Money Money Money

My husband the other day was talking about how he had read a devotional about the four money languages.  I had heard about these before, but couldn’t remember them so I promptly looked them up on google and found this fun video.  We both could identify our money languages and could see traces of our secondary languages as well.

Here’s the line that I identified with most:

“We can take that trip. We can buy pizza!”

Amiable it is!  Pretty sure I’ve been known to say, “Hey! We have unallocated funds [funds not put in the budget yet]….let’s go buy something fun!” Not to mention that the last time we had unallocated cash on hand, I ended up going and buying all sorts of food for people.  Hello, money means love =) Plus, gifts is one of my top love languages.

Ryan on the other hand…well, he’s an analytic and…”Money means security.”  He’s been known to have thousands and thousands of dollars just sitting in the bank. Handy, though, when it comes time that he wants to do something with it like buy a wedding ring or go to Sri Lanka or head to Norway for a few months.

Thankfully, I have some analytic in me too and he’s willing to spend on experiences, which helps us be on the same page money wise and we’re Dave Ramsey fans.

How about you? Are you a driver, amiable, analytic, or expressive?

Learning to Deal with Disappointment

How you learn to manage your disappointments in your life will determine your destiny.

-Christine Caine

Disappointments come all around us in life.  They start coming even when we’re little.  When the friend chooses someone else to share her cookie with that day or when we don’t get to go on a class trip or when we miss out on getting the most amazing new toy ever.  Sometimes we’ll pout and throw our fits.  Other times we’ll get mean and say some angry words because at the core, we’re hurt.

 Then we get a little older and well, the disappointments don’t stop coming.  The little disappointments are still there like missing out on getting a cute new Starbucks mug because they sold out or missing going to a store because it closed or someone else getting what we wanted.  “Bigger” things too can crush our fragile hearts like not getting picked for a job or watching a ministry close down or not being able to get pregnant or watching our plans change.  That’s when we might simply cry because we had a plan and now it’s going all wrong.  We’d prayed and prayed and things weren’t supposed to turn out this way.

I started writing this post on December 12, 2011.  I had no clue on that day what God would do in my life and how different everything would be just a year later.  There’s the acknowledgement that if some of my disappointments hadn’t come, I wouldn’t be where I am today.  Yet, there’s also the acknowledgement that those disappointments were exactly that. A disappointment.  Something to feel, grieve, and walk out.  Even when good is worked out of a situation, it can still hurt.

But that’s where Christine Cain ever so convictingly reminds us that how we handle those disappointments will determine our destiny.  Will we stay in our hurt and in turn hurt those around us?  Will we thank and worship God even so?  Will we hold grudges and reject others because of our jealousy or hurt?  Will we choose faith or fear? How will we handle our disappointments?

Lord, I haven’t always handled my disappointments with grace and love….help me, teach me, and be with me as the disappointments keep coming so that I can handle them in a healthy, godly way that draws me closer to You.

iMiss

I’ve loved being in Greece.  I’ve loved the people God placed in my path and the journey we’ve been on together.  But, like most overseas adventures, there are a few things I miss in no particular order:

  • An actual shower head that I don’t have to hold!
  • My adorable little puppy
  • A comfy bed
  • The rest of my clothes…I’m tired of these…
  • Eating my own food and cooking for myself
  • Church family
  • That boy of my mine
  • Being able to run alone
  • Thick milkshakes
  • Driving a car
  • A full length mirror
  • Playing my music loud whenever
  • A phone that works
  • Free water
  • My electric tooth brush

Though, as always there are many things I’ll miss about being here too:

  • Community and my people
  • Sandy beaches
  • Gorgeous mountains
  • Blue water
  • Feta cheese pastries
  • Pistachio everything…ice cream, desserts, gelato, etc.
  • Nutella croissants
  • Time to relax
  • My amazing professors
  • Helen and her wonderful tour guide-ness
  • Hearing stories
  • Tons of laughing and smiling and enjoying life
  • Walking all over and hiking up hills and mountains
  • Heart challenges
  • Processing time
  • Learning to trust the process

So much to be said on both ends and there’s much more I could add.  Mostly, I’m thankful for a God who knew what I needed and gave it to me when I needed it and is with me wherever I am.  You better believe He’s going to be holding my hand as I jump on a few planes tomorrow to head home.

Have you traveled overseas? What are some things you missed about home and what are some things you miss?

Hello

I’ve discovered that I need to be willing to say “hello” in order to have the opportunity to love well.  Since I’ve experienced the revolving door of missions and life, I find myself hesitating to engage.  I skirt the outside of the group waiting to see where the cards will fall.  I toss the decision back and forth in my mind about whether or not it’s worth it to put my heart out there.  Saying good-bye over and over is hard on a heart.

Coming to Greece challenged me like none other in this area. I knew I’d only have a limited amount of time here to meet people and then the good-bye’s would come.  I came in unintentionally with an agenda of not crying or connecting too deeply.  That didn’t work.  Not at all.

I couldn’t help but love big and love hearing everyone’s stories.  I found myself opening up and making heart connections.  I stripped the masks slowly and painfully.  I stared in the mirror at my own weaknesses and insecurities.  And the beautiful thing? I was loved deeply.  The girls here ushered me in with grace sprinkled hands that knew how to hold my heart well.  They pushed me out of my comfort zone and encouraged me to jump off the cliff.

The hard good-bye’s taught me that I can risk and show up and that the hello is absolutely worth it.

Monday’s Musings

I only get one today. Monday July 16th, 2012.

What am I going to do about that?

I’ve been “hanging out” in Europe since June 25th and my time is coming to close.  I fly out on Thursday and to say that I am absolutely thrilled could not be any truer.  But to say I’m already feeling the bittersweet tears and heavy ache of the good-byes equally presses on my heart.  The tension and the uncomfortable feelings make me want to hide.  I don’t want to show up.  I’d rather skip the good-byes, skip the hello’s and move along to saying “I’m okay.”  But I’m not.  I’m shaken to my core and challenged in parts that I’ve long since buried.  The wakening God’s orchestrated has been beautifully messy.  I’ll unravel the shattered pieces as I can while also learning to live with them.  I’ll need to learn again to sit in the unfinished, the grey, the process.  I’ve spent a whole week hearing “trust the process.” Now, I get to do just that while I get to choose to make something good out of today.  We’ll see where that leads…

What’s your heart mulling over on this Monday?

cliff jumping

There’s something about taking a risk.  Stepping out of your comfort zone to see what will happen.

I jumped off a cliff this past week.

A literal cliff in Greece.

But I also jumped off quite a few metaphorical cliffs.

And what I learned each time?

I play this game of dancing near the edge.  I can climb to the very top but then when I look down I see all of the reasons why this might not be such a good idea.  I’ve scoped out the water and know that it’s deep enough.  I’ve watched other people jump off and survive.  Yet, still, I over think it and talk myself out of the jump.

I might fall. I might break my legs. What if I can’t breathe? What if I hit the rock? My dog would be sad if I died. That’s a long way down. I’m not so sure I’ll make it.  There’s no one down there. Okay, I’m going to go…no, no, no.  I’m terrified. I don’t think so. Dear Jesus that’s a long way down.  Um, maybe…no, not worth it. I really don’t want to go.  Okay, maybe I do.

On and on and on this goes around and the longer I wait the harder it becomes to take a risk.

I had friends jumping with me.  I had encouragement like crazy. My professor acting like a Mama and her husband paving the way. And an ever patient God holding my hand and loving me no matter my choice.

Yet, I still had to choose.

“What are you going to do about that?”

I chose. I did it.

I stepped off the cliff and jumped.

Was it terrifying? Absolutely.

Did I watch the water the whole way down? Totally.

And you know what? The jump was worth it.  I had to trust the process and get through the hard and scary and terrifying to land in the water.  And this…translates into so many areas of my life.

Will I jump or will I stay on the cliff?

Sunday on Monday

I’m sitting up on a Sunday night ready to jump into bed and calm down this mind of mine that loves to run rampant at all hours of the day.  Each day so much happens to bottle up and store up in my heart that I’m often left grabbing at pieces as they flitter away on the wind, so instead of gathering them all I’m going to write them out and maybe you’ll enjoy a few of the pearls I’ve picked up today too.

1. Declaring December to be “Birthday Month” has seriously been one of the best things I could ever have done.  While I’m still playing hide and seek with my actual birthday, the rest has been fabulous.  I’ve loved seeking out little things to enjoy and embrace about all the ways I can not only accept this season, but really try to see it as a “for such a time as this” type.  What that looked like today: taking my dog on a walk and laughing as I found myself scooping him up and showing me that even though he still breaks into the fridge (literally.) that he is really 16 years old.

2. Christine Caine brought a word at Oasis LA that rocked my head and heart.  She ended it off with a challenge to say: “i’m going to lean in, rely on, and trust on God.”  Oh hey there One Word 2011.  Trust sure has been a journey this year…more to come on that later when I do my wrap-up post.

3. And because I said I loved Christine Caine…here’s the other part of her message that struck me hard! “Jesus is with you when you’re disappointed…sometimes your face is just downcast. look up!! Remember the disciples on the road after Jesus had been crucified?  Jesus was on the road with them, but they didn’t know because they were downcast! Uh, can we get a whoa!? And here’s a little ending thought…how you learn to manage your disappointments in your life will determine your destiny.  I could go on and on, but all that to say that I needed the little exhale reminder of that this is that season where you’re stuck on the backside of the mountain where you’re healing and learning…so embrace it.

4. Kids are fabulous. They teach me so much.

5. Glitter glue takes a long time to dry…

6. Just listening and being empathetic is power.  Not to mention words of encouragement that show you where you are and that you are doing things and that you don’t have to “do” more to be loved….sometimes I get blinded to the obvious….plus, those are the kinds of words that hit home and that I often stare at and be like um oh hey you’re speaking my love language and I don’t always know how to respond or receive. Learning process in trusting.

7. One step forward. Two steps back. Even when life feels like this, keep moving.

8. I love the community of Cross Point online and the Q & A at the end.  Does my heart good.

9. Oh the Amazing Race….you show so much about communication, finishing well, relationships, life, and so much not to mention all sorts of traveling.  I’m just a bit sad you’re over.

10. God puts me flat on my face saying You are God. I am not. You’re in control. I’m not. I’m choosing to trust You.

trust the process

There’s an ache that comes when I read of miracles and stories.  Often, I find the stories being shared after the rejoicing and the dawn of the morning has come.  Yet, when the rejoicing comes, I’m the one thinking of the person left on the other side.  What of the man who didn’t get chosen? I wonder what happened to him…  What of the one who is praying ever so fervently for the same prayer as you…but doesn’t get the happily ever after of here’s what God did for me.  What about the ones God tells not to go?  There are no guarantees that our prayers will be answered exactly how we like.  Even the disciples are told they do not know what they’re asking.    But somewhere in the midst God works through the process.  The heart-wrenching climb up the mountain of dying to self.  From being thrown in a pit to being carried off to Egypt to a prison sentence, I imagine Joseph at the time didn’t run around thinking surely God intended all of this for good.  Yet, hindsight is 20/20.  He stepped back to give glory to God.   When David was hiding in a cave did he say oh yes this is exactly where I’m supposed to be?  Or what of how Esther stepped forth to risk her life?  And then there’s always Job who lost everything.

The challenge is to trust God in the process.  To wrestle another day.  Sometimes even to be brave enough to pray that same pray one more time.  Or sometimes to cry the tears, grieve, and say, “God, if that’s not for me…that’s okay. You’re still good.”