely holy, uncompromised by sin, with authority extending as high as God’s presence in heaven itself. Unlike the other high priests, He doesn’t have to offer sacrifices for His own sins every day before He can get around to us and our sins. He’s done it, once and for all: offered up Himself as the sacrifice.

What a contrast Jesus is to those high priests! He did what the Law and those earthly priests (and their good intentions) could never do for us: make us perfect and blameless. Amazing.

May you enjoy this Christmas, grateful for our perfect high priest who came and slept on hay as a baby…and died on a tree as a man.

celebrating jennifer

December 19, 2006

Last night we celebrated my dear friend, Jennifer. (top right) Jennifer and I became friends our freshmen year at UNL. We’ve come a long way, Baby, huh Jen? I’m so glad God intersected our lives in Sandoz Hall!

Tori (bottom left) and Sally (bottom right) were part of the celebration evening. We enjoyed Will Smith and son in “The Pursuit of Happyness.” I’d highly recommend it. And, yes, Mom, that’s the way it’s spelled.

Then, on to the Green Gateau for a delish dinner. And a slice of green gateau, that is, green (frosted) chocolate cake.