What’s really been happening…

Posted in Travel on November 26, 2010 by howtosavethekosmos

in my regular probably obscure terms.

My last comment from a reader was sometime in mid-March.  Alece of the powerful gritandglory.com told me:

“you sound content. hopeful. joy-filled. makes me smile.”

At the time, I thought I was really truly was content, hopeful, and joy-filled.  Maybe I was, maybe it wouldn’t last.

It didn’t.

30 days later I shattered what I knew of life-the life I had been living, at least.

The life I thought I was supposed to be living.  Turns out I had to leave that life.

And boy, did I ever leave it just maybe not the way I was supposed go.  And yet, I stayed in it too.  Same job, same house, same church, same groceries in the fridge.  In fact, I’m still here except in a new house with more cereal.

I departed my own life and I still haven’t returned.  And I don’t think I got to where I was supposed to be.

At least not yet.

And I didn’t get any better.  Contentment, hope, joy-what has that been but trying to fill hours and make it a week without crying.

Not much.

But this is me saying I have spent 228 days surviving.

Certainly not thriving dear alliterative youth pastors, not thriving.

But…through some Bible – more in a few days than I had taken in months and quiet time and some rich emails and blog posts from others, I am ready to reclaim.

And by reclaim, I mean tie it all in a knot and lay it at the feet of my Savior.

Because this is nothing if not HIS life.

Because I gave it to HIM years ago.

So I am ready.

For your prayers, verses, book recommendations, song links.

And ready for the power of the Holy Spirit to be mine again, to make me HIS, to make me content, hopeful, and joyful so that when HE looks on me, HE too smiles.


To Do THIS Month (not in fall, or next summer)

Posted in Travel on June 7, 2010 by howtosavethekosmos

If I can do one or two things a day or even over a weekend, I should be set!

Calculate gas mileage – Looks like 26.64 this past month

Clean windshield inside and out with alcohol and then a million other cleaning agents

Hide spare car key

Organize kids’ church curriculum

Schedule kids’ church teachers for next three months

Clean trunk

Put bed pieces away/give away/ask AMPM for future plans

Finish thank you cards and set up system for future thanks

Read BC’s medical records

Organize photos

Plan small group activities for the rest of summer

Fix broken jewelry (giveaway/throwaway that which can’t be broken)

Buy and replace clip for bike helmet

Send package to Osana

Send package to Dave and Martha

Make homemade yogurt sadly  kind of failed…initial temp too low???

Use Dave Ramsey’s cash envelope system

Organize closet even better than it already is!

Posted in Travel on April 11, 2010 by howtosavethekosmos


Posted in Travel on March 10, 2010 by howtosavethekosmos

1.  I did not complete the Use It Up Pantry Challenge.  This is because my financial situation got steadily better with the new full-time job.  Oddly enough though, I convinced the biggest eater I know to do the Challenge and he succeeded!

2.  I got a car.  I was able to pay for it all in cash and thus did not add any new debt to my already gigantic school loans.  Let me tell you, an education is an expensive hobby-make sure it’s one you really want to take on, okay?  And for me, yes, the answer is and was yes.  The car is great, the freedom/the free time/the ability to sing along to my music are all great.  Only difficulty is finding time to read my Bible when I had great buckets of time available to me to do nothing but read it on the bus rides.

3.  Suzie got a job where I work and starts on Monday as well as moves in with me.  This initial change is great but hopefully just a portion of what is to come in my long term plans (which are just 3-6 months, someone pointed out that these really AREN’T long, but oh well).  I am trying to call anyone I can to Seattle, to live with me.  To build a community of sorts…no idea if it will happen.  Just asking others to consider it and praying about it for God’s wisdom too.

4.  Though my life has its own ups and downs, right now it’s generally a charmed one.  God did warn me that I was entering a very sweet time (back in November) and that I needed to stay focused on him.  It has begun and I have stayed on track.  Facebook is full of pictures detailing…

Eat From the Pantry Challenge

Posted in Travel on December 28, 2009 by howtosavethekosmos

When I was in high school I loved Use It Up Challenges hosted by makeupalley.com 

I would go through all of toiletries, free soaps, sample shampoos, body spray gifts from friends and use them all up in a month.  I would keep myself from buying anything new until I had used up every single old half-filled, hidden away bottle/jar/sachet/whatever.

In the same way I have been doing an Eat from the Pantry Challenge in my own home these past six weeks.  Not just because I wanted to, or because moneysavingmom.com had challenged me (yet).  But I was doing it because I had to, I didn’t have spare money for food or any extra money sadly.

Things are a bit better and I did buy a few things this week but somehow my pantry never emptied.  It may have been prophet/widow story.  I still hosted parties and fed myself and there is still food to spare.

So now, I will do it again, in January.  My rules are:

1) Shop at the store a maximum of two times in January.

2) Only buy dairy (milk, eggs, cheese, etc.),  produce (fruits/vegetables), and lasagna making items (I owe a friend a few).  I already get milk/eggs/butter delivered weekly for a good price.

3) Spend a total of $75 or less on groceries during the month of January.

Things I Have Learned Recently…

Posted in Travel on December 28, 2009 by howtosavethekosmos

1.  If I were ever to write a book, it would basically be a plagiarism of one that already exists.  Amy Krouse Rosenthal has already written my memoir, give or take a few items, in An Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life.  This is one of the first books I read in only a day in a very long time.

2. I always knew I was a list maker but now I believe if anyone found out just how much I list they would be a bit scared for me.  I throw away pages and pages of lists every week.  I make online lists, handwritten lists, typed lists.  I write things on to-do lists that I have already accomplished just so I can cross them out.  I make alternate lists for transportation routes and times.  I make lists of things I need to buy now, lists of things I need to buy when I have money.  Lists of how much money I have, had, have coming in soon, or soon-ish. 

3.  I put a belt on my list of things to buy when I have money.  I have only two dressy pairs of pants and one is a little big.  My old belt died recently.  I do not have money enough to buy a belt yet, but lo and behold!  I was looking for a camera battery in a drawer and found another belt I forgot I had.  Whether it came with a dress I own or my mother or whoever, it was in my drawer and fits that pair of pants just so! 

4.  I think I am really beginning to love my new job.

5.  I do not think I will ever love my commute.  If a one hour one-way trip is a world’s best for this 15 mile multiple bus ride, I will never be truly satisfied.  But…one hour is still better than the two hours it sometimes takes.

6.  Utter shameless honesty in the right time and place is a beautiful beautiful thing.  Honesty is always good but can be tough, but in the right place and time it’s pure loveliness.

Sorry for the Five Month Hiatus…And here’s one on Mustard Juice!

Posted in Travel on December 11, 2009 by howtosavethekosmos

Let’s just say I needed time to live my life and not just blog about the living of life.  In this time I learned a lot and the topic I want to tell you about today is mustard juice and love.

I wish that I still worked at World Vision (today was my last day actually for those of you dying for updates and not on Twitter) so that I could share a devotional on this topic.  I do lead a Middle School small group now in the Rainier Valley (which by the way I moved to in September after God called me there) and I could share this with them but we’re already on themed and yet still hand- made curriculum so I’m filled up.  Thus, I am sharing it with you…my faithful friendly blog readers.

Today was a tough day.  Leaving a company I loved for years as an outsider and learned to love through cake disasters, South Africa, maternal and child health/HIV/emergencies/education (the sectors I worked in), and so much more was difficult.  I didn’t even give myself time to process these difficulties in advance as I usually do, which made the actual final walk down the stairs and out the door even harder.  I am also starting a new job Monday (praise the Lord for great work back to back) and I have been cutting my sleep short to prepare for early hours and a very long commute (can we say 3 bus rides each way?!)    These two things combined plus the rest of life have given me a very tough day.  A day where I want to do anything but love (and funny enough it’s youth group night).  I just want to take a break from giving it.  Sure, I’ll receive it by the loads but can I just pause on the handing it out, just for a little while, pretty puh-lease?

But instead I helped make hot dogs for dinner.  Two got a great beautiful squiggly line of mustard.  The other two got great big drops of mustard juice.  And it hit me…trying to stop loving even for a day because I feel like it is similar to a vat of mustard juice.  Sure, it’s a nice idea.  Mustardy in essence, loving in essence (why love at all if I can’t do it well today).  But it’s not real mustard, nowhere near it in fact.  Just like love isn’t true love if it doesn’t continue loving even when it’s difficult for one or two or ninety-nine of us.

And I didn’t want the mustard juice.  Nor do  my loved ones want love juice?  They want love, plain-simple-unconditional at heart-and everlasting.  Just as Jesus offers us.  He didn’t just say: Hey there, take a big whiff of eternal life and abundant life and a life of joy. He said: Here, take and receive ALL of THIS! (That’s the Jennifer Abbreviated Translation of the Gospels.)

I was convicted then and there (and hungry).  So I wrote this for you as mustard juice ran down my fingers.  What think ye?