Tomorrow I'm leaving Milwaukee. Wow, what a weird feeling.
So...ask me if I've started packing...
....and I'll answer "NOPE!"
Tonight I'm ordering a pizza, starting a new audio book, and I'm packing the night away. How exciting!
Last night was laundry night. I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that I haven't done laundry in, well...weeks? (I know mom, a big surprise right?)
So I took all my laundry (about 6 loads) to the local laundromat and brought a good book "God Laughs and Plays" by David James Duncan. Very thought provoking, I love it! (Thanks Vanessa)
And in walks Roy. He seemed at first to be the typical young macho guy trying to hit on me. Ugh...I HATE this. In my head I said "Leave me alone!!!" I was reading my book, trying to act even extra focused on the pages, and he kept talking to me. I was annoyed.
So I put my clothes in the dryer and went out and sat in my car.
But then I started thinking. Why do I close myself off to people? Why can't I be kind to the stranger? Why does that wall have to stay there? We see this same thing when we ride the bus, or in an airplane. Everyone has their book, their iPod, their laptop...and there they sit for hours sometimes NOT speaking to the person sharing an armrest. I don't want to be like that. I want to be kind, I want to be welcoming, I want to learn about people, I want to hear stories, I want to share my life.
So I walked back into the laundromat and I started talking to Roy. I found out that he is a brick layer. He loves his job. He's going to be starting in the Union pretty soon. He loves the feeling of achievement after he builds huge masterpieces from those small hand-held bricks. He seemed to really love life.
And I shared about my own adventures. I told him about South Korea. He was interested.
We had a nice chat as I folded all my clean clothes, towels, underwear, socks...and then I was done.
"Goodbye!", I said. "Good luck with the Union, it was nice to meet you."
A few minutes later he came out to my car and shyly asked if I would keep in touch. I agreed to add him to my email update list. He was thrilled.
I laugh a little when I think about this experience. I'm glad I broke out of my silence. I'm glad I put down my book. I'm glad I met Roy.
I guess the moral of this story is: Be nice to your neighbors...it's worth it.
Tomorrow I'm leaving Milwaukee. Wow, what a weird feeling.
Myself and God. Myself with other people. Being true, being genuine, being love. Trying, and tired of trying. Frustration. Wishing for rest. Wishing for confidence.
How shall I describe my feelings? How shall I describe my conversations with God? How shall I describe my interactions with the people around me? Listen to this song...it says it all. It's as if he read my mind, traced my heart, and is singing my prayers.
And if you like what you hear, then maybe you should invite him to play in your own living room! It was such a special night of fellowship, good food, friends, and music that coats your soul. I didn't want the night to end.
Jon Troast everybody...
at 8:59 AM
Dictionary.com Word of the Day: salubrious \suh-LOO-bree-us\, adjective:
Favorable to health; promoting health; healthful.
Use this word in a sentence: I learned today that my Nalgene bottle is not a salubrious item to possess.
Thanks to my sister Stacey for informing me (Thanks Sis for ruining my day) I have learned that my Nalgene bottle is created with a certain chemical (bisphenol A) and it may cause diseases such as breast cancer, obesity, hyperactivity, miscarriages and/or other reproductive failures.
I have a very committed and loving relationship with my Nalgene bottle. I take it everywhere and I'm lonely when I forget it. I prefer it over any other type/brand of drinking bottle and for a while I even had a cool flashlight that attached to the lid (until some jerk broke into my car and stole it). Through frantic research I have learned that Nalgene is taking care of this bisphenol A chemical and they have created and are perfecting new bottles that are quite salubrious indeed!
You can read about this HERE and HERE.
at 1:06 PM
Someone asked me "So how are you doing? Are things coming together for you?"
My reply was "Oh gosh, I have so much going on. It's a huge process, I'm so busy, there's never enough time to do everything I should..." and the conversation continued in that way.
And later I realized something. God has been so faithful to me. Many people have been praying for me and encouraging me and helping me. I'm finding time to sleep, my finances are coming together, I was able to spend the weekend in Springfield with my sister, and my mom has been helping me with my Maid of Honor responsibilities... I'm actually quite fine. I am rested and organzied and enjoying everything. I feel like I am covered with a grace that is unexplainable. Everything is working out, I'm just buckled in for the ride.
Shame on me for letting my mouth run with all the reasons why my life is so chaotic. It's not! God has been faithful and I'm surrounded by a peaceful feeling! Shame on me for failing to cherish this gift of peace.
The moral of this story? When you pray for God to help you, make sure you give him the credit when everything comes together!
at 12:06 PM
The sun was shining beautifully when I drove to work this morning. I had Counting Crows playing on my stereo, a cup of french pressed coffee in my favorite mug, the window was rolled down, AND I didn't have to wear a jacket today. Hooray! It's almost like summer . . .almost.
I have 3 weeks of work left, just 3 weeks! I'm not really counting. I'm spending most of my time cleaning and organizing, reading through contracts, getting vaccinated, working, planning . . .it's all quite consuming. Maybe a little too consuming. I've been feeling terribly self- centered lately and that is so far away from who/what I am.
While I was on my morning break, I was looking through a Martha Stewart magazine. Can you imagine being able to build your dream home? (Maybe you have already built it.) How exciting it would be to create the perfect layout, and the perfect amount of space, the most vibrant colors on the walls, the perfect kitchen . . . I would love to create my idea of a perfect kitchen! I could get carried away with that for hours! And I think I could get so excited about the blueprints that I might forget about the bigger purpose of the house. That house would be built to hold a family. That house would become part of a neighborhood. That perfect kitchen would be serving guests for years to come.
So this made me think about my life. My life is in the blueprint stages right now. Every day I'm making decisions and plans that are bringing some of my wildest dreams into reality! I'm so privileged. But amidst all of this dreaming, I MUST NOT forget the things for which I am made. My dreams have a purpose. It's not all about me.
My life matters most when I'm helping other people. My life is the most beautiful when it is expressing love and compassion. My life is the most clever when I'm thinking of other people rather than myself. So much of who I am is defined by my friends and family. It is their support, their creativity, their challenges and their love that stirs the inspiration inside of me. Without a doubt, it is my parent's support that has enabled me to be the dreamer that I am. The result is not just that I have lots of friends and family. The result is that as I live on, I take them all with me. We are all connected. As they have invested in me, their hearts go with me. I'm not alone.
With this real truth I can't help but recognize that my biggest dreams are part of something even bigger! I must be responsible with this truth, never forgetting the purpose for which I am living. That purpose is to love people, and to be available, and to be generous, to pray, to help, to care . . .
My plans are just plans. They are exciting, yes. I'm overjoyed. But it's not all about me, it's about all of our dreams together. I want to see everyone living their dreams, not just for fun, but with purpose. I think our dreams depend on other people's dreams. Just another reason why I believe we are created for community.
Please forgive me for being self-consumed. That's not who I want to be.
at 1:04 PM