Friday, April 25, 2008

Mozzarella sticks to technicolor frogs

So I know it says "From mozzarella sticks to technicolor frogs" on my page, which is pretty much my crazy way of describing this blog site as "Dreams"

See one of the favored kooky dreams I've had in recent years is the mozzarella stick dream. Picture if you will...
Black background, nothing back there. A silver metal ladder that seems to go on forever. Me a giant walking mozzarella stick. Started climbing, got to the top, looked over the edge backed up and took a running leap into a large vat of marinara sauce.

Yes, laugh. I know you want to. Everyone else, including me, does. No I had not had any mozzarella sticks that night or other related food substances. Just one of those crazy dreams.

The technicolor frogs were also a dream. I was being chased by them and they were HUGE. They chased me into a camper with bunk beds. I jumped on a top bunk so they couldn't reach me, but this one tenacious frog kept trying and eventually landed on the bunk across from me. Staring at me with beady eyes it lunged for me as I leaned back, opened the window and it missed me, flew out the window and landed in a SPLAT!

Nice huh. Yeh I like dreams.


Brilliance is among my many spectacular qualities...

In moving all my stuff, which thought not a lot is still an amazing amount further reminding me of how materialistic I can be. Not getting off on that rant...

Anyway I jerked a nice large, heavy suitcase over my shoulder and felt it somewhere in my lower back and knew in that moment I would pay over the next several days. And I was right. So now I'm nicely in pain, which will prevent me from spending money by shopping today but sadly will prevent from getting anything productive accomplished too. Maybe I need to lay still and just listen for a while though.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Through My Windshield

I drove into Athens a few days ago. As I drove I passed a cemetery with a very downcast looking older man sitting on a tombstone and my heart yearned within me to stop. I didn't.

I drove further and passed a broken down car on the side of the road, further down I passed a guy and girl about my age walking. Again I thought, "I should stop." I didn't.

I reasoned to myself that I was alone, it could be dangerous. All the things you're told growing up. Things I wholeheartedly agree with. But at some point you have to step out. You have to trust that you do actually hear God and He's with you. I guess I don't really believe that yet. I fully trust God to speak to people, just not necessarily me.

So as I drove along in my head I was screaming "You're such a hypocrite" and yeh I am. My prayer became "Lord don't give up on me, I want to be available for You." So I'm keeping my eyes and heart open for another chance and praying for the courage to step out.

Monday, April 21, 2008


"The key to understanding commitmentphobia is recognizing that such behavior is rooted in fear -- fear of lost options or fear of making poor decisions. The commitmentphobic mind sees decisions as permanent, opening the possibility of being caged or trapped forever with no means of escape. Commitmentphobia is a real disabling fear, that can be manifest in many areas of life, including career, home ownership, or even shoe shopping. This fear can make simple every day decisions into a tremendous burden."

I am commitmentphobic.

Hey the first step is supposed to be the hardest right? Although I've always thought that to be a lie personally. I'll admit a lot of things - it's changing it that's hard. Whatever. Who am I to try to change old adages.

This term describes me all too well. I mean if you've ever tried to get me to make a decision then you know to the extent it reaches. "What ifs" can quickly become my enemy instead of my option, leaving me hanging out in limbo for what seems an eternity even over the simplest of decisions. Throw in literal life changing decisions and well it's just not pretty.

So here I stand on the edge of a grand canyon of sorts in my mind and it seems that if I commit then I am flinging myself over the edge and believing it is ok no matter the outcome.


"My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness" - Edward Mote

Words from a great old hymn which we sang yesterday at church - On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand. As the speaker spoke it was a reminder that our hope is to be placed firmly in Christ.

"Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. 'The LORD is my portion,' says my soul, 'Therefore I hope in Him!'" -Lamentations 3: 22-24

Often I take on living like everybody else in the world, placing my hope only in what I can see. Oh yes, I can say that I am trusting and hoping in the Lord but honestly I'm looking around at what I can see, what I can do, what I... see a pattern? I tend to trust in me. A trap I believe many of us fall into. Even when God has called us to a specific thing, sometimes we can begin to trust in the plans and successes of it instead of looking solely to Christ as our hope.

If our hope is in Christ alone, we cannot be shaken. It is then that like Paul we will be able to say, "I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content." Lord that I would learn to place my hope in You alone.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Living Like a Hupernikao

Hupernikao (Greek): more than conquerors, to overwhelmingly conquer, to gain a surpassing victory

"Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us" Romans 8:37

In all what things?

So I don't know about you but I don't live like this on a normal day-to-day basis. Some days, like this morning, I could barely make it out of bed. A morning behind the desk followed by an afternoon of cleaning and moving just wasn't working for great inspiration to get up in my opinion.

So how did Paul manage it? How have countless others throughout history managed to live a life of overwhelmingly conquering such great obstacles? I read stories of people who lay it all on the line for Christ and sometimes I think "That's so stinkin' awesome, but please God don't call me to that" with a soundtrack of DC Talk playing in my head, "What if I stumble, what if I fall..."

Then I read it again and find, it's done through Christ who loved us. I can't just pull up my boot straps and do it in my own strength, which is something I love to try and do to prove something to someone.

Living a like a hupernikao is based on having a firm grasp on who Christ is and who I am in Him. If you, if I, gain an understanding for the love of God then there is nothing seen or unseen that will ever be able to separate us. It's almost cliché to us. "Jesus loves you" How many times have we heard it?

There's so much truth in that simple statement that we don't even grasp. A love so strong that God sent His Son, who humbly came to earth to be born as a helpless infant, to grow up and suffer and die and then be raised to life again all just so we, the ones who are but dust with some breath in us and who are constantly turning our back on God, so we could have a relationship with Him. No I don't understand that kind of love. I don't understand the Love that was reaching out for me when I was cursing Him. I don't understand Love that says "Come and suffer with Me to truly be able to fellowship with Me." Oh that I could grasp just a bit of the width, depth, height and length of Christ.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Wrestling with God

As I laid my head on the pillow to sleep, aching back, fighting the unfamiliar bed and surroundings it didn't take long for my frustration to kick in on several levels, but the foremost being how can I be contemplating taking off around the world when I'm having trouble sleeping in an unfamiliar bed in a room that is completely safe in this sleepy NE Georgia town??

For as long as I remember I've wanted to do missions work. Over the years I have not managed to get out of this country a single time (except a day trip to Tijuana, Mexico if you count that). Believe me I've gone through my time of being angry with God over it too. Some of my best memories from college however are from ministry teams. Having children wrapped around you, serving someone a hot bowl of food and listening to their stories, mud fights after practice, etc. I also well remember that before every occasion I would have to deal with fear to the point of sickness sometimes.

Screaming from within is all the excuses for not embarking on such a crazy journey. Can an introverted, only child really handle that much "community"? Do I trust God that much? (Am I even saved usually comes somewhere close behind that one lol) Finances?!? Did you forget you're shy and quite fearful? (Much Afraid and I are closely related - Hinds Feet on High Places good book that gives me great hope). You don't know the Bible well enough. Etc etc etc. Let's just say I'm keenly aware of my shortcomings and fears. The accusations and excuses are far too many to number, and yet...

  • I read in my Bible a call to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the widowed, orphaned, poor, etc. and I find an urging to actively follow out those verses.
  • I read stories and blogs of missionaries and think "what if..." I try to be realistic and logical because that's my nature but it's just not working so well for me on this one.
  • I find myself crying out to God for people I've never even met (usually when I should be sleeping).
I'm in a different place than I was a short while ago.
I'm deeply grateful for this country I call home. I don't agree with everything by any means but I'm also not looking to just get out. I appreciate the modern conveniences, but could probably live without most of them. And yes, I want to see all the sights but a building is just a building - a life is precious.

And so as I tried my best to get to sleep on my rock hard mattress instead of the comfy, cozy bed I've been blessed with the past 3 months, all these things bounced through my mind I found how blessed I am to even have a bed as my mind wanders to those trying to make concrete comfortable. I found myself wrestling with a God who allows suffering and yet loves us with an incomprehensible love. I found a part of me that wants to be okay with not being comfortable or having all the answers as long as God is at the center of it all. And somewhere in it all I found sleep, until the birds began their serenade at about 5 a.m.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Why Abigail Joy and Flutterby Greetings?

Just in case you are wondering about the name and address, I'll give the short version just to start out this whole blog thing.

Flutterby Greetings:
because one day I'm going to have a greeting card line and this will be the name of it, a silly dream of mine that I keep perpetuating year after year in the hopes that one day I'll actually figure out what to do with it

Abigail Joy:
Abigail - "the Father's delight" or "Father's joy"
Joy - "Intense and especially ecstatic or exultant happiness"
the two put together are my "prophetic name" given during my internship at the International House of Prayer in Atlanta - Hey God changed people's names in the Bible and I've never been a big fan of Stephanie (sorry mom!). Most everybody in the internship just called me AJ though because I told them Abigail Joy gave me pictures of a little blonde haired girl with pigtails running through a field of sunflowers... not quite the image I think people have of me .