Thursday, October 29, 2009

Rainy Days

This was not written with the intention of being a blog, yet it's something I've been struggling with this week and I feel the need to share it.

I never realized quite how big of an impact the weather has on attitude and moreso relationships. For example, yesterday I passed my friend Jordan on the quad from a distance. Normally when I see Jordan he’s got a big smile and is enjoying himself. Yesterday when I saw him I gave him a big wave and a smile. I probably would have walked over and given him a hug but it was raining and I really wanted to get into a building instead. Later, I wished I would have walked in the wet grass because he needed a hug. I could tell from the look on his face. No smile and a small wave. We passed and headed on to class. Once I got there, I texted him asking him if everything was ok. He said yes, he was just a little sad because it was rainy. I offered him a free hug and he said even a free hug probably couldn’t cheer him up today. Free hugs solve everything. Nope. His facebook status that night was talking about how he hates rainy days because they’re depressing. I was worried about him yesterday because he just seemed so sad. When I saw him today I gave him a free hug and asked if today was better. He said today was much better. Perhaps it's because the sun is shining today.

I know I’ve done the exact same thing. Why do we let the weather control our moods? Why? God makes the rainy days just like God makes the sunny days. God loves us on the rainy days just like He does on the sunny days. I don’t get it, but I fall victim to the rainy day trap, too.

Learning to love the rain,
<>< Katie

Thursday, October 22, 2009

"Yeah, You're all I want."

Even though she's not here, my roommate's computer is playing music. Since I'm only half-listening and half-enjoying it, I haven't gotten up to turn it off yet. One of the songs that just played was "Everything" by Lifehouse.

My freshman year, my FOCUS team did the famous Lifehouse Skit...I'd like to note that this was before the Lifehouse skit was cool... we made it cool. Just kidding. Sort of.

Anyway. It's been several years since I've prayed/practiced/performed that skit, but when I heard it begin to play, my world stopped. I mentally took my place on the stage and envisioned us creating temptations to seperate one of us from Christ. As the music speeds up, the temptations gather in closer to challenge and fight with the girl as she gropes for Christ. When this part began to play, I started to fight. I could feel the pushing and shoving from my focus siblings as we struggled to push down our protagonist. I saw the bruises on her knees from falling. I could smell the coffee-soda-water mix we used for alcohol. I was there on that stage with the bright lights as we pushed away from Christ. Remembering that ultimately He would slam the temptations down and dance with His beloved again.

Think about a time when you strayed from Christ. Think about a time when you (intentionally, unintentionally, successfully, or unsuccessfully) contributed to someone else's stumbling. Remember the awesomeness of dancing with your Abba Father. Take His hand and don't look back.

<>< Katie

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Brothers in Christ

Since my reader is anonymous, I can't tailor my blogs to her (I think it's a her).

Confession time: I my only brother is the tractor. Sometimes I eel like I missed out by being in a primarily female family. My dad always teases he's the minority in the sorority, but it's actually true. My life has almost always been filled with female friends and I've had very few close guy friends over the years. This summer my sister was teasing me about the "four" guys I have in my phone. (In my defense, I really have more than four guy friends but that's beside the point... and I mean their numbers in my phone not the guys themselves because that would be weird). I think all of these factors could contribute to why I don't really know how to behave around guys.

However, as of late, I've discovered I have a lot more guy friends than I'm given credit for having. I mean, go back and reread this blog. Either I have my share of guy friends, I'm making up, or the few I do have just inspire me write. (All of the above is not an option). I've also taken a look at where I've spent my time lately. Monday night confirmed this inkling when I was actually one of the guys for a few hours.

Monday night, my Green Bay Packers played the Minnesota Vikings and I was invited to watch the game with a bunch of guys (and a few girls briefly). At first, I was wondering if they were all Vikings fans who invited me over for a good laugh as my team was destroyed. Most of them are Vikings fans, but they didn't laugh at me. Not even when I confessed part of a deep secret: I don't really understand football. I know to cheer when the green guys are running and to boo when the purple guys score. I know Brett Favre is a traitor. I know the thing on my head is a cheesehead. Ask me about scoring and I'm clueless. I even had to think if football games were separated into quarters or only halves. Hockey I can explain in full detail. Tennis I can play. I understand the basics of basketball and baseball, but football and futbol (soccer) leave me totally confused.

It didn't really matter. We weren't all glued to the tv. Fellowship, friendship, and football took place in that dorm room. I looked over Four Year Plans (I love these!), we traded pictures from this last weekend, and we shared life together. I got the opportunity to witness true selflessness (a guy offering to drive a friend three hours to her date with a different guy, sit around while she was on her date, and drive her three hours back), someone else pull the door shut to shield the girls' eyes when a friendly dorm prank turned dirty and involved the removal of pants, oh, and I wasn't killed when I helped myself to a guy's food either. I realize this isn't normal: we all gathered to watch the football game and it was just background noise, yet it was wonderful. It is how it should be: brothers and sisters helping each other out and spending time together while honoring their Abba Father.

<>< Katie

Oh, and just to clarify: I'm not dating nor am I trying to impress any of these guys. They didn't pay me to say this either; they're the brothers I've never had. :-)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Isaiah 40

I helped host a youth lock-in this weekend concluding with a worship service on Sunday morning.

This year, I'm reading through the Bible and right now I'm in Isaiah. The passage for Friday night--ok, 3am on Saturday morning while I secluded myself for some time with God (and sleep) but could hear the youth wreaking havoc around the building--was Isaiah 40. "The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will no grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:28b-31

I read that passage aloud to my friend Jeanie who was responsible for coming up with something for the Scripture reading on Sunday. She had already been contemplating those verses. We laughed about the "youth growing tired and weary" part. On Saturday night, I read the verses again, this time to Sarah and Jeanie. Sunday morning, Jeanie read Isaiah 40:28-31 for the Scripture reading in church.

Now, the original plan was that the youth pastor was going to do Sunday's sermon on a passage in Revelation. Well, the youth pastor had a family emergency and the senior pastor did the sermon. We had no contact with the senior pastor--other than repeatedly running past his office on Saturday--and he came up with his sermon without knowledge of our scripture reading. Both happened to be based in Isaiah 40. Different passages; same chapter. God's sense of humor.

After church, my host mother from the night before came up to me, "Did you have a dream about a Bible passage last night?" I hadn't that I could remember. Apparently I appeared in several peoples' dreams on Saturday night and in one I was dreaming about a Bible passage. Hum... You never really know what God is doing and He does still speak through dreams.

<>< Katie