Archive | July, 2010

top ten #222

27 Jul

10 games that seemed fun as a kid, but not so much now.

#1-the slip n’ slide. Take the thinnest piece of plastic you can find, place on the rock hard ground, add water and lots of soap and then run, fall down and if you can successfully slide without breaking your bones or getting a concussion…you win!

#2-Monopoly. Has anyone ever actually finished a game…the same day you started…without cheating…or giving up? Longest game in the world.

#3-52 card pick up. I recently realized that I might have been the only blonde headed, gullible child on the planet that thought this was an actual game. Thanks brother.

#4-Duck, duck, goose. There are only 3 scenarios that play out during this game: 1. there’s a kid that thinks its funny to pound all the “ducks” heads as hard as he can; 2. the two kids who just go back and forth and pick each other; 3. the kid who is more of a ‘social player’ and just circulates the “ducks” without ever choosing a “goose”. All three scenarios only add up to pain…physical, emotional and mental.

#5-Red rover, red rover. I always thought I was pretty competitive, but there is always that kid that refuses to let go and would rather break his/her arm and yours before they let someone through. And if that wasn’t bad enough, there was always that kid that not only ran at your innocent, fragile arms at full speed but with flailing arms that either punched you in the gut or smacked you across the face and if you were lucky…both!

#6-Tamagotchi’s. This might apply to only girls and secretly to most of you boys. I don’t know why at the age of 8 I would want take on the responsibilities of being a mother. Feed, water, walk, play with a digitized animal or else! Not to mention, the consequences of neglecting your responsibilities had traumatizing effects.

#7-Truth or Dare. It’s like asking to spill your secrets, which are called secrets for a reason, or asking to do something that you don’t want to do. “Hi, please make me uncomfortable. Thanks!”

#8-House. I wish you could tell kids that they should find something else to do because when they get older “house” is no longer a game, but a daunting task.

#9-Hide and Seek. Being the adult now and playing this with kids…I now realize that I wasn’t as good at hiding than I thought. It was more of a ploy to get me to run off and stop bothering the adults for a while.

#10-M.A.S.H.. Nothing like looking forward to a future spent in a shack, married to the guy you despise, with 115 children, working as a toilet bowl cleaner while commuting in the wiener mobile. But on the plus side, you’ll vacation in Tahiti…so it’s really a wash, right?

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girl interrupted.

27 Jul

Do you ever do or say something out of habit? Through others, so kindly, pointing some of my “habits” out and through me just noticing them about myself…I have realized that I have several actions & words that I do/say just out of habit. For comical relief, here are a few:

-I put my sleep timer on my T.V. to 120mins, every night…even though I fall asleep within 5.

-I drive with my knees.

-I say yeah? at the end of most of my sentences and usually I’m not looking for a response.

-I watch almost all scary movies through my fingers, as if the act of covering up my face yet still watching is any more comforting.

Some are slightly childish, some put into question my college degree and others are down right weird. Some of you reading are probably replaying those “habits” right now in your head, while nodding in agreement and possibly laughing at my expense…you’re welcome :). Glad I could be of assistance!

If you’ve ever been around a church service or someone who prays or maybe even you, yourself…its easy to see the habit that people get into while praying. For some, they reuse a phrase while praying, as much as a teenage girl says “like”. For others, they acknowledge God, every other word…almost as if they are reminding themselves who they are talking to. Now, before you get all offended because maybe you find yourself in one of those categories…both of those examples have been me at times too, so don’t worry…I’m pointing the accusation at myself. And moreso…it doesn’t matter how you pray and I fully believe that, so don’t get caught up on assuming I’m attacking prayer and just breathe… Yesterday at church, I noticed something about myself. Besides the fact that I fidget uncontrollably and can simultaneously people watch and hear the message at the same time..I have a ‘new’ habit when I pray. For some reason, somewhere along the way, I’ve picked up this tendency to talk to God like an impatient child; it’s redundant, really. As my eyes gaze across the room and I can see some people’s life stories on their face, while at the same time, realizing mine…I’m so desperate for God to do something. My prayers go from acknowledging God to repeatly telling him, “come on God, come on. Just show up. Do something. come on, come on!” Who knows how long my demanding pleas have ‘graced’ the ears of God, but apparently yesterday…He had had enough! As I was ‘talking’ to God during service yesterday, I was so “rudely” interrupted by a jaw dropping statement…”come on Jenn!”. Now, while I’ve explained this many times before in previous blogs, the previously mentioned “interruption” was not actually an audible voice, more like my own, but louder and defiently not something I would say. This ‘interruption’ stopped my conversation to God immediately, and instead of my usual response of being offended, I actually felt embarrassed.

In my opinion, being a christian is compiled of simply believing who God says he is, receiving what Christ did on the cross for you and spending the entirety of your life developing the ever-growing relationship with Him and inviting others to join you along the way. It’s that growing relationship part that’s not always so simple. I felt embarrassed and uncomfortably humbled because I realized that my habits were depicting a God that I had somehow created in my mind. A God I only spoke to when I really needed something. A God I felt I could control by my demands. A God who I obviously didn’t care to hear from, since I spent most of my conversations doing the talking. A God who I felt needed to be told to do something. A God who I didn’t feel like could see the hurts of his creation and needed to be reminded. Ugh! I’m ready for a post where I write about something I am actually doing right in  my relationship with God, but until that day comes…feel free to join the journey of lessons learned! Well, hopefully!

Come on Jenn! Do something. Stop waiting around for me to work a miracle in people’s lives and your own and be the hands and feet of it. Be active in this relationship and stop having these one-sided conversations. Believe it or not, I’ve got some good advice for you. That’s what I heard. That’s whats been running around in my thoughts . The bible says, “Faith without works is dead”. And I feel it! It’s like waiting for the sun shine and never realizing your missing those memorable “dancing in the rain” moments. It’s so easy to feel lost when your life is action-less. It’s not your purpose to do nothing and know everything. Knowledge will never teach you what hands on experience will. If we’re called to do as Jesus did, love like he does, then knowing that people are hurting isn’t enough. It’s like having a friend know that you’re in the hospital and not visit or offer to help you in any way. They know, but they don’t do. If you’re the one in the hospital…the friends knowledge, literally does nothing for you. I would hate to get to the end of my life seeing and knowing the many circumstances that people I’ve come in contact with over the years were going through and yet, spent my time demanding God to just “come on!” Let’s give God more credit than we do. We have legs and arms and eyes and ears and loving hearts for more reasons than just the obvious. If I spent as much time listening to people, serving them and just doing, as I do pleading with God to “come on and do something”…maybe there would be one less person dealing with the struggles that life brings on their own. And like I repeatedly say…it’s not because I’m so great, but because there are people in this world that need to know that they are!

top ten #339

23 Jul

As I am slowly, but surely approaching my quarter life crisis, I can’t help but notice the subtle changes I’ve attributed due to my ‘soon to be’ ancient age :). Don’t be offended…live a little!

Here are my top ten realizations that I am in fact getting “old”. Enjoy.

#1- Kitchen appliances and furniture are becoming just as exciting as clothes.

#2- Heart burn is now part of my vocabulary.

#3- After 2pm, my coffee order MUST change to decaf.

#4- I have actually started using the phrase “kids these days”.

#5- Certain movie recommendations cause a blank stare on previously aforementioned “kids these days”.

#6- My next 5 year plan involves me reaching 30. Just typing that is making me hyperventilating…

#7- Planning for my retirement is no longer filled with hopeful wishes and extravagant dreams, but a 401k.

#8- My baby clothes are now considered “vintage”.

#9- I have conversations with people about bad sleep and achy joints.

#10- I am becoming conflicted on what sections I should shop at in the mall.

baconbabble1

and for the fun of it, here are some other good one’s from good ol’ google:

-The clothes you’ve put away until they come back in style… have come back in style

-There’s nothing left to learn the hard way

-You sing along with the elevator music

-You know all the answers, but nobody asks you the questions

-Everything hurts and what doesn’t hurt, doesn’t work

-You are cautioned to slow down by the doctor instead of by the police

-You look forward to a dull evening

-You consider coffee one of the most important things in life

lost in the woods.

22 Jul

I’m just going to come out and say it with complete honesty; I’ve been really struggling lately. The mind is a powerful thing and it can cause you to believe or disbelieve things based on your current understanding or your capacity to fully understand. I know that statement probably only makes sense to me and me alone, but the bottom line is….I’ve really been struggling with my view of God lately. This post isn’t a confession of all my sins and short comings because dear Lord, who has enough time in their day to write all that, but its more a transparent confession of where I’m at in my relationship with God. Knowing that this post has the potential to be a mile long and in my attempt to summarize the best I can, simply put, I’m struggling with this warped view of God.

Example: Those times where I fall short and do the things I know I am called to live above, I feel this immense guilt that God is just standing by my side with his finger firmly and ever so stable pointed in my direction, shaking his enormous glaring face at me in utter disappointment and anger. The guilt consumes me more than the desire to ask and accept forgiveness. The guilt makes me feel like I’m never good enough, always a screw up and laughably unworthy.

As I drove around hashing this all out with God…it quickly became ‘story time’ with God himself. Knowing the heart of God, the immense depth and pure adoration and compassion for his creation, I know without a shadow of a doubt that my struggling view of him is nothing but simply that…a view, not the truth. My mind just can’t seem to comprehend God’s unconditional, unfailing love lately. I just can’t seem to wrap my head around it. As I gripped my steering wheel (okay, let’s be honest…as I drove with my knee) while explaining to God in as much detail as possible that I knew he was mad at me and if he could just put down his sternly pointed finger and stop shaking his head in disappointment for just one minute that I could just beg and plead with him how I know how big of a screw up I am and how if he could just forgive me one more time, I would make promises to fulfill all the duties I felt he expects of me. (yes, I realize now how dumb and foolish that sounds.)

Out of breath and sobbing, knowing that the God of the universe could hear me and does hear me and not only that, but knows my heart…I got this moving picture in my head. This detailed picture of someone settling for a cheap imitation of the real thing (truth, wisdom, health, love, you name it…) and a man standing behind them filled with sorrow and pain, knowing that the void they were trying to fill would only fill it temporarily. The man standing was grieving for the other, overwhelmed with emotion…so vivid that you could see on the outside that his heart was breaking within.

As the picture became engraved in my mind, my view of God became rapidly different…again. It’s hard to understand that when you disobey God or do things so outside of your purpose that the one you are choosing to live for will undeniably still claim you as his own. Its even more difficult to wrap your head around the fact that when we separate ourself from God, through sin, he doesn’t  react in anger, but in love. In fact, it’s even harder to accept.

I continued to drive with no sound, but the noise of the street echoing through my sunroof. I contemplated how I got to this point and how and when my view of God rapidly became everything but the truth. As scary as the thought was, of being unaware of my current reality, even more dangerous was the result I began to see had taken place from this warped view. It’s a dangerous, lonely, vulnerable place to be in when all you feel is guilt and never good enough. When you heart and mind are that susceptible, everything else becomes open to deception. When I view God as someone who I can never please and will never be good enough for, I get this uncomfortable feeling that feels like an elephant is sitting on my chest. I begin to give up in other areas because why try or give effort towards something you believe is unachievable?! But when I allow myself to believe the truth about what the Bible teaches us about God, I have this sense of hope, that even in spite of all of my shortcomings (ones past and those undeniably to come) the God of the universe loves me with a love not based on my reaction or lack there of. I was reminded on that drive that God doesn’t shake his head in disappointment, but looks at us with love, reminding us that he is the only one to fill the void we constantly reopen within our hearts. He doesn’t point his finger at us in blame, but opens his hand to us in support and continues to wipe off all the dirt we childishly roll around in.

Donald Miller’s blog post today was encouraging to me. He mentioned “… it’s never actually helped me to “work on my spirituality or my relationship with Jesus either. What has helped me is finding myself lost in the woods and calling out to God, looking for wisdom in the scriptures.” He goes on to say, “The idea is that faith makes sense in the context of some other pursuit.” Man, is that true, especially in my journey/rollercoaster with God. My relationship with Jesus and my knowledge of him and who I am has come through sob-fests in my car, the random puzzle and tree analogies I come across and through experiencing some of the greatest and worst heartache in my life. It’s in those pursuits that I realize He’ll never stop pursuing me. It’s not about my circumstance(s) and it won’t ever be, it’s about his love, grace and forgiveness that I find, at times, so unworthy of accepting.

 

1933-2001.

17 Jul

It’s been 9 years since I last stepped foot in front of the bleak tombstone that holds my colorful, energetic, charismatic grandpa. I’ve had this internal struggle over the past several years, feeling so bad that 9 years went by and I hadn’t once visited. I felt like each year that went by I was slowly forgetting him, which made the want to visit his grave employ my heart even greater. Finding a tombstone isn’t easy, believe me! After an hour of wandering past names like Bert, Harrison, Slaughter, Harris, the names began to all look the same and I started making the walk back to my car. Then, I remembered we wanted to put him next to this tree by another monument because he was such a great landscaper that we felt he would feel “at home” surrounded by the tree. So I followed my gut and found him…Finally!

Moved to more tears than I thought I would shed, I sat next to this tombstone that represents my grandpa’s life. Feeling guilty for not visiting and how I was slowly forgetting, I began to realize how much I am reminded of him everyday. The guilt began to wash away as I started to think about all the things, people and places that remind me of my grandpa and how this tombstone is just simply that…a tombstone.

Every time Star Trek is on, I remember him. He used to watch it in his recliner, with his hands folded together atop his bald head. As he began to fall asleep (and who wouldn’t watching Star Trek??), his hands would slide down his face and wake him up, which then led him to turn to those of us watching him and laughing. A minute would pass by and the pattern started all over!

Every time someone tickles me, I remember him. He used to sit on the living room floor with me, with his back against the couch, as we watched full house (or some other show with fantastic acting and melodramatic music). Just when my attention span reached its limit, or his, he would tickle me…relentlessly. You know, the kind where your body starts flailing out of control and you can no longer tell if you are laughing or crying (which is frightening)  and it usually ends with you leaving the room angry because you don’t know how it got out of hand so fast?!

Anytime I see a well landscaped yard, I remember him. His yard was notorious for being freshly weeded, religiously mowed and colorfully blooming with the most fragrant flowers. It was perfect and to this day, I have yet to see a yard more well-kept than his, let alone a man more proud than he was of his.

A plain white T, reminds me of him. Thinking back to all the memories I have of him, all I can picture him in is khaki pants and a tucked-in white tee with a belt. Must have been his signature look that he was unwilling to part with ;).

Every year when the PGA tour is on, I remember him. He had a rare disease that slowly made him deteriorate from the inside and as the doctors fought to understand how to treat it, they kept giving him a death sentence that he very eagerly beat each time it was given. One year, he got so bad that we were told to say our goodbyes. It was the same day the PGA tour was on. As we entered the hospice facility, we were all surprised to be joined in the living room by my grandpa himself and he looked the healthiest he had been since he got sick! He felt so good that we all sat down and watched Tiger Woods, back when he was known for better things!

Anytime I see an old school lunch tin, I remember him. Every morning, he would wake up early, early, early, throw on his coveralls, pack his metal tin lunch box full of a sandwich, banana and whatever else…read his bible and head off to work.

Every time I start another bible reading plan, I remember him. To my knowledge, he never used a plan to read his Bible, but disciplined himself daily to read the Bible and year after year, he would read his old tattered Bible from cover to cover.

The tombstone doesn’t remind me of my grandpa, in fact, that place is quite horrifying! Today, I realized that by visiting his grave, it didn’t make me remember him any more than I already do…what I now realize is way more than I thought. Unfortunately for the rest of the onlookers at the graveyard, that tombstone is just a pale reflection of the man I know and love and will always remember. Although I plan on visiting the remembrance of him at the graveyard more often (especially now that I know where it is), I finally realize that I pay my respects to him more than I knew and that I’m reminded of him everywhere. He was such a great man and is dearly missed, but I’m thankful for the 15 years of hugs and talks and lessons I shared with him…and that…a tombstone won’t ever share.

Love you Grandpa!

1933-2001

i see you.

15 Jul

Think to yourself about how many people you walk by each day. Out of all of those people, how many people could you describe? How many people did you acknowledge? How many people did you smile at? How many people did you engage in a conversation with?

The excuses are easily a mile long; I was late to a meeting, I had to be somewhere, I was on my phone, They didn’t smile at me, Did she really just cut me off? And the list could go on.

What if our actions didn’t depend on the circumstance? What if we chose to see people…really see them. Acknowledged the couple gripping the cardboard plea for help regardless of what we thought their intentions were. What if we engaged in conversations with those waiting in lines around us? What if we focused on listening to people and really hearing their stories instead of focusing on sharing ours? What if we really started to see people, notice and acknowledge each other?

Lately I’ve been so gripped by the strangers I come in contact with. It’s almost as if I feel some internal struggle within them. Maybe because its the same struggle I feel within myself from time to time. The feeling of “there must be more than this”. People are in desperate need of human contact and with all the new technology and downfall of society combined, physical touch and genuine, authentic connection has taken a backseat for precautionary measures. People can share their life and deepest darkest secrets on social networks, e-mails and through texts, but find it shamefully awkward to speak their truth to another. Because of hidden addictions, selfish actions and no accountability (among several others) physical touch to another human being is being restricted and controlled. People need people. People need interaction. People need love. People need to be seen.

To the old man who sits alone at the bar doing the balancing act of drinking and smoking. I see you.

To the young man, desperate to walk to the beat of his own drum. I see you.

To the woman shutting herself off to her family because she doesn’t feel good enough to be the role she thinks they expect of her. I see you.

To the friend who is constantly left out, taken advantage of and misused and under appreciated. I see you.

To the man on the street whose pride has been stripped by unforseen circumstances. I see you.

To professional who feels perfection equals acceptance and success. I see you.

Who am I passing? Who do did I miss? Who am I not really listening to? Mark Driscoll refers to himself on occasion as “A nobody trying to tell everybody about Somebody”. In hindsight, I am a nobody and the second I think that I’m somebody, my life stops becoming for everybody. Make sense? I need to be better at seeing people and actively loving people. Want to change the world someday? Start by loving people, one conversation, one smile, one gesture at a time. Live to see others, not to be seen… that’s when your life become’s bigger than yourself.

Saint DeeAgo.

15 Jul

The Lovelace's in San Deigo 2010

Hope you all had a good week in the sunshine! Us Lovelace’s had fun minus the no sun in the so called “sunshine state”. More posts to come!

i didn’t know.

15 Jul

I didn’t know that not everybody had a farming class in High School. Thanks LHS!

I didn’t know that its pretty rare to color coordinate your closet. You should people. It’ll save you time!

I didn’t know that Shiloh Jolie-Pitt really looked like a boy. Sad lil’ ‘one day very confused ‘girl.

I didn’t know that some people don’t like Will Farrell. To be honest…I’m a little offended.

I didn’t know that some families are run by their children. Thank you lady in 11 D for and spoiled brat in 11 E for showing my family that loud and annoying revelation.

I didn’t know that the sun could actually still show up in WA…thankfully, I was wrong!

I didn’t know that Judge Judy makes 45 million a year! Step aside Oprah!

I didn’t know that the “I wanna be a billionaire” song plays every time I get in my car. Seriously. It’s actually starting to freak me out a little bit.

and sadly…I didn’t know that today…I had a huge hole in my pants…in a very unfortunate spot. Thank you co-workers/family!