Thursday, February 25, 2010

high heels

Do you remember when you were little and believed in fairy tales (maybe you still do but not the point :-)? Nothing was impossible. Good always triumphed over evil and the prince always came rushing in at just the right moment to save the princess. And they always lived happily ever after.

But then we grew up and at some point stopped believing (isn't that a song? boy, I'm getting distracted today). We experienced things that showed good doesn't always win and sometimes the prince is running late or too busy to rescue the princess. And we also discovered that not everyone lives happily ever after.

Life has a way of jading our perspective. It's as though if we suffer enough disappointment, we just give up. We accept that we're forever destined to scrub floors or cook and clean. We tell ourselves our prince is never going to come and reject countless invitations to the ball, saying he wouldn't notice us if we did go. We become comfortable with average and never strive for anything more.

Why? Why do we let a few setbacks cause us to think we can't have a happy ending? Why do we give up so easily? Maybe the princesses in the fairy tales weren't the smartest or strongest women but they didn't give up. They went after what they wanted and captured their prince's heart. They didn't watch while someone else tried to take their happy ending. We should do nothing less. We're just as able to do what they did and while wearing ever taller high heels :-)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

cook time

I've made the comparison before that waiting on God is like waiting on a made-to-order cookie. We know exactly what we want is being prepared for us but we sometimes become impatient while waiting for it to bake and sadly, we sometimes settle for less that God's best by eating animal crackers instead (nothing wrong with animal crackers but why would you choose them over your favorite cookie?). Our problem is that we get hung up in the cook time. This is the time when doubts can begin to creep in, making us question if the wait is really worth it or if the cookie will EVER be ready? What if the cookie burns and is no longer perfect? We enter into the land of "what if's" and begin to question the baker's ability and timing. How does he know when the cookie ready? What if he loses track of time or forgets about it?

Even though we may question the baker, he knows exactly what he's doing. We have to rest in that fact and be assured that when the cookie is done, the baker will give it to us. Are you catching on to my analogy? Are you connecting the dots? It's all about the cook time. This is when our faith is really tested as we wait and wait and maybe even wait some more. Yet we know the baker doesn't make mistakes and will give us our cookie at EXACTLY the right time.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

ready - part 7

It felt like her first day all over again. It was Monday and Kennedy, glancing at her watch once more, had seven minutes until she was late. Seven minutes before she had to face Lucas. Catching the elevator, she politely smiled at the handful of people already gathered inside. As it moved slowly upward, Kennedy took a deep breath. She'd not spoken to Lucas since her car had broken down. She spent her weekend at home, doing everything possible to avoid calling the man. She felt guilty for not at least texting him a simple "thank you" but whenever she began to do just that, she chickened out just as quickly. Something about him made her question everything she said or did - or didn't say or do. She was so lost in thought that she failed to realize when most of those on the elevator stepped off - she also missed when a woman brushed against her in the cramped space.

Taking one more deep breath before entering, she went into his office. "Right on time," Lucas said without looking up. When he finally did, Kennedy noticed him grinning. "Are you ready to get started, Ms. Yates? Or should I call you Veronica?" Kennedy gave him a confused look. "Excuse me?" He walked over to her, pulling off the name tag that was stuck to her sleeve. Then she remembered the woman in the elevator. The name tag must've gotten transferred to her when the other woman moved past her. "Ms. Yates is fine, Mr. Warner." She hid her annoyance while listening to him explain the project she would be assisting him with. Way to break the ice Kennedy.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

ready - part 6

With her car under the weather, Kennedy called a friend to take her to work the next day. She was more than grateful it was Friday and the weekend was at the door, knocking. The week had been filled with many ups and downs and she was looking forward to spending the next two days at home, unwinding. When she showed up at Lucas' door at nine o'clock on the dot, she was surprised to find him not there. His secretary informed her he was out for the day but would be back Monday. Kennedy didn't know what to do with herself. She spent her day putting finishing touches on her office, unsure of how hectic her schedule would be once she began working with Lucas. That man was hard to figure out but she pushed any thoughts of him and his unpredictable behavior out of her mind. She'd deal with all of that later.

"Later" came the next day. The sound of tools clanking against metal woke Kennedy. She sat up in bed, trying to remember if she should know why the noise sounded so close - outside her window close. That's when it all came back. Her car wouldn't start and Lucas had put a band-aid on it until he could come back to her house and fix it. So... "Please no," she groaned, throwing back the covers and sneaking to a window to have a look. Kennedy chuckled at her behavior. Obviously Lucas knew she was home since her only means of not being at home was sitting in her driveway.

Peeking out the window, there he was, ball cap pulled low and a t-shirt and jeans on. His appearance was a major contrast to the bussinessman persona he portrayed in the office. She again wondered why he was here, playing mechanic with her car when he surely had better ways of spending his Saturday. It didn't make a lot of sense to her. She went back to her room to get dressed when her phone rang. Instead of hurriedly becoming presentable so she could question the young Mr. Warner, Kennedy got caught up in filling in one of her old co-workers and close friend about her new job. By the time they hung up and Kennedy was dressed, her closet mechanic was gone. The only thing that lent proof he had even been there was a note on her windshield: "Car is fixed. See you Monday at nine a.m."

Monday, February 1, 2010

book review: "beautiful" by cindy martinusen-coloma

Ellie Summerfield has it all: she’s dating one of the most popular guys in the senior class, she’s senior class president, beautiful, active in her youth group – she’s seemingly perfect. Little does she know things are about to change. The story begins with the death of Ellie’s grandfather – a man she hardly knew but who made his dislike for her clear. With him now gone, she is struggling with never knowing why he didn’t like her as well as juggling everything else going on in her life. Life is all about choices and it’s when Ellie makes the choice to go to a party that her life will forever change. Ellie is riding home from the party with a friend named Stasia. While driving down the road, Ellie realizes she’s grown up with the other girl almost her entire life yet she barely knows her. “You know,” she said, changing the subject, “we should hang out more.” Stasia smiled as she drove down the road. “We should. High school is so crazy. I don’t really do much with any of my friends anymore. Life’s short, so we should enjoy it.” Moments later a deer jumps in the road and as Stasia swerves to miss it, she goes off the road, the car turning and twisting before an eerie silence settles. While Ellie is pulled from the car and rushed to the hospital, Stasia dies upon impact. The left side of Ellie’s body is burned and she must now begin the long journey to recovery. Ellie doesn’t understand why she lived while Stasia didn’t. The God she once had an unwavering faith in seems to be on vacation and is not currently seeing what she’s going through.

Counseling is part of Ellie’s healing. The therapist tells Ellie at one point, “You’re grieving many things right now, Ellie, whether you realize it or not. You’ve lost the life you had – a life free from the pain that you’ve already endured and will continue to endure. You had someone die beside you – best friend or just an acquaintance, that has a very big effect. You lost your boyfriend, the dreams and plans you had…” Ellie is no longer the girl she was before the accident – that Ellie seemed to die with Stasia in the car wreck. She has to now re-discover who she is; all of the things that consumed her time before the accident seem trivial. She must learn that beauty isn’t just found in physical appearance but in having the strength to move forward when life tries to keep you down.

This story is one that I feel we all can identify with. It’s a story of overcoming obstacles and finding who you are. It’s about what you do when life doesn’t go as you plan. It’s about moving on despite your fears. It’s about not letting others dictate how you should live your life – doing what you feel called to do, despite if no one supports you. It’s about how God can bring good out of any situation. It’s about having hope. I like the last line of the book: “…Ellie took in a deep breath and wondered about all that waited ahead. It was more than she could imagine, and that seemed exactly how it should be.”