Thursday, December 20, 2012

December 11: brain dump

I try to make myself distracted, but as it turns out...the distractions didn't work.

Repeat: God has a better plan. God has a better plan. God has a better plan.

I think part of this is coming from the Christmas season- the yearning to share traditions and make memories with someone. But I also need to remind myself that it is okay for me to have those yearnings and desires.  Thinking they are too lofty or extreme is putting a limit on God and what He can do. He will exceed my expectations for my future.

And keep asking God for peace. Peace in my heart and mind. And I need to keep choosing Joy. Joy because God sent us His son as a baby to grow up and save us from our sinful nature.
Right after I wrote the above, I read my Jesus Calling for the day. (Note: I bolded and underlined parts that really struck me.)

"I am working on your behalf. Bring Me all your concerns, including your dreams. Talk with Me about everything, letting the Light of My Presence shine on your hopes and plans. Spend time allowing My light to infuse your dreams with life, gradually transforming them into reality. This is a very practical way of collaborating with Me. I, the Creator of the universe, have deigned to co-create with you. Do not try to hurry this process. If you want to work with Me, you have to accept My time frame. Hurry is not in My nature. Abraham and Sarah had to wait many years for the fulfillment of My promise, a son. How their long wait intensified their enjoyment of this child! Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses."

As I write this out over a week later- I'm in awe of how PERFECT this reading was for me- that night and still today. I take a deep breath. And read those words again. The Lord is on my side. But it will be in His timing.

I'm brought back to a conversation with my Dad over Thanksgiving weekend. I wish I would have recorded it- so I could listen to it again and again. My Dad is usually a man of few words- which makes even more sense when you picture him in a house with 7 daughters. :) He is an observer- speaking when necessary- and the words that come out are never without purpose and intent. He is wise man. He has studied the Bible a lot and he knows it well. In the past couple of years I've really wanted to know my Dad better and hear more of what he thinks and knows.
Back to Thanksgiving. My brother ended up not being able to go to Saturday morning breakfast at the hospital cafeteria (their weekly tradition)- so it was just me and my Dad (because I join them when I'm home). I was actually thinking it was going to be a quiet breakfast because I don't know who bought what farmland in the past week or what happened in that accident or any other Sioux County news. Which was fine with me- I'm like my Dad in that silence is completely fine with me. I also tend to be an observer- taking my time to process what is being said and then I might have a response a day or more later.
But my Dad surprised me. And shared so much wisdom with me.
He talked about doing everything in God's timing. Listening to His calling and leading. How we will be so blessed by God by just trusting in Him. How much God wants to bless us. And how we don't know what or when things will happen, but we don't need to know. God will surprise us. And bless us in that way. But we do need to do our part. Pray, spend time in the Word, and spend time listening to God's calling on our life.

God knew how much I needed to hear those truths. Because I tend to be a planner. Wanting to know what is going to happen next. And if I don't, I get scared and nervous about messing things up. But God doesn't want us to live that way. He wants us to live in trust and faith.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

tears: 28 november 2012

Everything is making me cry tonight.

a commercial with beautiful piano music
a scene in a TV show
eating a piece of pie my mom baked
written words from a friend after I sent her a random brain dump

And there are a lot of thoughts making me tear up (all the while my nephews watch TV upstairs).

thoughts of how I've disappointed myself and others
thoughts of a boy who broke my heart
thoughts of my hopes, dreams, and unspoken prayers
thoughts of gratitude that our God is so gracious
thoughts of my upcoming birthday and how my life is nothing like the dreams I've had since I was a little girl

I know it is good to let these tears out even though some of them make me feel so weak. So vulnerable. And small. And that I've been wearing my "good girl" mask too much lately. So I let them fall silently. And think about taking a shower so I can let them fall in anger/ frustration/ despair.

PS: Something else bringing me to tears- my Beth Moore Bible Study. Read Psalm 84 and Psalm 91:4. While I was reading Psalm 84 out loud (per the study instructions)- I could barely get the words and my eyes were blinded by my tears. What a needed reminder and blessing from God.

Friday, November 2, 2012

your heart's desire

She came early. But I figured she wanted to catch up before being out of the office for a trip. She came in and I gave my usual cheerful "good morning!" A pause. From the look on her face I could tell something was wrong. And it was more than just a bad morning.
"My dad passed away last night."
I pause and the words she said sink in. I rise from my chair and give her a hug. I don't know what to say. She is crying and tears well up in my eyes as she gives me more details. We move to her office. She tells me more. I only remember saying; "Do whatever you need to do. Let me know what I can do for you!"

It is a strange morning. Not the usual office chatter or laughter. She leaves before lunch. I miss our routine IMing through out the day. It is only after everyone has left for the day and I'm alone at the office when the tears leave my eyes.
She lost her Dad.
I can't imagine.
I want to call my parents, but I know I won't be able to get my words out through the tears. I'm so glad I will be seeing them on Sunday. I can't wait to hug them and tell them in person how much I love them.

I buy the wine, pick up my food, and finish my drive home. Unload my car- grab the mail- change into sweats- pour the wine- chow down while mindlessly watching TV before the CMAs start. My thoughts keep going back to my coworker/ friend. She lost her father. Thank goodness we will never lose our heavenly Father! Today my "Jesus Calling" reading was perfect for me. I've been feeling guilty and discouraged about the whole "getting over someone process".
But guess what? God knows our imperfections (He expects them!) and gives grace as we need it. He know our hearts' desires to be close to Him and is pleased by that!
His love is unconditional.

(written the night of November 1, 2012)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

rest for the weary

I went home for a long weekend. Took a day of vacation. I packed up on Thursday after work and decided to drive home that night.

I needed to breath.

The city was getting suffocating. I needed to escape from the people, the traffic, work, the pressure of the busyness, etc. It was a rainy and windy drive so not exactly a relaxing one. And as soon as I stepped out of my car, the gust of wind almost took my breath away. But it was almost refreshing.

And I was home.

I carried my bags and suitcase into the house and up the stairs to my bedroom. (Yes, I've been out of the house for 8 years and it is still my room. Benefit of being one of the youngest kids. :)) And then I went to my twin bed...with my bright turquoise walls that I painted in high school...snuggled up in sweats...and felt relief at being home.

It was wonderful to not have a packed agenda while being home. No rush or pressure to get from one person to another...and that was great.

During my weekend I did the following:
-visited two of my siblings at work and my brother took us out for lunch :)
-picked up my niece and nephew from school (it was so crazy to go back to the elementary school that I attended!); the excitement on my niece's face when she saw me filled my heart with joy and love
-attended the HS football game
-watched my niece in the band halftime show
-relaxed at home with my sister
-saw a couple of very dear friends
-used a power tool to make some art
-walked around my parents' property
-felt God's peace and presence and healing power
-went to my "growing up" church (feels great when you can walk into a place and know you will see plenty of familiar faces- I don't ever have that experience in Mpls- people that know you and love you)
-visited my dear Grandma at the nursing home and while she makes silly comments (brr, that's hot!!) that make us all laugh; it is pretty sad to see how confused she is and how much her memory is failing her.
-watched a movie in the middle of the afternoon...just because I could!

I took some time on Saturday morning to just wander around and take in the beauty that is in the world around us. I used that time to let God pour His love over me as I soaked up the quiet and stillness. It was so healing for me.
There were definitely moments through out my weekend when I thought about a certain boy...and he did come to mind more than I thought he would. But God took care of me. And my heart is doing much better than last week.

I did miss my Dad's "welcome home" and "goodbye" bear hugs and my Mom's home cooking. It was pretty strange being home without them there.

But the weekend was exactly what I needed.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

a thankful heart

Despite all the turmoil in my head and the ache in my heart...I am reminded to be thankful.

I have some pretty great friends and lately, I've been reminded of how blessed I am to have them.
-they listen to my rambles and rants and fears and crazy dreams and hurts
-they shower me with their love
-they let me cry
-they don't make me feel guilty for my feelings and thoughts
-they gently remind that they know God has a greater plan
-they make me laugh
-they tell me that someday someone will fight for me... and that he will be better than what I hope for and dream about...because again, God knows what is best for me
-they know me and what makes me tick
-they pray for me
-and although some of them are miles and miles away...I know they are always there for me.

Friday, October 5, 2012


I've been thinking about death and life lately. And how for most of those big moments, I remember where I was when I got the "news".

October 1995, 4th grade, green monkey bars at the OC Elem School: my mom came to tell me that my niece Jenna was born. (She is now did that happen??)

September 1997, 6th grade, Mr. Hupke's math class: breaking down in tears because I didn't get my homework done because my Grandma died the night before. He told me it was the best excuse he had ever heard.

March 1999, 7th grade, Mr. Yaw's math class: bragging to him that my nephew Grant was born.

September 2006, basement of my sister's house: pacing while my mom told me that Sharon spent her last moments surrounded by her family.

April 5, 2007, at my sister's house in the "mudroom": text from my BIL- Kennedy Grace was born! About an hour later- a call from my friend: I'm engaged!!!

September 2007, day after Labor Day: my apartment in St. Anthony: phone call from my mom...Bob & Rhonda were visiting Grandpa and left to grab food and came back...Grandpa was gone.

December 2010, parking lot of Pump It Up with my nanny girls: returning a missed phone call from my little sister and I knew in the back of my head what was coming....Grandpa didn't make it through the night.

I wonder more about death...mostly because I wonder how I want my last days to be...

My Grandma Niemeyer was "knock on wood healthy" a day or two before dying from a heart attack. No time for goodbyes. Guilt and regret flooded my 12 year old mind. Why didn't I spend more time with her when they came to visit us at the campground? I should have "loved her more" even though she didn't have the candy dish like Grandma Netten. Both of my Grandpas really suffered...but we got to say goodbye.

My only living Grandma will never walk again. She is now confined to a wheelchair. And it breaks my heart.
I last saw her on Labor Day on my way from the campground. I was wearing a baseball cap, hospital gown and gloves. She called me Dawn and when I gently corrected her, she felt so bad.
But then said, "you are not married and don't have kids, right?"
"That's right Grandma."
"I just hate it that I can't keep everything straight."
"There are a lot of us Grandma to keep track of!"
"I know, but I want to remember. It's embarrassing."
I almost started crying for her. The thought of losing her is so painful to me. I know I cry easily, but tears run down my face. And even though I know without a doubt in my mind the place she will be going is so much heart still hurts. And she is not dying, but my mind goes there.

And I wish I knew how to grieve better or that I felt like I was "allowed" to grieve. I saw a counselor a couple years ago and she told me I had never properly grieved for the losses I had experienced. It was all bottled up inside. So I need to remember that crying is good. Talking about the people we miss is good.
It is healing. 

I've been going through a book called, "Grace for the Good Girl." Last night I was reading it and the following struck me strongly:

"The fact that I needed healing did not mean I was horrible; it meant I was human. We all share a common frailty, but the good girl won't let me take part. She has both held me back from facing weakness and shoved me forward to fake strong."

I wish I could have read that back in 2006...again in 2007...and so on. So much healing was missed because I was wearing a mask of "yes, I am strong and everything is okay."
Until I could hold on no longer.
I fell. And I fell hard.
And then I tried to wear the mask again and was pretty "successful" at it.
Until I broke it.

June 2008: my bedroom at my sister's house, Finals Week. There was no way I was going to get my project done. I broke down. I couldn't do it -LIFE- anymore. But I didn't know what to do. Or who to admit my failures/ weaknesses/ fears/ etc to. I couldn't imagine putting that burden on anyone else.
And I had forgotten there is One who wants my burdens and asks for it all.

The mask stays in my closet.....because I am the "good girl".
I long for it to be destoyed.
But my "need" for control keeps it there.
My fear of disappointing others.
My fear of failure.
My pride.
My lack of trust.

The list goes on and on. But I know my God covers this list. His grace extends so far it is beyond me.
It is so unbelievable that you have to believe. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I am...

By this point in my life, I feel like I know a lot about myself and the person I am. I know there is more to learn as I continue to get older, gain more wisdom, and grow in my faith, but there are things about me that probably won't change.

I will never like conflict- I will avoid it at all costs- and procrastinate on issues that have "conflict" at work.
I get stressed out by money and my lack of it.
I am a dreamer. 
I've wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember.
I feel like my mind is always thinking. 
I cry pretty easily. During songs, commercials, TV shows, movies, leaving "home", etc. And if I need a good cry, I know the movies to watch.
I'm not competitive. But sometimes...something lights my fire..and then you better watch out. :)
I need to create.
I don't like to disappoint people. It is my "good girl" complex.
I have a messy bedroom, but everything has its place in my closet. 
I do not like public speaking. My heart races. I fumble with words. 
I appreciate silence. 
I LOVE my family. And though it took me awhile to realize that we are kind of messed up, I still love them. And I am fiercely protective of those I love.

Most importantly, I love the Lord. And I know I am deeply and unconditionally loved by Him.
I can't imagine living life without knowing that He has it all under control. Despite my doubt and impatience and worry, He is always there waiting with His perfect plan. And that plan includes His peace. His peace that passes all understanding. And we do not need to understand. We may desperately want to, but God is taking care of it all so we don't need to.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

run. run. and then run some more.

Tonight was one of my best runs yet. Are you laughing? Rebekah running. (And not because she is chasing after kids.)

Yep. My coworker talked me into doing a 1/2 marathon with her and some of her friends and cousins. And surprisingly, it didn't take much convincing. It is good for me to have this goal. I'm usually not one to set goals, but this goal- for some reason- has been really motivating for me. Maybe it is because I'm out to prove myself to my sisters who laughed when I said I was doing this....because I need to feel the sense of accomplishment....because I want to do something healthy- exercise- for my body.

I think I ran 5 miles tonight...based on how many songs I listened to. :) I got back to my place and I felt so good. Like I should keep going. But the sun was setting so I stopped. The endorphins hit me like a wave.  My life might feel a little unsettled. I'm not all the way unpacked in my new place. I'm not sure of my next steps with my job. And this guy has me on a roller coaster of emotions lately. But I know who holds my future so even though I so quickly fall to worry about it all. I don't need to. And God keeps proving through blessing after blessing that He wants the best for us. Better than we can imagine. So I need to keep my hope in Him and not in my own plans.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

live like you are dying

My baby sister had her life saved on Sunday.

Tears brim up in my eyes as I think of what could have been and how God was in control of the whole situation.
She had been falling asleep multiple times on her drive...hitting the bumps on the side of the road..waking up. And then one time, she didn't. Her truck entered the median and she woke up when her truck hit a culvert and started flying in the air. Going 70 mph b/c she was on cruise control. She told me later: "at that moment, I thought I was going to die." (I can't even imagine what that would be like.) Then she rolled (just) once and landed on her tires.
She was in hysterics. She just survived. God saved her. People started rushing towards her. She was bawling. Wanting her mommy. (and now I'm bawling) Only men were coming to help and she just wanted a woman to hug her. Because she survived. She couldn't remember phone numbers and they could only find her phone battery and back cover. They wouldn't let her look. She told them that her sister Kim was waiting for her at a gas station and they needed to go find her.

I was in church....listening to a sermon that was not grabbing my attention...instead, I was thinking about a certain boy (a LOT) and the concert that afternoon. I hear my phone vibrate. A text from Dawn: "did you get the message from Kim?" I think nothing of it because I assumed she was wondering when they were going to be in the cities. Around 5 minutes later, a text from Kim: "She is ok. Truck broken bones. Someone call ethan. They hav noy let me see her yet. Her phone is lost. Someone call mom." I get up and leave church. As soon as I'm outside, I call Dawn.

Did someone reach Mom?
No, Dad isn't answering his cell phone. You should call her b/c I don't have her cell phone number.
They should be done with church by now! Why aren't they answering?

Dawn doesn't know many details about what happened, but we can't reach our parents and that is very unsettling to me. I call multiple times. My mom's cell phone. My dad's cell phone. Home. Mom again. Dad again. Mom again. Leave a message on Dad's phone: call Kim, Dawn or me. Leah's been in an accident.

I pray and I pray hard begging God to let Leah be okay. I cry because I'm scared.

Finally. I get a phone call from Dawn. Mom and Dad have been reached. Mom is mad at Leah because she didn't get much sleep the night before. Of course Mom is mad. That is how she reacts. Leah has nothing wrong with her (praise the Lord!!), but they are waiting on a blood test to come back before they release her. She is coming to the concert still. Dawn and I both think- thank goodness we have chairs so she can sit if needed.

Get a text from Kim: "Leah is ok. As soon as she is released we will go see her truck. She is coming to the cities yet."

They arrive at Dawn and Corey's house. I give Leah a big hug.
And then another one.
I almost lost her today.

She said the dr told her: I'm not sure how you survived.

God. God is why she survived.

And then I'm so thankful she was driving her truck. (The truck a lot of people thought she was crazy for buying.)  
And I'm thankful she was so close to Worthington, where she was meeting Kim. (so Kim could be with her in the hospital.)
And I'm thankful she was wearing her seat belt.
And I'm so thankful my mom is so faithful in praying for us kids. She said that she had a bad feeling when Leah left that morning so she prayed as Leah drove away.

And now I'm left with feeling unsatisfied with work this week. I've actually been feeling this way for awhile. I told my good friend and coworker today: Work is just blah to me lately. Not the people, but the work.

So I think I'm going to start looking for a new job.
(woah that is a big step for me!)
It is so scary for me to think about leaving Jasper. I LOVE my coworkers. And my boss is the best. Really, the best. He stands up for me when people call me names. And he wants the best for his employees. He treats us well and wants us to be happy. I don't want to hurt them by leaving.
My thoughts: Emily will be out this fall on maternity leave...bad timing for training someone new. And then I hear my sister Dawn in my head: Do this for yourself. Jasper can deal with it.
I stayed late today to try and catch-up. My boss was also there past "closing time" and he said to me: "working late today?" I said: "yeah trying to catch up a bit!" He said: "well thank you!" I feel like I would letting them down. But staying there is not going after my dream. After not having a space for my art stuff for the past month...I've realized just how much I need it!! I need to express myself creatively. Even if it just something for me personally. My soul thrives and is alive when I make something.

So that is where I am.
There is my heart.
What is next?

God knows.
And I need to listen closely.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

no supplements needed

I'm in the process of finding a new church to attend. It is a hard process and a long one. It is hard to wake up on Sunday morning and want to walk into a building where you don't know anyone. But it is important to get fed. And I believe it is important to be in fellowship with other believers. So I have to admit...I haven't been good about going to church lately. My fear of being the "unknown" person has held me back. A friend sent me a link to the following sermon and it is a good one. I went to Bethlehem once back in May and haven't made it back again, but now I'm more drawn in after hearing this sermon.

One of the things that stuck out to me was: "No supplements are needed when you are in Christ. Bad theology is thinking we have Christ and that we need something else too."  It really stood out to me as I seek to completely find my identity in Christ. So often I think that I need (not just want) something or really, someone to make my life better and more complete. But really, I don't. Christ gives me all I need.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

the world is too much

I'm reading a devotional called: "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young these days. I might dare to say it has been the best devotional I've ever read. There is only a paragraph or two each day to read, but they speak volumes to me. The reading for May 25 reads this (I added the bold to the text):

The world is too much with you, My child. Your mind leaps from problem to problem to problem, tangling your thoughts in anxious knots. When you think like that, you leave Me out of your world-view and your mind becomes darkened. Though I yearn to help, I will not violate your freedom. I stand silently in the  background of your mind, waiting for you to remember that I am with you.

When you turn from  your problems to My Presence, your load is immediately lighter. Circumstances may not have changed, but we carry your burdens together. Your compulsion to "fix" everything gives way to deep, satisfying connection with Me. Together we can handle whatever this day brings.

The last line for today's reading states this: "In My Presence you can face uncertainty with perfect Peace."

I often find myself rereading the day's message (since the book is small, it fits in my purse) as a reminder when I find myself getting stressed, anxious, etc during the day.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


God is working on my patience these days. I thought I was a pretty patient person, but it turns out...when I want something, I want it now.

Right now, this means:
I want a certain boy to write me back (this is certainly at the top of my wants right now!)
I want to be in my new apt today (instead of in a couple more days)
I want a job in my field (even though I'm so blessed at the job I'm at right now)
I want a husband
I want children
I want a church where I can feel welcome and part of a family

So I keep praying.
God- take my thoughts captive every moment of every day!
You always love me. Unconditionally.
Your love is all I need.
Please give me more patience and peace.
I want to praise and glorify you with everything I do and say.
(Repeat. Repeat. and repeat again.)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

catch-up time for my 30 before 30 list!

So I haven't written in a very long time...but after some encouragement from a friend, I'm going to attempt to be better at this! Let's back-up to last July and I'll fill you in on some things I crossed off my 30 before 30 list!
# 23: We followed through with plans and we did it....we had a HS friends girls' wkd! It was so much fun!! Not all of us could make it- two of my friends were pregnant and unable to travel. But we're hoping they can make it this year :) Jenn, Christa and I went out to Denver where Sarah lives and then we headed up to the mountains and stayed in a condo type place for the weekend. Lots of laughter, hiking, and chill time to make great memories :) I took a lot of pictures, but I'll just post a few here.

together at last!

After our first "hike"/walk on our first night there

movie night! we love to take silly pictures :) It's one of my favorite things that we do :)

start of our first hike of the day!

oops! we broke the "rule"! :)
going on the paddle boat after our 2nd hike of the day- so much fun!

we cleaned up and went out for supper

took one last ride up the ski lift before leaving the condo/resort

#4 on my list was to visit Sarah in CO- so the girls weekend knocked two off my list at once! I was so thankful to get to see where she and Jonathan have made their home for the past couple of years. Hopefully someday we will be closer than 12 hours away from each other :)
I have plans to cross off some big things on my list this year! But you'll have to wait and see what they are :)