Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Liezbeth



I know having favorites is generally frowned upon. However, there is this young girl who is about 13 by now, who completely stole my heart.

Her name is Liezbeth.

She was three when I met her during my stay in Bolivia. Most children are pretty passionate at age three, though their personalities channel that zest in different ways. Liz wore her passion on her sleeve. And all over the room.

Tia Fabiola used to set her up on top of a play house in the classroom so that she would be forced to sit still. She was perched up there like a bird in a cage, knowing she couldn’t escape. But even the caged bird sings.

I remember being SO excited one day when Liz jumped up in my lap, because she was not a cuddly type of girl. I was like, “finally, I think we are connecting a little bit.” Alas, she only wanted my gum. And she proceeded to grab it right out of my mouth while I was trying to ask her what she wanted.

She wanted my gum, not my attention.

I recently got back in touch with Tia Fabiola. She let me know that Liezbeth and her family no longer live in the prison – dad was released about a year ago, so Fabiola has lost touch with them. They live out in the Bolivian countryside somewhere.

There are hopes and dreams I have for Liz: I hope she knows what a gem she is, I hope she lets Jesus heal the parts of her heart that have been broken into pieces during her first 13 years on this earth. I hope I’ll see her in heaven, because I don’t think we’ll see each other again before that day. I dream that she’ll be strong and know that her identity is Christ, not in anything or anyone else.

When I was regaining strength after being in the hospital in Cochabamba, I read Psalm 139 almost every day. The pastor from the church I attended came to visit me once I was home, and he prayed for me. I felt so vulnerable and so safe at the same time. I was far from home, but close to my Father's heart. Life is so fragile.


My prayer today for Liz is Psalm 139:

O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit or stand. When far away you know my every thought. You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am. You know what I am going to say before I even say it. You both precede and follow me and place your hand of blessing on my head.

This is too glorious, too wonderful to believe! I can never be lost to your Spirit! I can never get away from my God! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the place of the dead, you are there. If I ride the morning winds to the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, your strength will support me. If I try to hide in the darkness, the night becomes light around me. For even darkness cannot hide from God; to you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are both alike to you.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit them together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It is amazing to think about. Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it. You were there while I was being formed in utter seclusion! You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!

How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me constantly! I can’t even count how many times a day your thoughts turn toward me.And when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me!

Surely you will slay the wicked, Lord! Away, bloodthirsty men! Begone! They blaspheme your name and stand in arrogance against you—how silly can they be?  O Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you? Shouldn’t I be grieved with them? Yes, I hate them, for your enemies are my enemies too.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test my thoughts. Point out anything you find in me that makes you sad, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.


Friday, September 29, 2017

The day that my parents started on the Oregon Trail


They aren’t physically following the trail, but they are on a journey, headed on an adventure. The destination is a new life.
A life of gentle rain, instead of blowing snow.
A life of lush and fragrant plants, with trees as tall as mountains. (Or mountains as tall as trees?)
A life of strangers who become friends.
Closed doors, replaced by open doors.
Old jobs, replaced by new jobs, or no jobs at all.
The feeling of always being rushed, replaced by setting one’s own pace.
New beginnings, new hope, new leisure, new rest.
Blessing you with God’s best for your lives, today and always. Love you.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Because today might be the best day of my life

I sat outside during my lunch break today. It was one of those perfect, almost-fall days with sun that feels like heaven. The air was crisp and cool, so I wore a sweater.

Wearing sweaters in the coolness of the fall after a hot summer is a special treat.

The past couple weeks, I’ve felt like there is a gap between the Lord and me. 

Sometimes You're further than the moon
Sometimes You're closer than my skin
 - David Crowder Band

As I sat outside, the sun warming me, I felt close to Him again. It was so still outside; not in an eerie way, but in a peaceful way. It was like I could hear the grass growing, because there was no background noise.


When a day starts off with coffee this good, it just might be the best day of my life. 


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Phone, again; how to be agile

The Jitterbug flip phone presented a few issues that hinder my communication. Because my communication could be graded at a C+ (on good days) or a D- (on bad days), I can't let my phone bring me down even farther. Or further. I can't let the phone bring me down.

I now have the Jitterbug Touch 3, which is a smartphone! And I can communicate pretty well on it. I am working on my communication skillz, and interpersonal skills overall. 

At work, we are going through Real World Agile Training. Most of it is common sense, like "only have one person talk at a time." Okay, cool. Got it. 
However, there are some concepts that have sidetracked my brain to the point where I can't remember everyday words like "police officer" or "home-owner's association." One of these concepts that sidetracks me is that when I explain to my team what I did yesterday and what I will be doing today, that is not a status update.   I'm still not really sure what it is, but I think it is a status update. But it is not. 
My brain cannot handle these type of word games. I am just not made for it. 

Also, I have decided that everyone who works at Agile must be Ducks fans (only covertly though), because they throw the O in most of their online group photos, but never mention the team. I think their hand gestures are supposed to represent the leadership triangle, BUT the triangle hand gesture is already taken by the Illuminati, possibly? That is territory better left to the professionals. 

Unrelated to either of the above topics, it is only Tuesday (no, Silly! It's Wednesday) yet feels like a late afternoon on a Friday, only without the excitement that Friday brings. My brain is shot. 





Monday, August 7, 2017

Hay mucho mas.

I took a fork in the road on my last few entries. The scenic route, if you will.
Since posting the entry on April 24, 2016, life has changed significantly. Here is the blogger-appropriate update, complete with several generalizations in order to keep confidential things confidential.
    • New job! My new job is like the perfect man! Only it’s a job! But it’s like I’ve gotten married and I am still on my honeymoon over a year later!
I don’t feel like I am going to work when I go to work (I look forward to it.) I get paid to be myself.
It has been healing in its own special way; I know who I am now, and I know that I am NOT defined by my job. All of the managers are firm believers in servant leadership AND they follow through on its concepts. I feel like a real, live person when I am here, as opposed to feeling like a wandering soul at some previous jobs.
I no longer pass my days with meetings topped off with more meetings (and you still need to get all your work done, young lady!). The atmosphere in this place is sustainable and life-giving. It’s great. And I swear I am not brainwashed.
The place where I work will not be around for too many more years in its current state, hence the love letter I wrote to it on July 24.
    • I still live in the US.  But now I live on my total own for the first time in my life. (I lived alone for about three months in 2008, while I waited for a roomie to enter my world and go halfsies on the rent with me.)
The choice to move away from the safe haven of my housemates was one of the most difficult choices I have made thus far in my life. I honestly thought I would drift farther and farther away from them until we were nothing more than acquaintances. Because I had lived with them for about eight years, that thought was quite upsetting.  Alas, the physical separation has actually strengthened our bond. Good news.
The part of the move that was the most frightening for me was the tormenting thought that living on my own would bring the eating disorder(s) back. The Lord had healed and healed and healed me some more while living with my housemates; would venturing out on my own reverse all that? Would it reverse it AND make worse?
I’m happy to share I am okay and I’m on my way! Woohoo!!! Since moving out, I’ve come to understand in a deeper way who I am and from where my strength comes. It’s from the Lord, and the small body of believers He has graciously supplied for me.
I still have emotionally up days and down days (because I am female), but I don’t connect feelings with food anymore. Food is fuel.
    • I have slowed down my life. In an attempt not to be labeled “Type A” (the bad kind of type A…you know someone like that), I take time to slow down, let myself read books, let myself take naps if I am tired or not feeling well, and I turn people down when I can tell I need to stay home and recharge. It feels really good.



That is the quick version. I am hoping to copy my blogging buddy and start posting once a week. I may stick with the topic of eating disorders, but I may not. It’s all about life and destiny, choosing to walk in the Spirit. Is this what it feels like to be okay? 

Monday, July 31, 2017

The first time I went golfing

I had a goal last summer to go golfing. The summer ended without being able to achieve that goal. This summer is a new chapter in my life.


The first time I went golfing, I was 33 years old. It was more enjoyable and tiring than I had anticipated.


The grass on the course was the most exceptional grass I have ever walked on. I think a good way to pass the day would be to lay on it, and absorb its pristine quality through my pores. However, I learned a good lesson about golfing etiquette: don't stay too long on the course. Always let the men behind you go first, because they are better than you.


Golf is a bit of a conundrum, because it seems so leisurely from the outside. The reality is, a lot of the other players are in a hurry.  They speed hither and yon on their little carts, with no time to pause and reflect.


The sun felt hotter than normal on my skin; I was glad we went late in the day.


I discovered that the driver is my favorite type of club. I loved standing with my weight evenly distributed between my feet, focusing all of my attention on the ball atop the tee. I loved switching my focus to my form, pretending that I had been playing for 20 years, and that I was about to take the best swing of my life. I drew the club back like a pro, then felt my weight shift as my right foot pivoted forward to follow through after making exquisite contact. I lost sight of the ball momentarily, and used the time to stare into the sky like this was the greatest moment of my life.


I liked the driver mostly because of the whoosh sound it makes, followed by a swift crack when it strikes the ball. Everything was so quiet on the green that the sounds made the game. (Unless you are a professional golfer. Then your score makes the game.)


My friends and I didn't keep score.


We also only made it through six of the nine holes we had anticipated playing. I was getting a headache from the heat and humidity, and it was nearing my bedtime (see previous blog entry regarding nursing home).


Next goal: spend an afternoon at the driving range.



Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Phone

Let me preface this entry by saying that I should probably live in a nursing home, because I have a lot in common with 90 year olds.

I recently upgraded my previous cell phone by replacing it with a Jitterbug flip phone. I just want my phone to be a phone.

My 26-year-old coworker asked me yesterday how I find where I need to go without having a Smartphone. I don’t know where he goes on a daily basis that would necessitate the use of maps. I typically go to about four places in a given week, and I have the directions memorized. I am smart.

When I go out of town, I am almost always visiting family, so I call them as I get close if I can’t remember where I am going. I also like paper maps.

Then I added that I like to ask locals for directions, because it is a good way to meet people. My 50-something coworker then said, “That’s great that you find that exciting….but I am just surprised your face isn’t on a milk carton.”


Well, I am also a bit surprised I am not on a milk carton. However, I don’t think anyone looks at milk cartons or drinks milk anymore? Not sure; I can’t Google that on my flip phone.