hmmm. It seems as if I haven't posted here for quite some time. I honestly haven't felt led to post much lately. Perhaps this blog was only meant for a season (albeit a very short one). I'll be praying. I may be back with fervor, or I may be back to say au revoir. Either way, I can't wait to see what that crazy God of ours has in store for me in 2010.
oh my. i l-o-v-e christmas. the apartment is decorated and the mini-tree is atop our bookcase.

tonight, the post I had planned is postponed for a long overdue date with my favorite boy named brandon :)

i'm dreaming of a white christmas....
{from one of my fav christmas movies...}


My grandma passed away in July. It's those little things that remind me of her- the cute little filipino lady in front of me in line at the store. anything resembling a lumpia (if you have no idea what i'm referring to, you NEED to let me make you some). adding way too much sugar to my coffee. she was a fabulous woman and i love her and miss her dearly.

The morning of her memorial service I got pulled over for the first time EVER. i cried. shamelessly. that, plus the photo board resting in my back seat and my black dress got me an "ok, well just try and slow it down a little ma'am." I have my grandma to thank for getting me out of my first potential ticket. awesome.

anyway, i was oh-so-nervous about speaking that morning. but i did. and i'm glad. i've been wanting to share what I said at that funeral. so here goes:

{this will be the condensed, possibly re-worded version because all I have to go off of are my notes and memory- and we all know both of those are a mess}

There are so many things I feel like I could say today. Even if I tried, I doubt my simple words could cover it all. But I'll do my best today to share just a little piece of Africa Ayson Herzer with you.

Clearly, she was a beautiful woman. I can remember being a little girl, admiring her jewelry, perfume and make-up. She was always telling me how pretty I was- things that are important for a little girl to hear. I recall one time, we were at her favorite 5 for $10 t-shirt store. I was maybe 13. and thouroughly uninterested in $2 t-shirts. But my grandma, of course showed me how I could tie my t-shirt so it was "sexy". I'm not sure if you've ever gotten tips from your grandma on how to be sexy, but if you haven't, you're missing out.

She was always full of love and generosity. Anyone who has ever met her can attest to that. When I was born, she quit her job so she could care for me. And ever since I can remember, there has not been a single visit to my grandma's house where I left empty-handed. She was always giving me SOMETHING.

And of course, she was a fun grandma who broke the rules :) When mom and dad said "no more bottle", who was there to give me my bottle fix? grandma. who gave me coffee with tons of cream and sugar at age 3? grandma. who always took me shopping and let me buy the stuff mom and dad said no to? um, grandma. duh. she rocked.

If you ever stepped foot in her house, you knew about her cooking. Her food was amazing, and that word doesn't even seem to cover it. I have always been a fan, possibly a little too much of a fan, considering at age 14 my grandma so lovingly exclaimed, "Lindsey! Stop eating so much. You're going to get fat and no one will marry you!" Now, at age 23, I am unmarried, but I'm pretty sure that doesn't have anything to do with my overeating...i think.

The last time her and I got to spend time together was over Mother's Day weekend of this year. Her health was dwindling and, in all honesty, she had no idea who I was. My mom and I thought it would be a good idea to cook some filipino food with her. I had always meant to sit down and learn those recipes I had grown up feasting upon, and that day, was as good a time as ever. Even though she couldn't actively participate (and possibly had no idea what was going on), it was nice to get her out of the nursing home. Every so often, you could see a flicker of recognition in her eyes and I knew she knew what was going on- we were cooking up some dee-lish food- her favorite pastime!

Finally, after all the filling and rolling, we cook up some lumpia, and get ready to taste that mouth-watering deliciousness that is a lumpia. I take a bite. hmmm. I take another bite. "mom, i think something's missing. it just doesn't taste quite like grandma's" after racking our brains- we come up with the answer- So, despite the fact we probably should have known better, mom and I decided to leave out most of the MSG my grandma so heavy-handedly added to all her dishes. Clearly, what we didn't realize is that it was that key ingredient that made those lumpia.

(she obviously knows we left out the MSG- look how unamused she is!)

So here's my point: yes, my grandma was beautiful, loving, fun and a fabulous cook but her key ingredient was her faith in Jesus Christ. Without that, her life would've fallen flat. It wouldn't have had the same flavor. It just wouldn't have been the same.

Romans 8:38-39 says:
"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our worries for today nor our worries about tomorrow- not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below. Indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Death is one of those times when we stop and think. We think about what's most important in our  lives. I fully believe that we all have a God-shaped hole in our hearts. Some choose to fill it (unsuccessfully) with other things, and some, like Grandma, fill it with the love only God can give. And because of that, I know she is eternally in heaven.

Today, in honor of my grandma's beautiful life, I pray that you would sit still for a moment and consider God's love. Consider what really matters. What's your key ingredient?

sitting here on my couch. taking a deep breath. it was a long, but productive day at work. and, ironically, out of all the boring-ness that is my job, a beautiful blog topic came to me. so for that, i am thankful. now, don't let me lose you just yet. i promise not to bore you with bookkeeping and taxes (yes, i know. you are oh-so envious of my job :).

so today i started on a task that i had pretty much been procrastinating on long enough. yes, i know you're probably so surprised that i, of all people, would leave something until the last minute {insert sarcasm here}. but i did. and combined with the fact that my client had been dragging their feet as well in getting me what i needed in the first place, this was long overdue. basically, this client has been in a heap of trouble financially. no bueno.

so here they are in this huge mess. vendors are refusing to make deliveries. they're getting collection notices. employees are getting mad because their paychecks are bouncing. you get the picture. we're not in a good place here. it takes FOREVER for me to finally convince them that they need to let me get a handle on this. and once they agree to that, it takes them even longer to get me all of the information i need. from the outside looking in it seems like a no-brainer, right? just let someone else handle it! you clearly can't do it on your own, so let someone help. here i am offering help and they're still dragging their feet.

so they hand me over their mess. and i am not kidding when i say mess. it's just piles of receipts and invoices and statements and collection notices. it's not pretty. they have no idea where they are. who they owe what. or which way is up.

so i take it. i take their pile of mess, and what do i do? i make what looks like an even bigger mess!

i throw away the things that are irrelevant

and then, out of my seemingly bigger mess emerges something that actually looks manageable. something that looks like it could actually be handled. wow.

if you're wondering if there is a point. yes, there is. i'm getting there. be patient.

so as i'm sorting through this disaster that is their accounts payable, i started thinking about how this pile of paperwork is exactly like some of the junk in our lives that we KNOW needs some serious intervention, yet we refuse to give it up to god. even though he's there saying "here, i can help you." we say "no" or (like me) we eventually say "yes." but it takes waaaayyy longer to get there than needed. so as time passes, we MIGHT get around to saying, "ok god. i'm going to let you help me" and then we drag our feet a little more. finally we give him what we know we've needed to give him all along and then, sometimes, things get messier. i don't know about you, but in that mess, i've thought "um, hey god! remember how you said you were going to HELP? yeah, this disaster that you call my life doesn't feel very helped."  and in those moments i question god. i wonder, is he really there? does he really have my best interests in mind? but, despite my doubts god ALWAYS manages to come through for me. through that messiness and organizing and re-organizing and getting rid of the fat, something beautiful actually starts to emerge. and of course, i find myself in a place of being humbled (if i ever go missing, that's the first place you should look, i am there far too often) and i say, "wow, god. you really knew what you were doing." (um, duh)

i've gone through this process more times than i can count. and if i know me, i'll keep on going through it. why? because i'm stubborn and imperfect. i'm learning. each time it gets a little easier. the first time was without a doubt the hardest. it was a BIG mess. but god is working on me. and even though it got messy, i wouldn't go back for anything.

maybe you, too, need to give god your mess. all i know is there's a reason i wrote this today. 
maybe that reason is you.
*note: this will be written in with my usual lack of capitalization because 1. i'm feeling lazy so using the shift key just sounds like far too much work. and 2. my beautiful friend kelly told me she liked it :)*

tonight i am struck with the idea of disappointment. in this broken world it is inevitable, whether you have a relationship with god or not. situations won't go as planned. things won't happen in your timing. you burn the toast. people will let you down. and somehow, we even manage to disappoint ourselves. disappointment is hard. it doesn't feel good. and for me at least, it makes me want to crawl into a shell of disappointment-free isolation. however, that shell is also devoid of taking the risks that make life worth living, so keeping myself vulnerable is really in my best interest.

many of us have faced disappointment after disappointment and getting back up again is hard and sometimes feels pointless. so what is the point? honestly, without god i'd think it would be impossible for me to pick up the pieces over and over again. god never promises that my life will be free of disappointment and hurt. but he does make some other promises and those are what keep me going. they are what keep me waking up every morning with a song of joy even when life is knocking me down.

"if god is with me who can be against me"
(romans 8:31)

"for i know the plans i have for you, declares the lord, to give you a future and a hope".
(jeremiah 29:11)

"i will never leave you nor forsake you"
(hebrews 13:5)

for now, my let-downs are fairly minor. but they still hurt. and sometimes they seem to hurt more because of old scars on my heart. the good news is that god cares enough to hold my heart in his hands, no matter how  tiny or huge my disappointment is. he'll hold yours too. it's the only way to go.

exhibit a: post on procrastination on october 7th
exhibit b: post -"doing nothing" on october 13th.

Despite exhibit a and b, here I am (yet again) on November 8th realizing I haven't posted for almost two weeks. Holy moly. What happened? I mean, I've had plenty of encouragement and I've wanted to post. So why haven't I? 

Well, Albert Einstein put it best when he said, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." I know me. I know I procastinate. Yet, I actually had the delusion I would post regularly without creating some sort of schedule. Oh, the wishful thinking there. I need deadlines, even if they're self-imposed. End of story.

I can't believe I spent entire post encouraging others to stop doing nothing, and yet my blog so blaringly pointed to my lack of action. That's not to say I've been sitting on my butt doing nothing the past two weeks. Trust me, I've been a busy girl. And it's not like all of my time was spent on selfish things. I certainly did some worthwhile things. But God lovingly reminded me that he told me to write a blog and that I should continue to do so. Besides, I love writing, so this is pretty win-win, right?

So please accept my sincerest apologies. If you've visited in the past two weeks and were disappointed because I hadn't taken the time to visit, I am so sorry. You'll be happy to hear that I will now be posting weekly. Expect new posts no later than Tuesday evenings. We'll see how that goes, and maybe I'll work up to posting more often. Let's not get too ahead of ourselves though :)

Expect a new post by Tuesday night...
In a recent discussion of my blog, my boyfriend griped about my lack of capitalization in my posts, so here you go: I will now be using capital letters to begin a sentence and of course, for proper nouns :) Hope you're happy.

moving on....

Yesterday i was especially inspired by a beautiful song. I thought I'd pass it on to you.

He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realise just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us so,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
So Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way…
He loves us

(how he loves- john mark mcmillan)

Let the words sink in. Think about them.  
What would happen if you let them truly penetrate your heart? 

I'll be writing more soon :)