Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Time for Everything

As I was reading the blog of an author that I have started to love, Shauna Niequist, I was basically hit by a large piece of wood on the side of the head!

Niequist wrote on her blog about how Dr. Henry Cloud, spoke at her church recently. Dr. Cloud just finished writing a book called Necessary Endings. I haven't read this book, nor has Niequist, but the statement on her blog that truly struck a chord with me was "What's present in your life today that's not in line with what you want for your tomorrow?"

Was there a relationship that I needed to end? Ummmmmmmmm....unfortunately I could scream YES!!! to this question. Thankfully this unhealthy "relationship" that I have basically been holding onto for a year has finally been thrown away (as healthy as it probably could have been).

So to continue on with this theme....the Forest Gump soundtrack has been fun to listen to in my car this week. I forgot I even had it in my disc changer! Anyway...the song that meant so much to me from this soundtrack was Turn! Turn! Turn! The song takes me back to elementary school music class where we listened to this song via a record player. I digress...the song is straight out of Ecclesiastes Chapter 3...and the most meaningful verse for me now is verse 6..."a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away".

I'm so ready for a new season! I'm excited about the future!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Make a Beautiful and Joyful Noise

Sounds and smells have always been a huge part of conjuring up certain special memories that I have of my life.

Today let's focus on the noises of my life...

My absolute favorite sound in the world is the shrill of two babies screaming "Aunt Ishy!!!" when I ring the doorbell to a house in Cedar Park, TX. I can watch through the side window to see these babies run to the front door to greet me. This shrill noise will always melt my heart, and it will probably kill me when I no longer hear this noise as I arrive at their house.

I got to hear two of my other favorite noises this weekend when my mom laughed loudly during the sermon at church and when my dad shouted his typical "Nice shot!" while sitting at the green of the first hole at the Colonial Golf Tournament.

Not to leave out the other two folks in my immediate family...I love to hear when Todd and Candace "Whoop!" during any Aggie event/TV broadcast that I get to watch with them.

I really wish that I had a recording of certain phrases that each of my grandparents said and recordings of each of their laughs. Although both of my grandmothers had Alzheimer's Disease at the end of their lives and didn't know my name or who I was, the few times I got to visit, I loved to tease them so that I could hear their laugh. They both seemed back to their normal selves when I heard their laugh.

Songs of course take me back to certain parts of my life. I probably have burned holes in certain CDs from listening to a particular song over and over and over and over might be my OCD!! I have recently looked at my iTunes song statistics, and I have listened to some songs like 80 times, and only other songs like 10 times. Those songs that I have listened to 80 times were probably listened to back to back to back for at least 15 times in a row at some point in my life.

There are too many to name here, but one song that particularly comes to mind when thinking about memories is Angel by Sarah McLachlan. That song will always take me back to when Bonfire collapsed during my sophomore year at A&M. I heard I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me this morning on the radio and it took me back to the car ride we had as we were going to my Grandma's viewing at the funeral home. I teared up as I thought of her dancing with Jesus or just sitting in awe as she entered Heaven.

Today I added some awesome new sound memories into my brain. Hari, the sweet mother of the Bhutanese family we volunteer with, read the story of Noah. I bought their kindergarten son a hardback children's book about Noah and the ark last year, and they usually bring that book out for us to read. Although my heart breaks that she doesn't know the God that brought the flood to kill all the wicked people but saved Noah, his family, and the animals, I had an opportunity to show her a glimpse of a Bible story. I continue to pray for this sweet family to come to know my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I hope that a future memory I have is hearing Hari pray to the Lord Jesus Christ because she has accepted Him as her personal savior.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dr. Awesome

I have been reading several books at one time, but I have truly been enjoying a biography written about a female missionary surgeon in India. This wonderful woman of God (she will be called Dr. Awesome on this blog in case someone would "Google" her name and it would link to my page) is so special to me because she actually goes to my church, and I have met her. She is working on starting a free health clinic at my church, and I pray that I get a chance to work with her and the people of Fort Worth. Dr. Awesome sat in front of my at church one Sunday and I went to reintroduce myself to her, and she remembered that I was a pharmacist. I felt extremely special!!

I have only read 3 chapters of the book, but Dr. Awesome gives me a lot of hope in doing great things even though I may be shy, introverted, and have a retiring personality. The author discusses how Dr. Awesome was more comfortable with adults than children and grew up a child in an adult world. I often felt the same way while growing up! Although I have come a long way from how shy I was while growing up, I find myself still struggling with being bold when I first meet people.

Dr. Awesome lived in India from 1974-2002. During 1991-1996 she was the only residential missionary in her part of India. She was able to treat patients very much like we treat them in the United States. Dr. Awesome discusses though about how she had to familiarize herself with the medications available in India and spent a whole day hanging out in the hospital pharmacy when she first arrived in India.

She talks about saving a man in 1976 who was biten by a cobra on the hand after trying to catch the cobra to sew its mouth shut. Dr. Awesome really had little confidence that the man would make it, but after 12 vials of anti-venom, the man was on the path to recovery. The book talks about how she prayed with every patient before each surgery and had such a gentleness with teaching the nurses at the Indian hospital....simply amazing!

When probably the most risky thing I did today was stick a Q-tip in my ear (yeah...I know better!), her story of constantly being at risk of getting her Indian medical license denied and revoked makes my life seem pretty boring. I continue to pray for India as I feel that my heart has been touched by two dear Indian friends that God has placed in my life. I also continue to pray that the Lord will provide a chance for me to minister to people here in the Fort Worth area and when He wants me to go to India, the path will me clear.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Cardboard Testimony

What would be my cardboard testimony in the Kingdom of Heaven?

Wow...this You Tube video is from a local church in Amarillo that has a pretty amazing pastor and congregation. I have watched this video several times since I received an email about it 3 years ago and it always brings tears to my eyes.

I especially tear up with the cardboard testimonies that state:

Front: Diagnosed with MS May 2007
Back: Worth it

Front: Donna's Neurologist Unchurched
Back: Baptized Easter 2008

Front: Loss of son to suicide
Back: Found God's amazing grace!

Lately I have truly needed a change in heart. I really have been convicted about how I try to portray a perfect Christian on the outside but my heart is hardened and bitter on the inside. I'm not good at sharing my brokenness and being authentic very often, so here you have it.

What would be my cardboard testimony?

Front: People pleaser, Annoying Apologizer, "Self-righteous, Good Christian Girl" trying to earn salvation

Definitely not there yet, but hope for it to say:

Back: God pleaser, Apologies said in true humility, "On fire for God Girl"

Thank you dear Heavenly Father for your abundant love and grace!!

In my heart and my soul
Lord I give You control
Consume me from the inside out
Lord let justice and praise
Become my embrace
To love you from the inside out

Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame

And the cry of my heart
Is to bring You praise
From the inside out
Lord my soul cries out

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Not Settling For Less Than the Best

I recently had an epiphany when dealing with a broken Chi blow dryer. Look at the picture above: there is my newest shiny red Chi blow dryer that even came with a diffuser, my slightly less fabulous blue Chi blow dryer that I travel with, and finally my beat up Chi dryer that has been held together by mailing tape for the past year.

A few weekends ago, I was drying my hair with my ghetto fabulous taped Chi when all of a sudden I smelled a gross burning smell and then the Chi just died. I was slightly bummed, but excited to get the opportunity to open the new box with my red Chi that my parents had bought me two Christmases ago. Yes...for some reason I had guilt about opening the new Chi because I felt that I needed to wait for my ghetto one to die. miraculously took a full year and a half for it to bite the dust after I was forced to put mailing tape on it to keep it together.

It was a total eye opening experience to use that new red Chi!! It dried my hair faster and straighter, and I have been receiving many more compliments about my hair recently. I give all credit to the little red Chi!

This blow dryer scenario made me think about how much I had been missing out on during the year and a half of using my tattered, taped up Chi.

I began thinking about how there are other areas of my life that I have been settling for a mediocre, less than the best quality.

Let's begin with how often I settle for less than the best by watching TV instead of going to exercise. Is it healthier for me to watch Oprah and know how many sex partners Shirley MacLaine has had in her lifetime or get out and run on the Trinity Trail?!? (Don't judge too much for me watching that Oprah show...I'm a sucker for Shirley since she was Ouiser on my favorite movie Steel Magnolias...but Shirley in real life is not one of my people!) My jiggly arms that wave back at me would tell me to get my act together and MOVE IT!!

Or how I settle by often wasting so many hours each week on Facebook or surfing the internet instead of spending time in God's Word or in prayer. How stupid that I think it is more important reading what a girl that was mean to me in middle school had for dinner (I have seen this on Facebook!) instead of reading my Bible or in prayer!!!

Or how I settle by grabbing the first junk food that is available when I am starving. I get so frustrated at myself that I will scarf down Fritos that were left over after my small group because I am ravenous RIGHT NOW instead of making and eating a healthy, well-balanced meal. jiggly arms would tell me not to settle for less than the best.

Or how I'm guilty of having unhealthy rationalizations about certain dating situations. Do I continue to talk to the guy who is nice enough and stable but the zip just isn't there?! Or do I continue to dream of what could possibly be with the guy who I had such a spark with (someone call the fire department...just kidding!) but he was irresponsible with my emotions and doesn't really know if he should be dating?!

Now don't get me wrong...I don't deny myself the finer things and settle for less than the best in everything...just settling for less than the best in many areas of my life that are VERY important. Everyone knows that I don't skimp on appliances...I have a Kitchen Aid mixer and blender, Cuisinart coffee maker that grinds my beans, Dyson vacuum cleaner, Shark steam mop, Rowenta iron, and Chi hair blow dryer and flat iron. My car has more bells and whistles than I need. I must use Tide for my whites, Cheer for my colors, and Downy as my fabric softener. I routinely get pedicures. I have an iPhone. I have become addicted to Dior foundation and I really like their mascara (but only buy it every now and then!). Boy I sound high maintenance all of a sudden...

Ok...back on track. I am just beginning to realize how important it is to not miss out on God's absolute best for me in these areas of my life that I struggle with. My life is flying by...and time's wasting. Lord, please help me realize the blessings that come from your absolute best.

2 Timothy 1:7 "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline."

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Tea Party Birthday!!

My friends were so sweet to throw a birthday tea in my honor at the Ashton Hotel in downtown Fort Worth. We even had to valet our cars...high class!

The waiter was a little stuffy, but we drank some good tea and ate some amazing treats! My friends then gave me precious and amazingly delicious sugar cookies in the shape of cupcakes with my name on them!

It truly reminded me of some of the wonderful friendships that the Lord has blessed me with. I was ok turning a year older thanks to my thoughtful friends!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Deep Thoughts in March

So I will be another year older tomorrow...woohoo (can you sense my sarcasm?!?)! I really do kid though...the 30s have been good to me. I can say that a lot of things have happened during my 30th year of life including buying Polident for the first time, getting told by my hairdresser that my hair is changing colors, and getting a vacuum cleaner for my birthday and being excited about it!!

It seems like I do a lot of reflecting on my life during the month of March since it involves my birthday. For some reason there aren't many "reflective" songs written about the month of March...maybe because it doesn't rhyme with something very deep and thought provoking. I'm not feeling a song that uses the words: larch, parch, starch, or arch!!! The fall months get all the song due to their multiples syllable names and ability to rhyme with "remember"....just saying!

For example:

"September" by Daughtry

In the middle of September we'd still play out in the rain
Nothing to lose but everything to gain
Reflecting now on how things could've been
It was worth it in the end

"Back to December" by Taylor Swift

So this is me swallowing my pride
Standing in front of you, saying I'm sorry for that night
And I go back to December all the time

It turns out freedom ain't nothing but missing you
Wishing I'd realized what I had when you were mine
I go back to December, turn around and make it alright
I go back to December all the time

Alright...enough deep thoughts by Alisia (still 30 for the moment)!!! Here's to a wonderful 31st year of life!!! I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for me!

Here is a picture of my beautiful cake from last year that my sweet friends got me!