Tag Archives: Life

Life Sucks, and Then You Get To Die

Life Sucks, and Then You Get To Die

 

Life sucks. Ok, no, life doesn’t suck. I can’t write something so un-encouraging and depressing. But sometimes life is hard and things happen you weren’t prepared for or expecting. Sometimes you get no sleep and still have to face the day. Sometimes the car breaks down and you don’t have the money to fix it, or you get in a fight with your husband and you’re not sure what you did. Sometimes life can be worse too, like a loved one passing away unexpectedly, rejection for a job, losing a job, never getting a job. Illness in your family, or in your own body. Maybe a child has rebelled against the family and you no longer talk, or the marriage you wanted isn’t turning out the way you thought.

So yeah, life sucks. And then you get to die.

Dying is such a strange concept to grasp. All of the sudden you’re just not here anymore. I can’t even wrap my mind around it. We live this life, that sucks a lot of the time, and then we die?

Last year my family lost two grandparents within a month of each other. My grandfather (my dad’s dad) who we called Granddad Bill and my grandmother (my mom’s mom) who we called Nanny. Both were sick and we knew it was going to happen, but that didn’t make losing them any easier. Then, last November a dear friend of mine lost her husband in an accident. No one saw that coming. With so much loss I started to feel helpless. I realized we really aren’t in control of this life and we aren’t promised tomorrow.

After they passed away I couldn’t help but think what life was going to be like when I lost my own parents. When you’re a child you never think about your parents not being there. They’re just there, like a rock in a creek bed, only growing smoother and stronger by the force of the water rushing over it. You never think the force of life will slip them away, but the older I get and the more days that pass, I’m realizing, someday, it will. And that just makes me mad. Or lately I’ve wondered what life would be like and what I would do if I lost my husband or one of my children. Just thinking about it would bring me to tears. Why do we have to die anyway?

Now with my own children, I’m realizing just how fast time passes. Much like that water in the creek, it doesn’t stop for anyone, and the older I get the faster that water seems to rush by, until one day it’s just over.

I wrestled with this for weeks, asking bitter questions in my mind. What’s the point, if we’re all going to die? Why are we even here, if everything eventually ends?

Oh I knew the answer to those questions. “We’re here to bring glory to God.” “Our life has purpose and meaning when we live for Him while we’re on this earth.” But the biggest truth I had to realize was something I’ve always heard, something everyone has always said, but it wasn’t until this season of life that I fully grasped the truth of it.

We’re not meant, nor were we ever meant, for this life. We were meant for eternity. We were created to live forever. That’s why death is so painful, feels so wrong, because we weren’t meant to die. That’s why life sucks, because eternity has been written on our hearts and we know deep down, we were made for more than this. We were made for perfection, utopia, paradise.

During this season where the Holy Spirit was revealing this to me, I read a book that brought so much clarity to my muddied mind. Havah by Tosca Lee, an incredibly written fiction book about the character Eve, that God used to give me something I had asked for before, but never really understood. An eternal mindset.

I thought I knew what it meant to be eternally minded. I used to tell my students all the time “Leaders are eternally minded” while never really understanding what it meant myself. Maybe it meant you had to always think of heaven. It sounded good. I knew it was true, and right, but honestly my idea of heaven wasn’t that exciting and always thinking of heaven was a chore. How can you always think of heaven when you’re down here living this sucky life?

But that’s just it. That’s what it means to be eternally minded. Knowing that when life sucks I can rejoice because it’s just a reminder that it’s not this life I’m living for, it’s the one to come. When things don’t go the way I want, or someone I care for is no longer here, it can be a glimmer of hope if we let it. Like when the sun catches the reflection of glass in the sand, a glimmer of heaven. A whisper to the heart that says “Yes, there is more. So much more.” There has to be more. It’s where purpose and fulfillment live. The place our hearts and souls can rest and let out a sigh, “Ahhh, all is well, I’m home now.” The place where we’re reunited, forever, with the lover of our souls. There are days I understand, and days I don’t. The heart is fleeting and the mind is worse when it comes to understanding life and God and eternity. But I imagine that is all part of His plan as well. To keep us coming to Him. To be reminded that we will never figure it out on this side of heaven.

So yes, life sucks, and then we get to die. I’m glad life sucks, and I’m glad we die. Because therein lies the answer. I think.

I don’t pretend to have the answers. Actually I know nothing at all and I’m ok with that, most of the time. I just know I have one life to live and though there are many things in this life I do not understand or even agree with, I do know one thing: God knows and He loves me. That is enough. For now. 🙂

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You Can’t Miss Something You Never Had

Miss YouYou can’t miss something you never had.

My husband is out of town again. This happens more often than I would like. I was complaining about it to a friend of mine yesterday, admitting that I had teared up after talking to my husband on the phone. My friend looked at me like I was crazy.

“It can’t be that bad,” he said. “Life before Cody (my husband) went on, right?”

“Right.” But that was before life with Cody…. “You don’t understand. When he’s gone, a piece of me is missing.” This response of course seemed dramatic and irrational to my male friend’s brain. But he just didn’t get it. Because you can’t miss something you never had.

I can’t say I ever missed Cody before I knew him. I didn’t know what I was missing. But now I do.

You probably don’t miss my husband, but I imagine if one of your loved ones was gone, you’d feel the same way I’m feeling right now.

When someone is away, there’s something missing. All is not right in the world when you’re apart, but then everything seems to find it’s perfect place when they return. I’m looking forward to Thursday night when he gets back because,

You can’t miss something you never had.

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Are You Emotionally Intelligent?

Emotional Intelligence 2.0Our staff is currently reading the book Emotional Intelligence 2.0. This book helps us understand emotions in ourselves and in others and offers tools on how to manage behaviors and relationships. This is an important concept since we are all creatures of emotion and we interact daily with other creatures of emotion. This book offers enlightenment and strategies for improvement in these four areas:

Self-Awareness–to know yourself as you really are.

Self-Management–your ability to use awareness of your emotions to actively choose what you say and do.

Social Awareness–a skill used to recognize and understand the moods of other individuals and entire groups of people.

Relationship Management–The ability to make your relationships work.

As I make it through the book I’ll share some insights and nuggets, but I highly recommend the book to everyone. Each book comes with a unique code in the back so you can take a test to gauge your personal emotional intelligence.

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I Need this Today

Sometimes it’s necessary to encourage yourself. I need to encourage myself today, and perhaps you needed it to.

“I don’t feel beautiful today…” I am enthralled with your beauty… Honor Me with it! (Prov. 11:45)

“Can I really face another week?” I will be with you, every step of the way. (Joshua 3:7)

“I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle.” I will fight for you. (Deut. 1:30)

“I feel distant from God.” Draw near to Me, and I will draw near to you. (James 4:8)

“I am a mess.” I will take you by the hand… (Isaiah 42:6)

“I’m a failure.” You are more than a conqueror in My Name. (Romans 8:37)

“I don’t know where I am going.” Live by faith, not by sight. (2 Cor. 5:7)

“I don’t know how this is going to work.” I will make all things work. (Romans 8:28)

Sometimes it’s important to be reminded of truth. Don’t let today go by without reminding yourself that God is in control. Hope you are encouraged today.

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The Kindness of a Stranger

Oh, Mondays! The day when half of you is still stuck in the weekend. When you’re really only half focused at work and your boss doesn’t care, because he’s feeling the same way too.

Well, while you’re getting yourself situated, and maybe pouring that second cup of coffee, let me tell you about what happened over my weekend. This is the story of all stories!

It all started when my husband went to let the dog in. Usually, our little miniature Schnauzer is chomping at the bit to get inside, but this particular time he didn’t come crashing through the door once it opened. He didn’t come when we called him either. My husband looked at me sort of funny, (I imagine he was thinking about yesterday when our dog, Titus, got into the chocolate chips. I could just hear his thoughts as he looked at me. Maybe the chocolate killed him.

Grabbing a flashlight my husband cautiously stepped outside. He looked all around the sad excuse we call our backyard, but no Titus. I got involved at that point, because we all know women are better lookers than men… I looked around, in the back and in the front, calling his name, but nothing happened. No bark, no whimper, no Titus.

So we got in the car and for the next 45 minutes we went searching for our little lost puppy. Driving up and down each street, winding through near by stores and parking lots, calling his name and shining a flashlight in the dark corners all we found were three cats and two kids making out in their car. (We didn’t really find two kids making out, but it makes the story sound better.)

Now, not being a pet “lover” I wasn’t too concerned. My rational thought was: He’ll show up sooner or later… let’s just wait till tomorrow and see if he comes back. But my husband had other plans.

“Let’s make signs.”

See, my husband is usually the calm, rational one, completely in control (he would even say void of) emotion. Where I tend to be the dramatic. Emotion is my middle name. This time however, our usual roles were reversed.

He paced the floor while I made the sign, calling on my mother-in-law for a good picture of Titus. Why does she have the best picture of Titus? Because she’s a dog lover. Which should’ve been my first clue to NOT tell her that Titus was missing. When we called her back to ask if we could come print the flyers at her house, it was evident she had been crying. Now, here’s where a funny comparison comes in: I called MY mother to tell her our little dog was gone and what does she do? NOTHING. She didn’t even answer. Didn’t even call me back!

We picked up the flyers and they looked pretty good:

Lost Dog

So we go to hang them up, using one of those handy dandy staple guns. We got the first one up, drove until we saw another light post and went to hang the second one. But before we could get the second sign hung we saw this:

Found

Does anything about this sign strike you as odd?

“That’s our dog! That’s our dog!” This excited exclamation came from… me. Back to our usual behaviors.

My husband called the number and a sweet old man answered. We gave a description of Titus and confirmed that he had found him just that afternoon. We drove to his house, just a few blocks away, and picked up our little puppy. The kindness of a stranger saved the day and my husband was back to his normal, composed self, with a little smile tugging at the corners.

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Dinosaurs in Our Wedding

After setting the date for our wedding for July 31st, all the plans were set in motion. Though it didn’t seem that time was going by at all, things were getting done and we were marking things off our wedding to-do list, including: order the invitations.

aggressive-t-rex

That was all until I got word that a particular series we do at LifeChurch.tv got pushed forward to August 1st and 2nd. This particular series is a pretty big deal for us at LC and we go all out with decorations, creating an atmosphere people would want to bring their friends to… 

The particular atmosphere our campus is creating has something to do with big dinosaur heads, cars in trees, waterfalls and incubators… none of which you would find at a wedding!

So, when all the dust settled the only thing that had to be changed was the date on the invitations. We have a new wedding date of August 7th!  

No dinosaurs allowed!

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Going to the Chapel, and I’m…

Gonna get mar-ar-aried!!

That’s right! I’m engaged to Cody Light! He asked me after we crossed the finish line at the Oklahoma City Marathon!

Check out the awesome pictures below!

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Cody wrote my number on his shirt, so I would see it when he crossed the finish line.

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He had the ring safety-pinned inside his ipod holder…  

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Then he got down on one knee… 

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And I said “YES!!” 

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He was REALLY glad!  

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The ring is BEAUTIFUL!!

We will be married around the end of July… three short months. I can’t wait!  

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Going to the Chapel, and I'm…

Gonna get mar-ar-aried!!

That’s right! I’m engaged to Cody Light! He asked me after we crossed the finish line at the Oklahoma City Marathon!

Check out the awesome pictures below!

 img_6070.JPG

Cody wrote my number on his shirt, so I would see it when he crossed the finish line.

 img_6080.JPG

He had the ring safety-pinned inside his ipod holder…  

img_6084.JPG

Then he got down on one knee… 

img_6087.JPG

And I said “YES!!” 

img_6088.JPG

He was REALLY glad!  

img_6097.JPG

The ring is BEAUTIFUL!!

We will be married around the end of July… three short months. I can’t wait!  

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Brain Dump

ist1_8183124-intelligence.jpgThis is going to be a busy three weeks:

  • This Wednesday: The launch of our 1-3-1 model for SWITCH (Also it’s tax day!)
  • This Friday–Saturday: Overnight leader retreat with 40 of our adult leaders
  • Next Wednesday: SWITCH back in small groups (save me now!)
  • Sunday April 26th: Memorial Marathon–26.2 miles. (Kill me now!)
  • Tuesday April 28–May 2nd: Orange conference in Atlanta GA.

After May 2nd I think I will be able to breathe again. What about you? Need to brain dump?

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Red Bud Classic…

redbud.jpgI just registered for the Oklahoma City Red Bud Classic. This year I’ll be running the 10k–which is 6.1 miles. This will be a good warm up for the Memorial Marathon coming up at the end of April.

The cool thing about the Red Bud is that it is easy enough that even first time runners can participate. They have a 5K (3 mile) run as well as a 5K walk. They even have a 2 mile stroller walk! If you’d like to be a part of the Red Bud this year, click on the link above and register!

My friend and team member @tonycobb will be doing the 5k this year! So proud of him! What about you?

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