May 27, 2011

today

The girls stayed the night with me last night.
It was nice.
They scratched my back for a couple hours.
The dealio is that if they want me to tell them stories (and they so want me to tell them stories, it's their favorite thing), then they have to scratch my back.
Or play with my hair. Or rub my feet.
The entire time.
If they stop, I stop. It's an even trade.

So this morning I was like, I have a surprise for you guys. We're gonna go somewhere special.
And they were like, Yay! Probably you'll take us to McDonald's! Or buy us all new Barbies from Walmart! Or to a movie! Or to buy solid gold and diamond earrings! Woohoo!
Which kinda deflated my happy surprise bubble since all I was planning to do with them was walk down the road and look at the waterfalls, which are raging ferociously with all the rain and runoff from the mountains.
(Our town was named after its founder, Mr. Frederick Post, and for the waterfalls down at the river.
Welcome to Post Falls, Idaho. The falls are beautiful, and the river lovely. I'm glad to live near it.)
But we went to the river anyway... even if it didn't sound as incredible as a movie and countless Barbies.
The river is about a 5 minute walk from my house so we pulled on jackets and hats, and went walking.
Then it started to rain.
So then I was like, God? Please make it stop raining for about 15-20 minutes. Just for while we're walking?
It stopped raining.
Then Hannah looked at me in amazement, Wow, Aunt Sunny! You're really good with God!

We picked wildflowers on the way.
I put them in my house.
They're bright and pretty and make me happy.



Hannah and Lucy.



 

Then we went looking for the falls.
I found the trail.
We walked the trail, happily.
Found not the falls.
Left the trail and trekked around the woods like Lewis and Clark for the next half hour.
Climbed over fallen trees, climbed up the side of a mountain, looked north, west, south, east, and confused.
Realized we really needed Sacajawea.
So I called my friend Tina and said, Hey? So where'd the falls go? Who disappeared them? They were here the last time I saw them.
Turns out I was at the wrong place. Turns out the falls were about ten miles away on the other side of town. Turns out we had to walk back home, climb in the car, and drive to the falls. Turns out I'm not created for climbing up sides of mountains, makes my legs wobbly.
But it was okay. We had a good time being adventurers.
Girls. Now you know how it felt to be Lewis and Clark. Or Christopher Columbus. Or Neil Armstrong. Let this be a lesson to you.

The falls are so bay-u-ti-ful right now!
Rushing and loud. Misty and glorious. I love the mist.
The girls forgot all about Barbies and McDonald's.

My cell phone doesn't do it justice. They're gorgeous.
I was almost as impressed as I was when I went to Niagara Falls one time.


We saw baby geese. They were fuzzy. But the moma goose wouldn't let us pet them. She hissed at us.
We ran for dear life.


And there was a park.
I busted my chin on one of these bouncy duck thingys when I was five. One minute I was bouncing happily, then I bounced a little too hard, then I busted my chin open and bled out the majority of my life's blood. It was startling. Since then, I get a creepy, sinister feeling anytime I see one at a park. They look so fun and cheerful, but they hold the power to bleed you to death.






It was a smiley day, today was.
We liked it.

May 24, 2011

memory lane

I mostly work for old people.
No... I only work for old people.
I didn't plan it that way, it just happened to happen.
I like older people. Old people like me. Which makes me like them more.

Here's why I like them:  They warm the cockles of my heart with their kindness and concern.

Because I walk in, trying to act all professional, and they reach over and wipe the chocolate bunny remains from off the corner of my mouth. And my professionalism goes right out the window while I stand there getting my face wiped off by a concerned eighty-seven year old man.
Because when the sun is beating down on me while I'm knee deep in dirt and flowers, they come running out with sunblock and say things like, If you don't wear sunblock, you'll get brown spots on your skin like I have! And they pull up the edges of their sleeve to show me the dreaded brown spots. And then they start rubbing sunblock on my shoulders while I'm like, No, really... I can do that myself...
Because they feed me. You're so skinny! You need fattening up! Wanna go get a burger? What am I gonna say to that? No? I love burgers.
Because they call my car an automobile.
Because they show me their great-great grandfather's sword and tell me stories. I love stories.
Because they tell me they love me. Not that they love my work. Not that they love the flowers I planted. Not that they love not having to do the work themselves. But, I love you, Sunny Jane. (Excuse me while I wag my tail like a little puppy dog.)
Because they blow me kisses and call me dearie.
Because they're kind and sweet.

Yesterday I worked for a new guy, Mr. C.
He's a bachelor.  I've never worked for a bachelor before. It was a whole new experience.
At first it was sad. His wife died a couple years ago, but looking around the house, I thought maybe she was just out shopping. Her shoes were still there on the floor. Her perfume and bottles of lotion were still on the bathroom counter. Her clothes were there. Her jewelry was on the dresser right were she'd left it.
But while he was helping me fold laundry, he mentioned again that'd she'd died two years ago and I said I was so sorry, and he just slumped with the towel in his hands and said, So am I. And it gave me a lump in my throat to see how much he still misses her.
Then I cleaned the rest of the house while he went through some papers in his office.
Then I told him I was finished, and did he want anything else done before I left?
He scratched his head.
He looked around.
He said, hmmmm.
Then he looked out the back door, and brightened.
Follow me, he said.
Turns out he wants his dandelions sprayed. Turns out Senske is coming by tomorrow to do just that. Turns out he had an old car (I used to be a car dealer you know. Was partner with my brother for 50 years. Did body and fender work too. Had a shop right downtown.) and that ole car was covering alot of dandelions... which are supposed to be sprayed tomorrow.
We'll just push this old car right into the garage here.
I said ok.
Then he said, You know. I could probably get'er started. Run to the garage and get me the new battery.
So I ran to the garage and picked out the newest looking battery on the floor.
And for the next hour and a half I helped him tink around on that old car.
When he looked under the hood, I looked under the hood.
When he said, hhhmmmm, I said, hhhmmmm.
When he walked to the garage, I trotted along.
I handed him wrenches. I clamped the battery thingys onto the battery. I steered the car while he pulled it across the yard with his pick-up truck.
Finally he turned to me and said, Wow. You can really do alot of stuff, can't you?
I scratched my head instead of answering. I pointed out that the hot pink polish on my toes was chipping.
I didn't have the heart to tell him that he was looking at the girl who threw away about a hundred lock washers at work one day because she thought they were broken. Hello. They were all split on one side. They certainly looked broken.
I didn't have the heart to tell him I can't drive a stick and it was sheer luck that it went into neutral as I frantically fiddled around with the stick after he yelled out, Ok! Put it in neutral!
I didn't have the heart to tell him that while I can pump gas into my car... I can't do much else with it.
But, I think he might've caught on when he handed me the charger clamps and was like, There you go... clamp those onto the battery. And I was like, Ummm. So. Like. What? Could you repeat the question, please? And then I remembered how on Slumdog Millionaire they hooked him up to a car battery to torture him for knowing all the right answers and I worried I might stick the wrong clamp to the wrong thingy and get tortured myself by an old car battery. I didn't want to get zapped or anything.
So he patiently showed me how black goes on black, and red goes on red.
But in the end, the car still wouldn't crank so we started pushing it into the garage. But then his phone rang and he had to answer it and said to me, Continue on. So I pushed the car into the garage by myself and thought I would die of a hernia but I didn't because between my skin and bones is alot of finely toned muscle and my arms are more like guns or something. So when he came back out, and I was leaning against the safely-in-the-garage car, I said, I may not know how to charge a battery, but I'm basically Superwoman, thank you very much. Who's your daddy now???
I didn't really say that. I just thought it, and wiped my sweaty armpits after I got done beating on my chest. He patted me on the back. And gave me a Ghirardelli caramel chocolate. Which made me his friend for life.

But, getting to my point...
Yesterday reminded me of my grandfather, who was a mechanic before he died.

That's Pawpaw on the right. He was pretty dang handsome.
 I like his rolled up sleeves.

Moma's dad. His name was Albert Walston. He loved black licorice and A&W root beers. He told me A&W named their company after him... get it? A&W? Same initials as his. I believed him for years. I was a teenager before I finally realized he was joking around.
Pawpaw was playful. He took us for rides on his Cub Cadet riding lawn mower. He laughed when we ran head first into Granny's sparkling clean, sliding glass door. He had black under his fingernails all the time. He pushed us on the swing. He shared his licorice. He held us in his lap. He let us drink out of his cup. He sat us up on the big silver propane tank outside so we could pretend it was a submarine. But, his absolute favorite thing to do was to say, Pull my finger, then he'd fart on us. Then he'd laugh like a hyena. And we'd all scream and holler.
Pawpaw died when I was nine, and my last memory of him... is of him farting on Karen.
We had been visiting that day and it was time to go. I was in the back of the station wagon, sweating my guts out in the Texas summer heat. I looked through the back window and there was Pawpaw, asking Karen to pull his finger. She must've refused because then he grabbed her by the arms and swung her around on his back, and promptly farted on her. He laughed like a hyena. She screamed and hollered. And Granny said, Albert! You have to stop doing that! And he winked mischievously at me through the window like, I'll never stop. And I turned around in my seat knowing he really never would stop. And I grinned.
He died the next week of a massive heart attack, and I love that that is my last memory of him.
Him farting on Karen, winking at me, and hurting Granny's sense of propriety.

To this day, I want a yellow Cub Cadet riding lawn mower.
And to this day, the black Jelly Bellys are my favorite.
Because of him.

May 19, 2011

understood

You know how sometimes there are certain things you just don't get? Just don't understand at all?

Maybe you're sewing, and the thread keeps bunching up on top, and you can't figure it out, and you keep having to rip out the seams, and the girls keep coming up saying, Watcha sewing, Aunt Sunny?, and you snarl at them and tell them to drop off the edge of a cliff somewhere. And then you start thinking about how stabbing yourself in the jugular vein with the seam ripper is starting to look really good right about now. And then your sister-in-law comes over, moves you out of the seat, taps on the bobbin a few times and the problem's fixed.

Or maybe the timer is going off frantically from when you're baking a lasagna, and you try getting it to turn off but it won't, and it starts beeping more and more frantically, and you wave it around in the air, and bang it on the counter, and just as you consider throwing it through the kitchen window the little six year old boy you're babysitting says, Maybe turn the button to off and it'll turn off, and you look at the timer and see O-F-F, and you turn it to off and sure enough... it turns off. Then you calmly turn and say, Thank you, Elijah... I'm glad you're smarter than me at six years old. I'm glad you can lean up against the kitchen counter with your little man arms crossed and watch me not be able to figure out the stove timer.

Or sometimes it's something that's actually serious.
Some heartache, some loss, some misunderstanding, some struggle.
Sometimes it can be frustrating, or discouraging, or hurt like the dickens.
Just something you don't understand.
But get this, folks:
Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.      -Psalm 147:5

I love that.
I read it last night, and it made me feel so relieved.
I heard something a few weeks ago that really, really bothered me,

Timeout: I'm not telling you what it was that I heard. 
I'm going to be all vague and mysterious about it.
Even though when my sister-in-law Jenny was visiting, she was like, I hate when people are all vague and mysterious... especially on their blogs, and then looked very pointedly at yours truly, and I just blinked innocently.
It's just that it's kinda embarrassing, and all up in my business, and would make me blush to tell you all the details.
So I'm leaving you in the dark. I invoke the right to remain vague.

... and I could not for the life of me figure out why I was so bothered. It was a big deal, but at the same time, not really. Didn't have to be a big deal anyway, didn't have to affect me. But, I was shocked, worried, mad, and all butt hurt about it. Knocked the wind outta me.
I didn't understand what I had heard, but mostly, I didn't understand why I couldn't shake it off.
I asked God to explain it to me. I promised to give up eating Zingers if He wanted.
And finally, after a few weeks of turning it over and over in my head, I read that verse and heard God say to me, I've got it. Maybe you don't get it, but I do. I see the big picture, I see you. I move the chess pieces that are your life. I understand to infinity and beyond. Chillax.
And then I felt the twisting in my gut untwist, the clenching around my heart unclench, the worry in my head seep away. And I felt so grateful to Him for reminding that He's in control. So grateful that there's Someone Who understands me so well, and Who gets the whole big picture, and Who takes a load off my shoulders by understanding when I don't.
He understands other people... so I don't have to.
He understands heartache... so I don't have to.
He understands me... so I don't have to.
Which is so nice because then I can just hand it over to Him and say, This is exhausting me... You can take over while I go eat Zingers.

And He does, with understanding shining out at me.

May 13, 2011

bad news, good news

I have good news and bad news.
I'll give you the bad news first because I like to end on a good note.

The bad news is... I have a sunburn.
Not the cute pink kind that makes you look all fresh and summery and chipper.
It's the burgundy, purpley kind that makes you look blistered.
Not the kind that makes you think, Suh-weet baby! This'll be a tan tomorrow!
But the kind that makes you think, I should probably check into medical insurance... pretty sure I just contracted skin cancer. Pretty sure chemo is in my near future. Pretty sure I should start writing my last will and testament. Pretty sure I could fry an egg on the heat coming outta my burnt skin.

You wouldn't believe all the things you can't do when you have a sunburn.
For instance, there's a tater tot under the front seat of my car from yesterday's Sonic lunch and it's gonna be there for awhile because in order to get it out, I would have to bend my arm, cram it under the seat, and risk getting my afflicted skin scraped by the seat bottom. No can do. Tater tot stays where it is.
Randy: Napoleon, give me some of your tots.
Napoleon: No, go find your own.
Randy: Come on. Give me some of your tots.
Napoleon: No. I'm freakin' starved. I didn't get to eat anything today.
(Randy kicks Napoleon's pants pocket, ruining the tater tots)
Napoleon: Ugh. Gross. Freakin' idiot!
I'm sorry. I couldn't talk about tots without mentioning Napoleon.

But summer is here! Woohoo! Wooty woot!
I think we skipped spring and went straight for summer this year. There were two or three springy days, but mostly we've just had snow and rain up until last week.
I love summer.
It has so much to offer... going to the lake, possible death by drowning if you forget your life-vest and don't know how to swim, the park, picnics, ants, parades, fireworks, possible death by firework going off in your hand, walking downtown, possible death by getting mugged by some random street bum, sunscreen, gardening, fresh flowers everyday, sweating to death, camping out, mosquitoes, possible death by contracting malaria or West Nile River fever, OFF spray, grilling hot dogs, tan lines, the sounds of people mowing their lawns, possible death by getting run over by the lawn mower, the sounds of the kids playing outside, Popsicles, Cherry limades, floating the river, possible death by drowning if you forgot your life-vest and don't know how to swim, playing in the sand on the beach, dandelions.

The beginning of summer always makes me feel nostalgic.
It makes me remember back in the day.
It makes me remember my first trip out West. I was ten. My upper lip was chapped like no other... I looked like I had been drinking red Kool-aid and it had stained all the way up to my nose. But that doesn't have anything to do with anything.
We went to the Dillion campmeeting and stayed with the Smiths. They had two little log cabins on their property that we stayed in. I smelled the sweet smell of sage for the first time. I ate red currants straight off the bush. I went hunting for crystals. I got alot of mosquito bites. I played cowboys and Indians with the Smith's son, Craig.
And I went canoeing for the first time ever. On a raging river of death.
I nearly died that day, and I've hated canoeing ever since.
I was already scared to death... since I can't swim... since I nearly drown anytime I get near water... since I don't even like taking a bath just in case I can't keep my head above the water line... since the river was raging and waiting for the first opportunity to take my life...
So when our canoe banged into a fallen tree in the middle of the river, overturned, floated down the river leaving me and my sisters and brother clinging to the fallen tree facing certain death, I went into hysterics for the first and only time in my life.
Blood curdling, non-stop shrieking. I clung to that tree and had to be pried off, one finger at a time. My toes had to be pried off, one at a time. I remember everything about that moment- the way the water sounded and felt rushing around me, the way the entire canoeing company stopped to watch my moment of terror, the bug that came out of the tree roots and crawled across my hand, how I fleetingly thought, I wonder if there's a snake living in these tree roots and if it'll come out and bite me?, how I decided that death by snakebite was better than death by drowning, how Shelly kept telling me everything would be okay, how I tried telling her no, it wouldn't but just screamed instead. And finally, how my dad came across the river, told me to shut up for heaven's sakes, pried me off the tree, and carried me to safety.
I've always been grateful to him for doing that.
I wouldn't get back in the canoe so a man from the church came and picked up me, Moma, Jack, and Abby and took us back to the cabins where I slept for the rest of the day. That night at church, a few people made fun of my hysterics, So, Sunny, how was canoeing??? HAHAHA. But I didn't care. I was alive and that's all that mattered.
But the story doesn't end there.
One very. good. thing came out of that canoeing experience.
I started thinking, what would've happened if I really had died? I thought about that for two weeks. I relived the terror of it every night when I went to bed. And finally, one night I couldn't stand it anymore. I got out of bed, crept over Karen, and wailed, I WANNA GET SAVED! Right now!
So she rushed me to Moma, and I got saved that night.
Ha, makes me laugh every time I think of it. I sat there with Moma, full of fear that I would drown and go straight to hell, but when I got up, I was calm and full of peace. Mothers, if you want your unsaved kid to get saved, take him canoeing and it'll happen pronto. Conviction sets in after a round of canoeing.
I've never doubted my salvation. All I have to do is remember that weight lifted off, and assurance is there. I heard a preacher say recently that if you don't doubt your salvation at some point, something's wrong. Well, he's definitely smoking something, because I know you don't have to doubt. The Bible says so, so there.
But, saved and all, I'm still scared of drowning. I heart life-vests. I support all life-vest wearers.

So the bad news is, I have a sunburn, but the good news is, it's summatime.
And I got saved the summer I was ten.

May 08, 2011

what moma's done...

My Moma's done alot of things.
She's been there, done that.
And she's mostly done it for us, her family...


She carried six of us in her womb.
That's me up there. In her womb, safe and sound and warm.


She told us Santa wasn't real.
That's me, telling Moma's cousin he was a fake.
And that's Moma's hand coming forward to yank me away before the rest of the kids started crying.


She spanked us when we were bad.
For instance, when I gave my cousin Timmy a black eye because he was sitting in the chair I wanted,
 I got spanked.
Notice the black eye? Notice my unrepentant face?


She took us to Granny Walston's, and let us jump on the bed.


She dressed us up, and took us to church every Sunday.
Without fail. No matter what. Faithful is the word.


She fed us peanut butter and jellys.
That's my little sister, Abby, having a go at feeding herself for the first time.


She bathed us. Sometimes in the sink...
That's my little brother, Jacky. He was so cute.


She taught us the importance of having someone play with your hair.
Having your hair played with can make a bad day turn good, real quick.
Me and my cousin, Marty. He liked playing with my hair, so long as I played with his too.


She had her first baby, my big sister Shelly, when she was eighteen.


She's hot rolled her hair every single morning for as long as I can remember.
Sometimes she would do mine too, for church.
I loved her for it.


She dressed us in tacky clothes and tacky hairdo's, and called us beautiful.
I'm the fat baby, Karen's in pink, Shelly's the one in Princess Leia braids, and Jay's the cowboy.
Shelly was pretty embarrassed by her hairdo. The photographer was a really cute guy so...
It was a painful moment in her childhood.


She married into the Wood family.
A big, big, big deal.
Here we have four generations of Wood guys:
Jacky (wasn't he so cute???), Dad, Papa, and Papa Jack.


She had her picture taken at Olan Mills when she was sixteen.
And was beautiful.
This picture is why I'm happy when people say I'm the spittin' image of Moma.


She wore cat eye glasses once upon a time.


She accidentally dyed her hair purple when she was in 10th grade.


She still looked this good in her thirties, after having six kids.


She took this cute pic of Jack helping Dad out.


She always smiled.


She got married when she was sixteen, and her veil caught fire as she walked down the aisle.
She didn't panic or anything.

She nursed all of us until we were fat and healthy.
Shelly's nursing her itty bitty baby too:)


She broke up this fight between Shelly and Jason.


She washed our clothes.


She let us take flight and fix our own hair.
As evidenced by Karen and Shelly's hair in this picture.
And she wore tacky hats.


She helped us blow out our birthday candles, and always made really cool cakes.
... Jason's 1st and Shelly's 2nd birthday party.


She's had grandkids.
Twelve of them so far.

She made our beds... until we learned how.
She cooked our food... still does when she comes to visit.
She wiped our tears away.
She blew our noses.
She put band aids on our owies.
She taught us, by example, that God was most important.
She calls just to talk.
She adapted to every new home, every new state, every new church, every new set of friends... everytime she and Dad moved to a new place.
She taught us right from wrong. And to man up, and take responsibility for our wrong doings.
She made us quilts. I have her crazy quilt hanging over the chair in my living room.
She held us while we puked.
She kissed us goodnight.
She pulled us outta bed every morning and sang, Rise and Shine Lazy, Sleepyheads. Which we hated, by the way.

She loves us.
And we love her back.
We rise up and call her blessed, the virtuous woman.

May 03, 2011

elementary things

Remember how yesterday I said some things stick with you for all eternity?
Here's some other things that've been sticking with me ever since I heard them, four months ago.
They stick with me, and I am glad.

Last year was... stinky. I had some things going on, not good things, and wanted a fresh start somewhere else. I wanted to go to a land far, far away.
I was feeling like on Forrest Gump, "Ruuunnn, Sunay! Ruuuunnn!"
So the end of January, I went to Kalispell to talk to Pastor Nathan Bemis.
I had never met him before, but I was thinking Kalispell was the place for me to start over, and thought I should probably mention it to him... you know, give him a chance to meet his newest potential dysfunctional church member.
So I went over to Kalispell, and introduced myself.
The next morning he took me into his office and said, Sunny Jane... I'm gonna tell you some things.
I nodded and clutched my Starbucks silently.
Then he said, Sunny Jane, you're kinda dumb, and gullible, and can't make a decision.
I nodded some more, clutched my Starbucks tighter, and burst into tears, I know! But I don't know what to do about it. *sniff... wailing... sniff... wiping my nose on my sleeve... sniff... gasping for air... sniff*
So he said, Well, I'll tell you what to do.
And he did.
He told me so many things that I went home exhausted, and took lots of naps for the next week. I felt like I did when I took my finals in school... my head was on overload and spazzing out.
But I needed to hear every. single. thing. he said.
I don't know how he knew what all to say to me since he didn't know me from Adam, but he said what I needed to hear and it got my focus where it needed to be. I felt like he was the proverbial wise old owl.

1)  Sin will silence God, but a mistake won't.
So don't be like a deer in the headlights when it comes to making a big decision... God will help you because He knows your heart. He knows whether or not you're trying to please Him, and if you make a mistake trying to please Him, He'll put the pieces back together.
I needed to hear that. I was scared of the silence of God. Sin in my life had caused that silence once before and I thought a mistake would void out my second chance. I thought I would be on my own again if I made the wrong move. So I was sitting, paralyzed, waiting for a bolt of lightening to come along and tell me what to do about things going on in my life. To tell me where to move and start over.
It was good to know God would hold my hand and help me get back on track if I made the wrong move.
It's good to know that when I'm unsure of what to do, unsure of God's will... if I feel my judgement is fuzzy... if I make the wrong decision... God is still there to talk me through it.
It took a load off my heart to know this.

2)  There shouldn't be a third party in your relationship with God.
It's between me and God.
Not me, my family, and God.
Not me, my pastor, and God.
Not me, my friend, and God.
Just me and God.
Period.

3)  Speaking of just me and God...
You shouldn't run to your pastor, or anyone else to make your decisions for you.
This doesn't eliminate good counsel, or advice. It doesn't mean that you should ignore guidance.
It just means that you should run to God with all your worries and decisions.
If you know for a fact that God wants you to do something, do it. If no one else likes it, they can lump it because it's between you and God.
When he first said that to me... I balked.
I was like, What??? Aren't I supposed to be submissive??? Am I not supposed to ask for help and advice at every crossroads in my life??? But you just said I'm kinda dumb... how am I supposed to make decisions on my own if I'm dumb??? Are you encouraging me to be a feminist???
So he explained and said I'm my own household, God is the head of it, I submit to Him.
Period.

4)  Ask God daily for wisdom.
That should take care of the dumb and gullible factors.
Seek it out.
Ask and ye shall receive.
It's a miracle.

5)  You can never get right until you've come completely clean. You'll just keep digging yourself deeper until you do. God doesn't deal in dirt.

6)  God gives us things we love, skills, talents, whatever you wanna call it.
Don't waste 'em.
Master them. Take them, and run with them.

7)  God is never finished with His child.
No matter what you've got on your slate.

8)  The truth hurts sometimes, but a lie hurts much longer and harder.

9)  God has a place for everyone.
And we have a responsibility for that place... a belonging.
Leaving that place is the wrong thing to do, it messes up God's plan.

10)  A fresh start... starts in the heart.
Not in where you live, or where you go to church, or where you hang out.
It's all about the heart.

11)  Stepping out on faith is saying, "Lord, I'm not sure about this, but if it's what you want... I'll do it. Lord, I'm scared of this, but if it's what you want... I'll do it. Lord, is this what you want? I'll do it."

So,
... I stepped out on faith,
(That sounds so spiritual. Maybe I should write a book and call it, How To Be A Spiritual Giant 101)
... made a big, life-changing decision without asking anyone's permission but God's,
... didn't move to Kalispell or anywhere else,
... but stayed home, in my place of belonging.
... I told God it was just me and Him now, and God smiled at me.
... I ask God daily for wisdom... and am still waiting for the results to come in.
... I've gotten my fresh start... in my heart... where it belongs.

And in the process, all the stink of the last few years has rolled off my shoulders, and made me blink hard at a bright new morning.
Every day something comes up to remind me of the things Pastor Bemis said to me, and it. helps.
Sometimes I think of the things he said, and say to myself, Elementary, my dear Watson. Elementary. Everybody knows these things. Even baby Christians. They're so SIMPLE.
But I think what's made them so much clearer to me now is that although I might've known these things before, I hadn't experienced them.
It's made me realize, God is like an onion. He has layers. And all my life I've fiddled around on that first layer, never realizing there was more to it.
But now...
Now I'm on the second layer, finding a whole new side of God, and it's wonderful... just wonderful.
I can't even begin to imagine how spectacular the other layers are.
I mean, what will His millionth layer be like???

Do I have this all figured out?
Nope.
Don't think that I'm sitting around reading my Bible 24/7, and praying over every little thing, and handing out tracts left and right, and writing my Spiritual Giant book.
Because I'm not.
It's more like I pray to not have the oppurtunity to hand out tracts... because I loathe handing out tracts.
And sometimes I leave the house without reading my Bible... because I forget about it.
And sometimes I call my friends or family about some little thing I'm freaking out over, and they're like, Did you pray about it? And I'm like, Weeeellll... does eating chocolate count as praying?

When I first started writing this, my point was going to be about things sticking with you, but... I've changed my mind. I'm allowed to do that. It's my blog.
So the thing is, the new moral to the story is, God has taken my messy life, and made it beautiful.
For which I am very grateful.

The End.

May 02, 2011

acknowledgement

You know how sometimes you hear something, and it sticks with you for all eternity?
Sometimes it's really annoying... like the Barbie movie theme song.
I hate that song with all my heart.
But sometimes you'll get stuck with a really good thing, and it just kinda resounds in your head at random moments to help you out.

One time, years ago, Karen told me how she was in Walmart with some missionary's wife, and Karen couldn't decide which bathroom trash can to buy.
She was like, enny meeny miny mo, this one or that one?
And the missionary woman (whoever she was... I don't remember her name.) said, Let's pray about it.
And right there in the middle of Walmart, with a trash can in each hand, she bowed her head and asked God which one Karen should buy.

That story has stuck with me. It keeps coming back to haunt me.
It keeps reminding me, Sunny Jane. Acknowledge God in the little things, in ALL your ways.
Maybe it seems corny to pray about which trash can to buy, Dear God, which trash can should my friend buy? The green striped one, or the pink polka dot? I think the green one would match better, but maybe I'm wrong...
I don't think I've ever prayed about which trash can to get. I just buy whichever's cheapest and go from there.
But, I'm impressed by that woman involving God in such a mundane aspect of her life.
I think God likes it.
I think it's acknowledging Him in all our ways, and that's what He wants from us.

Sometimes I kinda forget God. Or overlook Him during the day. Or don't give Him enough credit for all He's done. Or just plain get stuck on my marvelous, fascinating self.
... but God's pret-ty dang good about reminding me Who's really the marvelous, fascinating One, and bringing me back to earth, Dear Sunny Jane, remember you are but dust, and have to take a shower every day to get the dusty off.
But here's what I've found lately:
If I pray about the little stuff, I'm less likely to give myself the credit and run around telling everyone how great I am.
If I pray about the little stuff, it's so easy for me to be thankful when things work out, or to say oh, well if things don't work out.
If I pray about the little stuff, it's easier to trust God with the little and the big stuff.
If I pray about the little stuff, I'm way happier.

It's not always easy to remember to acknowledge God. Not for me anyway.
I'll stand there in the grocery store aisle forever, saying to myself, Sooooo. Do I want the pink bottle of laundry soap or the blue bottle? Will the blue kind give me a headache? Will the pink kind be overpowering and all flowery smelling? Does this brand even clean good? Which one didn't I like last time? Wait. Do I even need laundry soap? Did I need to get laundry soap, or dish soap? They both end in soap so it's confusing and hard to tell...

Why don't I just pray about it already?
Don't laugh at me.
I can't help that I'm indecisive, and absent minded, and forgetful, and allergic to strong scented laundry soap.
If you're the kind of woman who walks into the store with a carefully planned mission, good for you.
If you always remember what brands to buy, and what scents give you a headache, and have all your grocery needs written down on a perfect grocery list... you're the most amazing superwoman I've ever known.
Honestly, no sarcasm intended here. I love you. I admire you. I want to be like you when I grow up.
But... I'm not a superwoman like you.
Sometimes I need someone to help me out in the grocery store, or in the dressing room, or in the library, or in the hair salon (Especially in the hair salon), or in church, or at work, or at Les Schwab (Also, especially in Les Schwab since they look at me and think, Oh here comes another girl. We can say whatever we want and she won't know the difference. Which is true, but still).
And instead of always running to someone to help me make up my mind, why not just ask God since He's already standing there?

So here's my point:
My life is way easier when I acknowledge God in all my ways. Even in the silly, little things.
My life is sweeter when I involve God in the little everyday life things.
God likes to help when I ask Him to.

And I like that God makes the good stuff stick in my head sometimes to help me out.