Friday, December 31, 2010

Answered Prayer

I am sometimes surprised when I see an answer to prayer.

I know that sounds strange.  Why even pray at all if you aren't expecting an answer?  Maybe it's just that I expect the answer to be, "No," or nothing at all.  That's starting to change though.

I wrote previously that I had a friend who's father wasn't expected to live past Christmas.  A week ago his family was planning his funeral.  Several days ago an issue was identified that was creating many other problems with his health.  When this issue was addressed the other problems decreased significantly.  The result is that my friend's dad is now healthier than he's been this entire year.   I would have to call that an answer to prayer.

And I have seen an answer to prayer in my own life.  I usually find it difficult to pray for myself.  My life is good.  I have a job I like.  I don't earn a lot of money but my bills are paid.  I have a roof over my head and a 15 year old car that gets me from A to B.  I am in good health.  I am so fortunate compared to much of the world I feel guilty  praying for the relatively insignificant needs/wants in my life.  However, I have been praying for a little thing.  It's a very little thing.  It's a thing I didn't think would happen and yet, this weekend, it kinda did.  And it was good.  Now I am being a little braver and asking for a slightly larger little thing.  We'll see how this goes.

It is interesting to me that the God who created the universe, and saves us from our sins, and heals a dying father, would take interest in a little tiny area of my little tiny life.

Look at the birds of the air.  They don't sow or reap or gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not more valuable than them?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Christmas That Was

It was a really great Christmas this year.

It was a Christmas comprised of things I didn't expect.  Little blessings like meals with families and candle light services and Donkey Kong Country Returns.

On Friday, Christmas Eve, things transpired that allowed me to attend the candle light service at church I thought I had sacrificed to help out a co-worker.  That was such a great blessing to start the Holidays.  I enjoyed the service and I talked with some people afterwards as well.  Once it was over I drove around looking at Christmas lights for half an hour and then went to one more candle light service at my C&C church.  It was also good and once again I hung around and talked with some people.  I even met the sister of an old friend, who's blog I have been reading for years but have not had the opportunity to meet until then.

Christmas Day started off nice and quiet, the way I planned.  It was probably the first quiet Christmas morning I have ever had, ever.  It was my quiet time with God.  It was good.  In the afternoon my brother and I went to the home of a family from church.  It was really nice of them to invite us over and share their Christmas with us.  We ate, we visited, we jammed a little with their instruments, and played games.  It was a good night.

On Sunday I played guitar during worship again.  It is always special to me when I have the opportunity to do something like that.  In the afternoon I was invited over to another family's home.  We played some video games, a board game, ate Chinese food, visited a little and watched some tv.  It was really great as well.

And finally, on Monday I went out for brunch with someone from C&C.  It was also great.  The conversation flowed smoothly for 2 hours.  Hopefully this becomes a somewhat regular occurrence.

That was my Christmas weekend.  Not what I had planned at all.  Infinitely better.  Filled with little blessings that made those four days rather special to me.

Thank You.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Christmas Gift

I really wanted to go caroling last Sunday but I had to work.  I had a chance to make up for it this Christmas Eve.  Our church is putting on a candle light service.  There will be songs sung and people blessed and I really wanted to be a part of it.  It was my chance to gain a little of what I missed on Sunday and see some people I'd like to see before Christmas.

But tonight I gave a present to a co-worker.  She was scheduled to work tomorrow evening and I was scheduled to work in the morning.  By trading shifts she can now spend time with her family this Holiday because she won't be able to spend time with them on Christmas Day.  This gift didn't cost me anything, but it did require that I miss our church's service.  Nuts.  I really wanted to be there.  I had every right to decline her request.  She knew she was expected to work Christmas Eve.  I think that's what makes this a true Christmas gift.  It's a gift of grace.  Something was given that couldn't be earned and wasn't deserved.  It was received with joy.  And the giver had to make a decision to sacrifice something in order to give the gift.  That is what Christmas is really all about.  I hope this lesson isn't lost on me this weekend.

Slightly unrelated, my coworker's name is Bliss. defines bliss as utter joy.
That seems appropriate this time of year.

Merry Christmas everyone!
Remember the reason for the season =)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Week

Dear Diary,

This has been/will be a good week.

On Saturday mom and dad came to visit.  We did Christmas a week early.  It was good.

On Sunday we all went to church together.  It has probably been more than a year since we've done that.  It felt good.  I had to work immediately after the service so we said our good-byes.  After work I wanted to catch up with a group of C&C Christmas carolers but was a little too late.  I was disappointed.  I wanted to join them and hang out a bit.  That's actually a positive thing.  The old me wouldn't have made the effort or been disappointed by missing out.  I guess that is a sign I am growing/changing.

On Friday, Christmas Eve, there is a candle light service at church I hope to attend.  If everything works out I will also head out to one more Christmas Eve service that night.

For Christmas I have been invited to celebrate with a family from church.  That was so nice.  I won't be spending Christmas by myself this year after all.  I will still have my alone time in the morning, which I am looking forward to, but it will be nice to hang out with this great family too.

On Sunday I will be helping with worship again.  I think I am looking forward to this most.  I started practicing today.  I love the songs.  The flow.  The worship.  I've set up some of my own arrangements, as instrumentals, just for my own use.  Music is great.  I am so grateful for it.

And that has been/will be my week.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Don't Read This

My life is mostly an open book.  I may not volunteer a lot of information but if you ask, I will share, except for one area of my life.  I guess it's an insecurity left over from long ago.  It's a post I'm still working on.  

I have been thinking about something for a long time now and I don't know what to do.  I want to share it with someone, but I don't know who.  I've talked about it with a friend who sees life completely different than I do and that has helped.  I like to think I can reason my way through most of life's ups and downs.  What frustrates me is that there is one thing that can't be studied and reasoned and researched.  And that is the thing I am stuck on right now.  It feels like I am bottling it up deep inside and what I'd really like to do is put it out "there" and see what happens.  So, here is a post I wrote Nov 23rd that I wasn't ready to share at the time.  I guess I'm still not quite ready to do anything with it but maybe this is a bit of a catharsis for me putting it out on the internet.  

An Amazing Person
I met an amazing person a little while ago.  I don't know much about this person.  That could be said of many people, but this person is so fascinating I'm finding myself wanting to know more.  It puts me in a place I haven't been in for some time.
This person is a woman.  I don't know if she even knows of my little corner on the internet but I want to be careful what I write, for my sake and hers.  She loves God like few people I have seen.  It is beautiful.  It is confusing.  I don't know what to do.
Relationships are my weakness, and romantic relationships are pretty much uncharted territory for me.  While I can usually socialize with new people with a little effort, every time I am around her my mind goes blank.  It frustrates me so much.
Why can't life be a romantic comedy?
I am left wondering, is this a God thing, or a me thing?  Probably a me thing.  And yet...
This is the thing I have turned over to God, cuz I have no idea how to proceed.  I am still learning how to be a friend.  I really don't think I am ready to be a boyfriend.  And yet...
So, I have decided to delight myself in the Lord.  To trust God.  To work towards becoming the person God wants me to be.  Hopefully life will fall into place.
Honestly, I don't know if I'll even publish this post, but I will keep it saved as a draft as I figure out how I feel about all this.

I think that felt good to put out there.  I definitely have more to write about this personal insecurity of mine but that can wait until the new year.  This is Christmas time and there are so many better things to think about right now.

Monday, December 20, 2010

This I Know

It is an interesting time of year.  Christmas approaches.  There are a lot of thoughts and feelings and memories associated with Christmas that are swirling about in my head.  What is interesting about Christmas this year, at least for me, is that it is the first time in 5 years I don't have to work.  Strangely enough, it is also the first time in 5 years my immediate family does.  So we did Christmas this weekend, a week early.  And now, as the rest of the world builds towards December 25th with travel plans and baking and family and programs and presents, I am in my dénouement.  It is interesting for me because all the externalities of Christmas are already in the past.  Don't get me wrong though.  Family, friends, vacation, food, programs and presents are all good, but when everything is stripped away Christmas is about Jesus.  While most people are building towards December 25th I am simplifying.  When Christmas rolls around it will just be me and Jesus (and maybe a little Macaulay Culkin).  I don't think it is a bad thing to have a Christmas like this at least once.
The great Swiss-German theologian Karl Barth delivered one of the closing lectures of his life at the University of Chicago Divinity School. At the end of the lecture, the president of the seminary told the audience that Dr. Barth was not well and was very tired, and though he thought Dr. Barth would like to open for questions, he probably could not handle the strain. Then he said, "Therefore, I'll ask just one question on behalf of all of us." He turned to Barth and asked, "Of all the theological insights you have ever had, which do you consider to be the greatest of them all?"
This was a remarkable question to ask a man who had written tens of thousands of pages of some of the most sophisticated theology ever put on paper. The students sat with pads and pencils ready. They wanted to jot down the premier insight of the greatest theologian of their time.
Karl Barth closed his eyes and thought for a while. Then he smiled, opened his eyes, and said to the young seminarians, "The greatest theological insight that I have ever had is this: Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so!"
~ From Let me Tell You a Story by Tony Campolo.

I think on Christmas I will sit and think about this for a while.  I will play my guitar, maybe at the church, in the sanctuary.  I will read my bible.  I will pray.  It will be a good Christmas.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Even The Rocks Will Cry Out

Luke 19:35-40

Sometimes I feel like this guy. I can't keep it inside or I'll burst.
Sometimes I don't feel like this guy. During those times I praise anyway.

Declare and Surrender - Christian School - Saskatoon - January 6th - 7:30pm

Monday, December 13, 2010

Great and Confusing

Ah life, you are great and confusing. I suppose the great and confusing parts are two sides of the same coin. You can't have one without the other, as much as I would like it that way sometimes.

The greatness is found in love and Love, and relationships and Relationship.
And now that I think of it, the confusion is found in love and relationships mostly as well.

What am I trying to say?  I guess life will always be great and confusing.  To remove the confusion would also remove the greatness.  So deal with it.

Going back to this idea of a great life, an abundant life, it is found in Jesus.  He is the Relationship and the Love I am talking about.  All other things in life are merely a copy of the original.  We seek out relationships and love with each other on this planet, but even the best of these are just a taste of the Real thing.  Sometimes people seek so desperately for these things because they are trying to fill the Love and Relationship gap with love and relationships.  It makes me sad.  There is a yearning for more in all of us.  A thirst that can only be quenched by living water.  Too often we drink a cheap substitute instead.  I know I have.

I am in an interesting place though.  I have grasped the truth of Love and Relationship.  I am growing closer to Jesus.  I am sipping this Living Water, slowly, cautiously.  Now the urge for relationship, and love I suppose, is bubbling to the surface.  I am yearning for deeper relationships.  I believe it is a God given desire.  We are created to relate.  I can't deny that.  I just don't know how to proceed.  C&C is great but it is big, and spending a couple minutes with many people once or even twice a week doesn't feel substantial enough to develop the type of relationship I am longing for.  I need more.  (I realize I am different than others and I do know people that thrive off constant relating to many different people.)  So, I am seeking again.  I am looking for a small group that meets regularly.  A place to know others and be known.  A place to experience more greatness and confusion I suppose.  I believe this is a God given desire and so I will look for ways to satisfy it.  Yesterday I took a step in that direction, and it was just a little bit scary.  I am stepping into the unknown for the second or third time in the last few months.  Each step before has lead to something good and so I trust God that this will too.

And yet, I still have that thought in the back of my head.  A grain of longing of which I don't know what to do.  A desire who's origins are a mystery to me.  Is it God?  Is it me?  I'm not sure.  So, as always, I will trust in the Lord, and delight myself in Him, and He will grant me the desires of my heart, whatever they may end up being.

Life feels a little more confusing right now than before.  I suppose that means life will soon feel a little greater too.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

You Might Be An Introvert If...

This might make more sense if it was titled You Might Be An INTJ If...
My apologies to Jeff Foxworthy.

You might be an introvert if
  • Going to a huge party makes you uneasy but going to the library makes you excited.
  • You have more conversations via IM than in person.
  • Your previously rejected vacation request is now approved so you can go road tripping for 2 days with 30 other C&Cers to Montana to go snowboarding in the actual mountains, and the first thing you think of is... I wonder which books I should bring?
  • You can count all your friends on your fingers, and still have fingers left over.
  • You just may end up spending Christmas home alone, and don't really mind.
  • A beautiful woman gives you her phone number and you aren't sure why.
True Story.

    Friday, December 10, 2010


    I had an experience in CBC (Covenant Bible College) that I would describe as an encounter with God. I haven't really shared it with too many people, but now I figure why not share it with everyone. At CBC there was a tiny prayer room above one of the entrances to the gym. It was accessed by one narrow stairway that seemed out of place. The room was lined with curtains and an alter and somewhat moody lighting. It was how I imagined the Holy of Holies must have felt like in the Temple. One morning, after a lot of ups and downs, I was feeling frustrated. I didn't like how my life seemed to be progressing. I went to the prayer room to meet with God. It wasn't going to be a pleasant meeting either. I was mad at God. I had come to CBC because I really did feel God calling me and yet my experience was not what I thought it was going to be. I was lonely. I just didn't seem to be able to make the type of friends I had back in youth group. I felt different. I felt awkward. Everyone else seemed to have it all together and I was a mess. God seemed distant to me and I blamed Him. I guess I was going to the prayer room to have it out with God. But something happened that I didn't really expect. God met with me. It's always hard to describe something indescribable, but I will try. It's as though the room was filled with power. I felt weighed down. I felt like I had to lay on the floor, almost as though I didn't have the strength to stay standing. And I stayed there. There were some words and some tears.  I didn't notice how much time had passed. I missed breakfast, and worship, and all my morning classes, and lunch. Slowly the Presence faded and I literally stumbled back down the stairs sometime in the afternoon. I wasn't quite sure what happened.

    Across the hall from the stairs was KB's office. She is an amazing Godly woman. I crawled into her office and we talked. It was good. I still don't know what to make of that experience but I left the prayer room with a deep desire to search after God. The way I described it to KB was a hunger for God that I couldn't satisfy any other way but to consume God. Now I was exhausted and physically hungry by this time but it almost felt like God was using that as a metaphor for this spiritual hunger I felt. I remember never wanting to lose this spiritual hunger.

    However, after returning home from CBC and moving to Saskatoon to go to the UofS, I did lose it. It was my own fault. I did not maintain any semblance of my spiritual life when I started attending University. My focus was on school and grades and getting into medicine and I neglected God. But that feeling of hunger was always present in the background. That feeling has been returning these last few months.  I am more hungry now than I have been in quite a while.  I still have other concerns and desires.  Life isn't perfect but I have decided to seek God first, delight myself in the Lord and trust Him always.

    Hungry I come to You, for I know You satisfy. I am empty but I know Your Love does not run dry.

    This is the beginning of something new. Life is great and confusing.

    Thursday, December 9, 2010

    Things I'm Discovering

    The last few months have been a time of self discovery for me.  That is partly because I've been growing closer to God and finding out who I really am.  Here are some things I've discovered  over the last 6 months or so.

    -I like hanging out with people (in small groups)
    -If I make time for my self I have more energy to be around people later
    -I like spending time with God
    -I like praying
    -I like worshiping
    -When I am moderately busy I seem to have more energy for other things than if I lounge around all day
    -I like snowboarding
    -I have no idea how to proceed with a romantic relationship
    -I like cooking
    -I need social interaction
    -There is a desire in me to grow closer to Jesus that gets stronger the more I do
    -Life is great and confusing to me.  I wish there was a manual with easy to follow instructions.
    -It is ok to have quiet time and alone time, as long as there is still time to make friends and have relationships
    -I am normal
    -Jesus loves me
    -People like me
    -Friendships are a little difficult for me to start but are very worthwhile in the long run
    -When I get nervous I talk fast and/or start telling weird jokes.  Bare with me, I'll work through it.
    -I'd rather talk with 1 person for an hour than 30 people for 2 minutes each
    -Some day I want a family of my own
    -I like working with youth
    -I try to analyze some things way too much.  Like Freud said, "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."
    -I like setting aside time just for me and God
    -I don't like being way too busy
    -I am still searching for a place I feel I "fit" but the more I get involved where I am, the more I feel I "fit"
    -I would like to find a small group bible study that meets regularly
    -I feel better when I get a good night's sleep
    -I must decrease so He may increase

    Monday, December 6, 2010


    I am a prayer.  You're probably thinking I said prayer when actually I said pray-er.  That's deep, either way.

    As I continue this relationship I find I talk to God more often, and try to listen more often too.  If prayer is communication with God I seem to do it a lot.  It's mostly me doing the talking.  Sometimes I'm making requests.  Sometimes I have questions.  Mostly it is me just chatting.  I suppose if you were to listen in it would sound like a phone conversation where you can't hear what is being said on the other end.

    "How's it going?"
    "I am doing ok.  Did you hear what happened to me today?"
    "I know, I know, I know."
    "I'm curious why this happened at ______ tonight.  Was it because of _____ or _____?"
    "Come on.  You can tell me."
    "OK.  I need to go to bed.  I'll call you in the morning."

    Pretty mundane.

    Other times it's much more traditional or even liturgical but it always seems to be a part of my day.  I was not always this way.  I used to find it difficult to pray.  Now it seems like that is all I do.  The last while I have been joining everything I can, going everywhere I am invited, and doing everything asked of me in an attempt to find a place where I "fit".  I think it's time for me to scale it back a little.  After this brief burst of exploration I have discovered I am a pray-er.  I like to pray.  Our Friday morning prayer time has become quite important to me.  It is one of the things I will keep as I scale back on other things.

    My mom is a pray-er.  She would describe herself as an intercessor, of the somewhat charismatic persuasion.  I am not.  But I finally have a glimpse of where she is coming from.  I remember her telling me years ago that prayer is to an intercessor what candy is to a child.  That's a cool thought.

    I will continue to pray.  I will talk and I will listen.  It's been said that prayer is an activity that changes the heart of the pray-er more than the heart of God.  I can't say if that's true or not, but I suspect the more time you spend with someone, the more you will become like that person.  I can live with that.

    Lord, let my life be a prayer to You.
    I'll call You in the morning.

    Sunday, December 5, 2010


    Dear Diary,

    Saturday was great.
    Here's why.

    I woke up early and went to church to help set up for C&C's Christmas Banquet.  It was good.  I am finding I am best in smaller groups and there were only 10 of us or so.  I met some people, people who I found it easy to be myself around.  Bonus.

    In the evening was the banquet.  I met a few more people at my table.  I chatted with some people.  It was also good.

    Then, in a really weird twist, I ended up in a "game".  Each table was to pick their most outgoing, energetic leader and send them to another room for instructions.  Somehow, I was picked.  That confuses me.  This is where the weird twist comes in.  The game was called Impromptu Dance Troupe Dance Off.  (I was thinking Job 3:25)  You may remember I was chatting with God a while ago about getting out of my rut, which included learning how to dance.  God has a sense of humour.  I was thinking I may work on dancing in private, or maybe even take some lessons if I could find the time.  Well, in the blink of an eye I was a part of an impromptu dance troupe that was going to perform in front of 75 other people in 10 minutes.  Oh crud!  We practiced, we performed, I survived, even my solo.  Thanks God, but let's go a little slower next time.

    The evening ended with a gift exchange, group photo, and some more visiting.  It was all good.  Even as I was preparing to leave I found myself coming back to chat with CI and AS and KS and D and K and C.  As I get to know more people I am finding it easier to be myself and visit.  So the night was good.  I'm sure many people stayed later and I heard there was an after party bowling game going on but I recognized that I was peopled-out and went home.  I left on my terms and that felt good.   Thursday has been redeemed.

    And totally unrelated, I held a new born baby this morning.  It was a good weekend.

    Friday, December 3, 2010


    I have noticed that every other post I put up here usually has some reference to me crying.  Well, I guess it's because lately I find myself crying all the time.  Now, I was never really an emotional guy.  I hardly ever cried at all.  Then, about 3 months ago, I began feeling an urge to seek God out. That's when things seemed to change.  Are these new found tears a part of being closer to God?  Maybe.

    I have shed tears of sadness in prayer.
    My uncle was burned in an accident.
    My friend's dad may not survive past Christmas.
    A 13 year old I've been praying for has a brain tumour that can't be treated any more.
    I've cried so much over these things.

    But I've cried so much more because I am happy.  That feels strange to say but it's true.
    I've cried happy tears when praying.
    I've cried happy tears when worshiping. A lot of tears when worshiping.
    I was grocery shopping and humming to myself.  I wasn't really even aware of the songs I was humming until I started crying, right in the bakery section.  I stopped myself and tried to figure out what was going on.  As it turned out I was humming How Deep The Father's Love and yep, I started crying.

    Maybe this is just an ad hoc fallacy but it seems that as I've grown closer to God these last few months I've become much more emotional.  Maybe I am experiencing a little more of God's heart for us.  Maybe I'm becoming more of the person God is creating me to be.  There's a lot of other maybes, but I think it is safe to conclude that this is a good thing.  It is a God thing.  That's really the only explanation I need.

    Free To Be Me

    I am already anticipating a long and winding post, but it will be good.

    I am excited about life. That's not the first thing I thought I would write about after having my little incident last night. I will be honest, it was a little embarrassing to admit I had a panic attack at C&C last night. I'm not sure but there may be people from C&C reading this. I don't know. What I realize now is that I was not me last night. The scared Clinton (scared of what, I don't know) was not who I am. Somehow that made me feel better. The fact is Perfect Love casts out all fear, and I am learning to receive that Perfect Love.

    The fact is I like me. The psalmist, or was it Switchfoot, asks, "This is your life. Are you who you want to be?" My answer is yes, I am, and yet I am growing daily. The person I am today is not the person I was yesterday, who is not the person I was the day before that. Is this paradoxical? Probably. However, each day, I am the person God made me, even if that is different every day.

    I am learning that I am free to be me. For much of my early life I was scared to be me. I would rather wear a mask to protect the me inside, than let myself out and face rejection. My thought was, it is easier to have someone reject the mask I'm wearing, than reject the person I am behind the mask. I am learning to take off my masks. This blog is part of that process. It has been a slow process the last few years but it has been greatly accelerated the last 4 months or so. God is good.

    I am free to be me. I am not 100% sure how that is going to play out, but I am excited to find out.

    I am free to be me when I worship. On Tuesday I went to Declare and Surrender at the Christian school. There was a lot of dancing, raised hands, yelling, flag waving, laying on the floor, crying, running and jumping. That is not really me (except for the crying I guess) but there was freedom to worship as myself even if that meant I mostly sat there with my head bowed quietly. I mean, I could do what everyone else was doing but my heart would not be in it. That is the great thing about freedom though, I can be me when I worship, even if it is completely different than everyone else. I have a confession to make. When I am alone, and I worship, I do something I don't do anywhere else. I move. Not dance. Not raised hands. Not jumping. I don't know if there's any way to describe it but when no one is around that is my default. I was really hoping there was another Declare and Surrender coming up soon so I could worship as myself with others. I guess the next one is in January.

    I am free to be me when I hang out with other people. That is also a difficult one for me but I'm working on it. I realize now that I won't necessarily connect with everyone and everyone won't necessarily connect with me but that's ok. I will connect with some, and when I do it will be genuine because I will be me. I've always struggled with being myself around people because I tend to be quiet and I tend to want to spend time alone. I always wondered if I could truly make friends when it took me forever to finally come out of my shell. An interesting thing happened on Saturday during our prayer/solitude retreat that helped answer this question. Two of the ladies there are quite outgoing and extroverted. Bubbly, some might say. I like them. When I am around them I don't feel drained, I feel energized and that is unusual for me. As we talked about some of our struggles I mentioned how I sometimes feel so isolated as an introvert and I wish I could be like everyone else. They immediately told me not to feel that way. I found out that both their husbands are extremely quiet and introverted and yet both women found strength and comfort in their husbands because their strengths complimented their wives weaknesses. They were grateful for their husbands and the strengths they possessed as introverts. It helped me see that maybe I am not totally messed up, just different, and maybe, someday, that difference will be the ying to someone else's yang. That gave me hope. I have sometimes wished I could be the outgoing, have a million friends, loud and boisterous kind of guy but now I am starting to realize that it would only create a struggle for me to try and be something different than God made me.

    And during my time of Spiritual Direction Wednesday morning everything seemed to be confirmed. I am free to be me. Free to be the me God made me. That is liberating. However, just like the posts, once I learned a new truth from God, an obstacle (my little anxiety attack at C&C) appeared to challenge it. Well, it's not going to work. I will continue to attend C&C. I will continue to meet people. I will make friends. I will be the person God created me to be.

    You make everything glorious and I am Yours. What does that make me?

    The Last Couple Days

    Dear Diary,

    The last week has been a blur.  I have been running from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed.  Work, meetings, gatherings, etc... I am learning to be a healthy introvert, and one thing I now realize is that I need to make time for me.  During the weekend I was so exhausted I had no energy.  It wasn't from lack of sleep or food, but lack of alone time.  I started seeing everything I had scheduled as an inconvenience, which is unfortunate because many of those things were very God centered.  I went into our prayer/solitude morning on Saturday with that attitude, but it changed once I arrived.  I am glad God met me there and changed my perspective.  I now realize that taking time out just for me allows me to more fully involve myself in the things I do think are important.

    What I really do want to talk about though are the last couple days, starting on Tuesday.  Tuesday night I went to a time of praise and worship at the Christian school. I stumbled upon it through facebook.  I have said in early entries that sometimes I miss services like this.  Tuesday night I stumbled into one.  It was definitely more of a charismatic bent than I thought it would be.  It was good.  I have a lot more thoughts on it, but I am still organizing them.  I left with a lot of questions too.  I didn't really know who I could talk to about it but I had the urge to talk to someone.  Either way, I will attend the next one.

    Wednesday morning I had scheduled my very first Spiritual Direction meeting.  If you don't know what that is, I can't really explain it, so we'll just leave it at that, but it was good too.  And as it turned out, it was the perfect place to discuss the night before.  It helped me accept myself, my personality traits and my way of approaching God.  I tend to meet God in the "quiet place".  Tuesday was pretty much the opposite of that, but that's ok.  Not everyone is like me and I believe there are many honest and heartfelt ways to worship.  Maybe someday, I will be more like Tuesday night, but right now I am more like Wednesday morning.  My goal is just to be(come) the person God wants me to be.

    In the afternoon I went to PA and met up with some new friends from C&C in PA.  We went snowboarding. It was a lot of fun.  It was my first time snowboarding.  All I will say is that I did not hurt myself nearly as much as I expected.  That's a good thing, I guess.  We hung out at a restaurant from 10pm to midnight, and then I went back to my parents place for the night. Mom and I ended up talking until 2am about life, love and God.  It was all good.

    And then tonight was College and Career.  This is difficult for me to write but I promise to be honest with this blog in good times and bad.  I had a bit of an anxiety attack tonight.  It hasn't happened to me in a long time, but tonight, as I entered the building, I felt like the walls were closing in on me.  I fought it.  The old me would have just left.  I stayed through worship and the sermon and discussion afterwards.  I like C&C a lot and it really frustrated me that I was getting this anxious feeling, particularly here, with all these great people.  As people began visiting I felt like I was being suffocated.  I felt the need to get outside, to catch my breath.  I didn't fight it any longer, but I wish I did.  As I left I had opportunities to stay and talk with people.  I wish I did.  I feel like I missed out on something for not staying and visiting, but the urge to get outside was so strong.  I am frustrated that I didn't fight it harder.  I am frustrated that this even happened in the first place.  I had been doing good for so long.  Instead, I immediately put my jacket on and left.  So disappointed in myself.  There's only 2 more meetings this year and I vow not to do again what I did tonight.

    I am glad that God is a God who redeems.  I feel bad about not making more of tonight.  I feel bad for not getting to know the people a little better.  There are people there that I want to talk to and hang out with.  I feel like I didn't get the most out of this evening, but like I said, God redeems.  This Saturday is the C&C Christmas party.  I am a bit nervous because it is all about socializing (my weakness), but I feel like this Saturday is a chance to make up for tonight. Thank you, Lord.  Please continue to give me new chances to recover lost opportunities.  I promise I will do my best to seize every one of them.

    And here I write.  I'm still a little disappointed that I didn't visit with some people, especially since I had the opportunity, but I will continue to go back to God, trust Him, become the person He wants me to be, and all the rest can take care of itself.

    Thank you Lord,

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    A Revelation

    Over the last 5 days or so I have had a revelation.  No matter how much we want to be with God, He wants to be with us more.  When we go to God, He's already there waiting for us.

    Here is Third Day's Love Song.