musings on a Sunday travel day…

This last week it looked like my long-planned trip to Frankfurt wasn’t going to happen due to the ash cloud created by the spewing Icelandic volcano.

Tuesday-ish the ‘flight ban’ over Europe began to dissipate as did the ash cloud… so theBean & I decided to make the final decision to go/stay on Wednesday… prayed about it. Confronted Fear. Not necessarily fear of not getting back on schedule, but Fear as an ominous, lurking, dark cloud that would take any & every unknown & make the thought of it sinister. Menacing. Dangerous.

We don’t want to live with Fear. Bound by it. Making decisions, being preoccupied with ugly “what-if’s” that try to masquerade as Common Sense, but are really only a thinly veiled attempt to steal, kill, & destroy.

Which reminded us that we don’t have to live with Fear. That we have a Peace that guards & protects our hearts & minds in Christ Jesus.

And also reminded us that where Fear tries to lurk is in our minds… infiltrating thoughts & ideas, in the attempt to establish a mindset that is fully grounded in doubt, & fully devoid of the presence & promise of God in Christ Jesus.

So we prayed. Talked. Prayed some more. And it was decided when theBean said, “You need to go to Germany.”

And so I go… leaving today at 1:40 PST.

a perspective shift…

Today, I had to go to DMV to register the New Ex, acquired last week to replace the Old Ex, which had been totaled the weekend of 2/28. Now, going to DMV is not my idea of a good time, & the closing of the DMV Express has only served to make my reticence increase. However, today was as good of a day as I would get to go – not much on the calendar, & for all intents & purposes, a slow day in the life of scoey d.

Got my SMOG certification. Double checked to make sure the title was signed in all the right places. Gathered the VIN inspection paperwork. Got a copy of the “proof of insurance.” Took a deep breath & headed over to the DMV.

Seems like no matter how long its been between visits, DMV never changes. How many other places in life do you have to wait in line to get the opportunity to wait in line yet AGAIN to have your vehicular issues addressed? But I digress.

The line was long. Really long. Like for Indiana Jones @ Disneyland in the heart of the summer. People to my left & right decided it wasn’t worth the wait. But, I, resigned to the fact that this was My Day to register the New Ex, stepped boldly into the line. My special brain helped me count that there were only 77 people in front of me.


While I stood in line, I determined not to complain or grumble. I’d like to say it was because I am Such a Good & Mature Individual, but in reality, I was merely responding to the grumpy, frustrated, angry individuals around me; those that took the opportunity, time & time again, to voice their displeasure at having to wait. At bureaucracies in general & in specific. At the injustice of waking up to snow again, this far into Spring. & the list went on.

I spent 1 hour 15 minutes in that line. And when I finally arrived at the Info Desk, I hurriedly & prayerfully submitted all of my carefully prepared paperwork, hoping beyond hope that I had done all that was necessary to register the New Ex. My clerk was not easy to read. Her brow furrowed with concern. My mind & heart raced. She called in backup to review my documents. Again. And…

I was given a number. G485. Booyah! Now to wait for my turn.

Turns out, the next number called was G440. Meaning I was only 45 numbers (or so,) away from getting Dealt With by the DMV. Fortunately, I brought my books to study & multitask – prepping for next Sunday’s speech.

Only took another hour to get my number called. Have to say that after 2 hours, 15 minutes of waiting, I wasn’t in the best of moods, but I was ok. Ready to go back to work. And a bit exultant & giddy at finally Getting to the window.

And yet I was blown away by the tech that helped me.

She was absolutely exuding contentedness. She had a grin on her face that didn’t fit the circumstances surrounding us. I asked her how she was doing, how her day was.

She absolutely gushed:

I’m having a WONDERFUL day. It’s so beautiful. And I am so happy. I love that I have a job. I feel so fortunate to be able to do something that I enjoy, to help people. Life is SO good!

I was taken aback by my encounter; not expecting such a response, especially in the dreariness, rush, & general irritated atmosphere of the DMV. And yet…

I was touched. Reminded. Joy isn’t circumstantial. Sometimes what is necessary is a shift in perspective, to look at life through a different set of glasses. With hope.

Thanks Kathy.

Saturday-ness in the Inclement Weather…

Just got in from shoveling. Again. It’s like a competition. This bout with the shovel was the best, because it was raining. Truly. Nothing like it, especially with the promise of more snow for the evening. Ahh.

I got to perform a wedding earlier this afternoon. Right before I went into the sanctuary, I stopped to look through the foyer windows & out into the world – amid the falling snow, I saw sun. Little blue sky. Rays sparkling off the plentiful snow piled on the ground. Beautiful, like myriad diamonds. What an environment to do a wedding in, I thought.

After the wedding, I was lurking outside the room where the pictures of the bride & groom & their families were being taken… thinking about the weather, wondering when in my life I’d learned to hate snow. Don’t know. At some point, the sheer joy that falling snow would bring had been replaced by a dread, a tangible negative response in my gut. Tried to pin the time down, but nothing came to mind. It’s fear.

Fear? Of snow? Why? Hmm.

Weez - 01/2005 SnowstormIs it from worrying about having to transport youth group kids from home to Camp in the mess of snow? Worrying about theBean traveling from Sonora to C-town when we were dating? Getting stranded during my Domino’s delivery days? Or is it more recent, from the blizzard of 2005?

Why fear?

Something comes to mind: Danger. Separation. Isolation. Being without. Lack.

Hmm. Not sure why, but the realization & beginnings of identification with the pit in my gut makes me feel better. I pray. Ask for a new way of seeing snow. For comfort. Truth. Confidence in my God’s care & provision for me.

I look outside again & see that there is a backhoe in the Church parking lot. Scraping the snow off the lot & the driveway. It’s Rod, a guy from Church – he found out we didn’t get the lot scraped after the big snow Monday & borrowed the backhoe from his workplace. Then, he came up on his day off & spent a few hours plowing & scraping the residual snow & ice from the lot. Went out & talked with him. He was beaming. Glad to help, to do ‘his part.’

I wept…

Now, it’s later, & I look at the winter wonderland that has enveloped all I can see around me. Flakes the size of Silver Dollars (remember those!?) are falling. I sense awe, & wonder. Ponder the beautiful blanket of snow that makes everything it covers a work of art. Amazing.

I want to go shovel again… maybe later.

Tuesday afternoon…

A couple weeks back, I found out that my brother Moe had been diagnosed with HCM – I wrote about it HERE. This week is test week for me… meaning Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday I get to undergo a barrage of tests, pokes, & prods to see if this potentially hereditary thickening of the myocardium of the heart is something that I have as well.

Yesterday, I had the EKG, which is a way (invented by the Germans!) to monitor the electrical activity of the heart. Eileen attached 11 sticky pads to my chest, & then hooked me up, one electronic tentacle at a time, to the EKG machine. She turned it on & left it running for a good 10 seconds, then switched it off, & reversed the tentacle attachment process. Then, in a swift motion, (& with nary a warning, I might add) proceeded to remove the sticky pads from my chest. As I’m not a manscaper, this hurt. 11 times.

Then it was on to the blood pressure check, ala the arm cuff. Only this time, it was taken on both arms, also by the aforementioned Eileen.

The doctor came in about this time, & placed the icy cold (is there any other kind?) stethoscope on my chest, back, neck, etc. & asked me to breathe. And flex. Cool. Day 1 of the testing was then over, with another round of tests to be set up for ASAP. And no real interpretation of the results of the day, other than, “Doesn’t look bad.”

Today was echo-cardiogram day, which is an ultrasound of the structure of the heart. For those of you who have had an ultrasound (like when you’re pregnant) you know exactly what comes next… the goop. Keith applied the goop, liberally I might add, to my chest, & spent the next half hour doing his best to make sure that there wasn’t anywhere on my chest, neck & stomach that didn’t get covered with the stuff. Nice. Thanks. But the good news is, when it was done, he gave me a paper towel, 1, one, paper towel to clean myself up. Let’s just say that I needed to go get a few more. Like 12.

And, no interpretation of the results yet. That comes later; next Tuesday actually.

Tomorrow I go in to LabCorp, after 12 hours of no food, (which obviously makes us Oh so Hungry…) to get blood drawn – to test my cholesterol, among other things. After that, I eat (of course) then I’m off, solo :(, to Danville for the Fall Pastors’ Conference, which goes until Friday.

Good times.

Friday musings…

It’s Friday… I’m Home Alone for my day off. Meaning, my family is all gone, at school, at work, or at Trista’s… there is a guy here wearing booties (how considerate!) & a big tool belt, taking lots of pictures of the structure & the ground. See, we’ve got a ‘warranty inspection’ for the 1 year anniversary of the house going on as i speak, so the whole, ‘stranger in my house’ vibe is happening & I’m pretending that its not. He’s nice, personable, & most importantly, is working on working, not on talking to me. :)

Wasser mit Kohlensäure is the best for quenching one’s thirst. I love it. Don’t like bubbles in your water? Give it to me.

Cleaned out my closet this a.m. All my clothes that don’t fit anymore… turns out I’ve been stockpiling old (& big) jeans, as well as worn out tshirts. I think the jeans are going on eBay (they’re new-ish… just about 4 sizes too big now, post diet). The tshirts are in the trash, with their holes & crusty stuff intact. Goodbye tshirts.

Cleaning out the ‘German Room” closet… for Julia. Countdown 4 days.

BBQ’d Tri-tip last night. 7 out of 10. Know what I’d do different to take it up a notch. Lower temperature on the BBQ, which requires a new BBQ. Or maybe a return to charcoal. At least it’s been confirmed that the gas beast we’ve got has officially given up the ghost. GRHS…

Life hurts. Sometimes more than others. I’ve been pondering Westley’s statement:

Life IS pain, highness. Anyone who says different is selling something.

I can empathize with Westley, (after serving on the Pirate ship “Revenge” under the dread pirate, Roberts, separated from his true love for 5 years… yeah, that would lead to such an outlook. But I don’t want to live carrying pain, as though the pain happened just yesterday, never working through, never getting past. Living in hurt. Woundedness. I think what I’ve found over the last year is that a key (THE key?) component of moving through & past pain, hurt, etc. is the grieving process. I have intentionally (& in some cases melodramatically) embraced the grieving process, staying in it, without apology, almost without regard for what others might think (have thought? & felt free to discuss amongst themselves…) Grieving. Feeling the fullness of the pain, the hurt, the sadness, the loss. And coming back to God’s truth about me, my life, my family, my relationships, my identity, my hope.

And the wounds haven’t festered. And I’m not minimized by my grief, my weakness, my own frailty. I feel as though I have perspective that I didn’t a year ago. I’m comfy in my own skin, & ok with the imperfect brokenness all around, & in me. Sigh.

A first for the clan: all 3 kids have games tomorrow, in 3 different sports. Pasty has football, Joey has fall ball (baseball,) & the Weez has Proper Football (known in the US of A as Soccer…) Yay.

A wise man once told me…

…nobody owes me anything.

The cause of a lot of offense, frustration, disappointment, & unmet expectations is an underlying belief that I might not have even identified, let alone articulated… someone owes me an explanation. Some thoughtfulness. Time. Respect.

Nobody owes me anything.

It’s easier to say, “I don’t owe anyone anything,” but I believe that might have to do with the selfishness of the statement, which speaks to the ability to live life with a reckless abandon in regards towards the feelings & perceptions of others.

Nobody owes me anything.

I don’t have a claim on being treated appropriately by anyone else – & clinging to my claim, however well founded in my own mind, (& in public opinion) doesn’t change that fact. The more I cling to my ‘rights’ the more I am hamstrung by my own woundedness, & I limit where God can work in & through me…

Nobody owes me anything.

Philippians 2:3-11
3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.

4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

6 Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.

7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges[b];
he took the humble position of a slave[c]
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,[d]

8 he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.


…to CS Lewis, the guy in the picture, smoking his pipe. I love the way he communicates in his writings, without hesitating to move into the difficult areas of life. Pain. Failure. Temptation. Struggle. Hope. Joy.

He has been an inspiration to me … And every journey through Narnia. The Sci-Fi Trilogy. Mere Christianity. The Problem of Pain. Surprised by Joy… Brings a bit of joy to me.

peace to you

had a friend in town for the last few days, Morris Chapman; his visit had been on the books for a while. I invited him to come & spend time with our church family in extended worship. God knew what would be happening the week prior to his visit – I was physically, emotionally, & every other -ally you can think of – spent. Done. Finito. You get the idea.

When Morris started playing, “I Will Restore” (it’s on his mySpace page at the link aboveI felt my insides melting – not a pleasant feeling – I knew that I had to lay down on the floor. The weight of my soul felt like it was pulling me to the ground. I told the Bean that I was going to lay down – don’t know if she understood what I meant,… or where I meant. I just remember hitting the floor & weeping from the bottom of my soles. I thought I had cried my tears already this week; I’d run out a couple of times & had the “dry cry” not to be confused with the “dry heave.” Hurts about the same though.

I sobbed.

After an indefinite period of time, I felt peace. And the raw, exposed nerve of my soul was no longer raw, exposed, & angry to the touch. I was still tired. Bone-weary. But the soul despair, the pain faded & I had peace. The circumstances of the week hadn’t changed, but I had peace. We are still grieving, but I have peace. I could sleep the clock, but I have peace.

Thank you Jesus – to any/all that may be reading this: Peace to you. The peace of Christ to you.