Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New normal

My journey to work today started in a car.  I drove from my house to the bus station and then caught the bus.  The bus dropped me off at the light rail station and I took the light rail to the Airport stop, where I crossed the street (in the rain) and got onto another bus.  This bus took me to the airport, where I walked from the bus stop to the...parking garage, where I located the car I was to pick up that I then paid an arm and a leg to drive out of the parking garage to work, all of 5 minutes away.  I left home at 6:40am and arrived at work at 8:55am.  I also got money and food during that time.

I worked from 9am-4:45pm.  At 4:45pm I went out and got into the car to drive home.  It took me 20 minutes to drive from work down the road about 8 blocks to the freeway entrance, where I then sat in stop and go traffic...and I got off at the airport exit and went to Target.  I walked out of Target at 5:48pm and got back into the car.  The stop and go traffic had eased some and I made my way home, where I walked into the door at 6:48pm.  That was after putting the gas pedal to the floor in order to get the car up the driveway because it had rained all day and the slurry seal is still causing some issues when it other words the tires have a hard time gripping the pavement and the tires slip, slip, slip.

It is now 8:17pm and I am watching UP! on TV and waiting for the clock to say 9pm so that I can go to bed and hopefully not wake up at 4:30am but the new "normal" time of 5:50am.  This night person is now a morning person-by-necessity-resisting-all-the-way.

Life has changed...that is all.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pronouncement for the day

I drove to work today.  It was raining, even though the forecasters said it "wasn't going to rain in the South Bay until the evening on Tuesday."  Yeah, this is why I have a hard time believing weather forecasters.

Anyway, I drove to work and listened to the radio and came up with the following pronouncement for the day...

I  I changed radio channels and they were all (except for my favorite DJ Ralphie on "the pig on the radio" aka KPIG) talking about Taylor Swift.  I do not care who is is dating or sleeping with.  I do not care about her ideas on relationships.  I do not like her music.  I do not want to listen to her.  I

And that is my pronouncement for the day.

Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Life and faith these days

I woke up this morning about 4am to a cracking and crashing sound followed by the beep*beep*beep of the answering machine as the power flickered and went out.  I lay there wondering just how far away that cracking and crashing sound was and just then lay there wondering how I was going to get my hair into "office" style  that day if the power was still out when I was supposed to be getting ready for work two hours later.  Of course, I was then awake and unable to go back to sleep and it was dark, REALLY dark in my house.  I turned on my cell phone to use as a flashlight (which is also how I knew it was 4am), found my flashlight and tried to read myself to sleep.  It 5:40am when the power came back on and my alarm was set to go off 20 minutes later.  Why does that ALWAYS happen?

Before I got out of bed though, in search of the flashlight, I lay there listening to the sound of silence.  It's amazing how much sound there is in electricity.  When the power went out the air seemed to go completely still.  I didn't hear any sirens from emergency vehicles or sounds of helicopters signaling a life-flight situation, so I lay there just listening to the silence, relishing the pitch black darkness of night.  The stillness of the night was palpable bringing with it mystery and strangely, peace.  Except for the puzzlement of how I was going to dry my hair, I was peaceful laying there in the silence and dark.

Over the weekend I joined 38 women on a retreat in the mountains.  It's about 5 miles up a canyon road and there was no cell phone signal by the time I reached the camp.  There was no Internet access either.  It was good.

I was there to lead music for the retreat.  For a few weeks before I had been going through worship songs, picking out, organizing and revamping songs that I had sung with the worship team at Old Church for years.  There were a few songs I really wanted to sing but I knew the women wouldn't know them, so they went back in the folder.  Friday night I stood with my guitar and a microphone and the PowerPoint presentation of songs and lead in singing.  It was good.  I wasn't perfect.  They didn't know all the songs.  By the time we were done I felt like a door had opened again in my heart.

My journey of faith has been winding, sometimes steep, sometimes meandering along streams of water that have quenched my thirsty soul.  I have walked along some steep cliffs with huge drop offs and many times I have fallen.  There have been times when I have wandered in the desert, in circles, struggling with the mirages and the longings for water, cool air and rest.  This is the wonder, the mystery, the journey of faith I have come to know as I have walked with Jesus.

Lately, this path of faith has reflected my experience of laying in the dark last night, the silence has been palpable, mysterious, the darkness has been dark.  There hasn't been peace, so much, there's just been a lot of silence, a muted kind of existence.  I haven't been unhappy, I haven't been overly happy, I have just existed.  Lying the dark, listening to the silence, a muted kind of existence.

As I led music, the words began to niggle and nudge my soul.  As I listened to the speaker and watched her form pots from clay, reflecting on how the clay goes from a lump to something beautiful, I connected with the process and began to see myself on this journey of faith, I began to see myself in that lump of clay.  I began to see light.

The sun came up this morning, somewhere between 4am and 6:15am when I got up.  The power came back on and my "office" hair was styled.  The hum of electricity could be heard again, covering up the silence.  I headed for work, going about my day but the lingering effects of my 4am wake up have followed me all day.  The lingering effects of a weekend women's retreat have followed me as well.  The lingering effects of a journey of faith that has been on a very dark, quiet road has followed me, or should I say, I've followed it.  This journey of faith continues on, with maybe a bit more sun and the smallest of sounds beginning to penetrate the palpable silence and darkest of darkness.  I don't know where I'm going but I know who I'm following and really, that's all that matters.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


I have a bunch of posts started that I just can't seem to finish, which speaks more to my state of mind than to the subjects I am writing about.  By the time I sit down to write, my brain goes on a break.

So instead of writing about the deep subjects, I am going to share the pithy stuff today.

One of the websites I keep track of is the Highway Patrol website that tells of traffic collisions or road hazards.  I've written about it before...guy with broom on can be hysterical reading.

Today's made me chuckle a little.  We always know when the rain is starting after a little bit of a break because the roadways become a mess, especially the road between work and home that winds over "the hill".  It has some pretty fun curves in the road and when the road gets slick, well, people don't slow down and accidents happen and I read things like this:

Toyt PK vs CD and Hillside (aka Toyota pickup versus center divide and hillside)

Green PK vs Retaining wall--don't think I need to decipher that one.

What made me laugh was the "vs" part.  When I think of versus I think of one entity competing against another entity...which I guess was entirely true in these cases.  However, I, for one, know that when competing against the center divide, the hillside or the retaining wall, a vehicle will ALWAYS be the loser!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

An appointment in Star$

I missed the 7:25 a.m. bus today.  By two minutes or so.  If I had made the last stoplight, I probably would have been fine.  But I didn't make that last stoplight and I sat there, watching the time click away and no cars go the other direction and  knew I was going to miss the bus.  The light changed, I turned and saw the bus, turning out of the Bus Center and sighed.  20 minutes til the next bus or drive to work?  It was raining, traffic would be heavy, K works down the street from me today, I had a ride home...20 minute wait it was.

I pulled into the Post Office, dropped off some mail and headed to Star$.  Of course, there was a line.  I looked at my watch, making sure I had time to wait and get back to the Bus Center.  I looked up and at the head of the line was a former youth group member.  To be fair, he only came to youth group a handful of times in 8th grade, but still.  Now, this could have gone one of two ways.  He could have looked at me and looked way pretending to not know me (be honest, we've ALL done that!) but he didn't.  He smiled.  I smiled and waved Hi.  The next thing I knew he had paid and was heading back to my place in line to say Hi.  A semi-stilted conversation began (give me a break, introvert, 7:30 a.m., I rarely want to get into conversations before 10 a.m., I despise small talk, stilted was the best that I could do).  The conversation was interrupted as I ordered and paid and still he stood there, waiting.  So I tried again and then, then, conversation began to flow.  By the time his coffee order was ready we had been laughing and relating to each other like adults.  The shift had happened.  It wasn't former youth director and former youth group member, but adults talking about life, about work and about our days.

I've been waiting for this.  It's hard, oh so hard, to let go of trying to shepherd and care for the flock that God allowed to wander near me for years.  I gather with them and still feel like I'm supposed to keep them safe from wolves and lead them to, well, something.  Part of it is my natural instincts and gifting but part of it is them, not being able to, maybe not wanting me to let me put down the shepherd staff and just join the flock.  They've done an amazing job at including me and I am beyond blessed and honored to call them friends but still, there are times when I sit there and realize, I'm still in the shepherd role.  This journey has been challenging and there is a long road still ahead.

So, today I missed the 7:25 a.m. bus.  I had an appointment in Star$ and wound up being a 1/2 hour late for work (rain+windy road=bad traffic) but it was an appointment I needed to keep.  I just didn't know I had made it.