Monday, August 29, 2005

the ho shirt goes to mister tiki's

friday night i donned the ho shirt and headed out to mister tiki mai tai lounge with my friends. they were taking me out to celebrate my 38th birthday. it was way too much fun...we laughed and ate and laughed and drank and laughed and ate some more. if you're ever in san diego, i totally recommend you check out mister tiki's... get the feast. lots of fun, lots of food, but as is often the case, i'm easily distracted by way yummy food. so back to the topic at hand...

we (the women of my small group and a couple other friends)were going out to the gaslamp--an opportunity to wear the ho shirt. since we were leaving right after work, i brought it to work. it hung around my cube for the of the guys in my office area tried to get one of the other guys to try it on...i think the shirt was more than a little afraid. fortunately, he declined and the shirt was safe. i changed into it at the end of the day and headed out to meet the girls...i must say the shirt was quite complimented and admired, even while it was on the hanger...but as much fun as the ho shirt and i had (really you don't expect me to tell all, do you?)there is something i realized while we were out celebrating

i'm so blessed... i'm blessed with friends who made me feel extra special, who know me...friends who care about me, who put up with the good and the bad of me and choose to help me celebrate... i'm so blessed by this group of their presence in my life, by who they are and who they encourage me to be...

so thank you my friends...for my wonderful birthday celebration, for your gifts, for your kindness, but most of all for being who you are and sharing your life with me.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

are we missing the point?

tonite i went to a student ministry event. it had several hundred kids there, maybe a thousand... i don't know...i'm bad at estimating. the event was fine, good worship leader, good drama, good speaker, good use of students on stage, good intent: to encourage kids to 'take their campus for God'... that's not a bad thing, but i spent a chunk of the night wondering if we aren't missing the point with our students...

i grew up in the church, have pretty much always been a christ-following, church-goer. but somehow during that time, i learned more about what to do, how to behave to please God than about my belovedness. i've always felt i've had to earn God's pleasure by doing the right thing, being the right person. it's only been in the last couple years i'm learning to believe and operate in the belief that God could and does delight in me simply because he created me. and that because i'm his creation, i'm also his beloved. it's a hard thing to learn and accept and come to live in the reality of after so many years of feeling like i was saved by grace, but not beloved because of it too. as i'm learning to live in the truth of my belovedness, i think more graciousness spills out of me, i think people feel more safe sharing their true selves with me and i with them.

tonite there were kids at the event who i know don't know that God delights in them, but they did leave with a clear idea of his expectation that they evangelize their friends. i can't help but wonder what would happen if we poured grace and love and an awareness of God's delight into them... i wonder what it would look like if they could begin to live in that knowledge and belief... i wonder if the change on their campuses wouldn't be more profound if we spent time focusing on who they are in God intead of what they should be doing in and for his name...

Monday, August 08, 2005

a new me

i'm sitting here after a jazzercise class, a shower, and a healthy dinner. a little over a year ago, i hit a frightening number on my scale about the same time my doctor told me my thyroid disease is under control and it was time to make some lifestyle better and exercise were the two specifics. to weight watchers & jazzercise i went and it worked. i lost 40 lbs and tend to feel much better. it's had some interesting effects...

...i actually feel better after i work out. when i'd exercised before, i was just exhausted mostly. now with the exercise and the healthy eating, it works. i get the endorphins...i feel better, less stressed & i sleep better.

...i like my veggies. well, not all of them, but way more than i used to. i still like junk food or just healthy food prepared in an unhealthy way--fried. but i like healthy food for itself. and just like when i eat junk food, i crave more junk food; the same is usually true of healthy food, i crave it when i'm eating right and exercising.

...i apparently look "new". people have been telling me how good i look since losing weight. i'm finally starting to believe them, but yesterday i had an interesting compliment. i was chatting with a friend and her husband at a wedding. he finally says to me "i like your new boobs".
"excuse me"
"i mean, didn't you, aren't they new--smaller? didn't you have a reduction?"
"no..i, uh, lost 40 lbs and bought a new minimizer bra."
"i thought you were having reduction surgery," my friend says.
"oh," i say, recalling a conversation she and i had about cosmetic surgery. "i've considered it, but haven't actually done anything."

after an awkward pause, we managed to find a new topic before going our separate ways. in the moment, i was more than a bit embarassed. but there's something else about the new attitude is lightening up too. i'm learning to better laugh at myself. so, within a few minutes of our conversation ending, i was able to see the humor in it. and realize it was probably more awkward for him than me...and that somewhere in there, it was meant as a compliment.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

slowly returning

after nearly two weeks away from home (one week in tulsa, another few days at a retreat center in malibu for my spiritual formation and direction)i'm finally starting to settle back into my more normal routines... today i got online and turned on the tv for the first time since i returned home.

getting back into the routines of life has been suprisingly challenging. during my week in tulsa, i was online a little bit...but nothing compared to normal. i also didn't watch much tv... a late night episode of designing women before bed was about it. i did go to the pool, take naps, read and mostly just hung out with friends and family. when i went to malibu, internet access and tv just aren't options... my cell phone coverage wasn't even good there. during that time i connected with my friends in my class, but mostly i just connected with myself and god. i came to the realization that i have an identity that doesn't revolve around my singleness or my job or my role in my family or what i do for my friends...this may not come as a surprise to some people, but it was quite a shock for me. when i think of myself all those external things seem to define me or at least did. i think this may be why it's been so challenging to reengage in my typical world... i like the person i'm finding underneath the layers, the me who just is, i'm a little afraid this me might slowly evaporate, becoming invisible again, lost in the noise and rush of life... so, for now... i think i'll just keep taking things slow...