I resolve to…

30 12 2007

Tomorrow is New Years Eve.

Rather than start a list of resolutions there are a couple of things that I would like to leave behind me in 2007.

There are some things that I wish I had done differently. I choose to leave those mistakes behind me and try to make a better choice if faced with the same circumstances in the future. I can learn from the things that I have done wrong.

There are some things that hurt me and caused me to struggle with forgivenes… again. I choose to accept that people disappoint people. Sometimes I am the one disappointing and sometimes I am the disappointed. Accept it. Forgive myself and forgive others. Leave it in the past and move on.

There are a ton of self doubts and insecurities that I do not want to carry over into the new year. I choose to leave them behind me and to remind myself that I am who God says I am. No more and no less.

That is a start.

Perhaps tomorrow I can look at some things that I want to accomplish in 2008.

Life of the Beloved

29 12 2007

My work is filled with insecure people who tear down other people. I have noticed in myself that I can start off with a secure sense of who I am and by the end of a job I have to fight to remind myself that I have worth and I am blessed by God to do what I do and His favor rests on me.

Last year, I was nearly fired from a job because the lead actress did not like me. (Now, who could NOT like me?) It was really OK with me because I was not particularly fond of her either. Without going into detail, I will just say that I began to doubt my talent and question what I was doing on that movie. My co-workers were wonderfully talented people who supported me 100%. I never worried about any of them talking behind my back or trying to make me look incompetent just to build themselves up. That happens a lot in film work.

 I had asked the producers to make up their minds by Friday whether or not they would replace me and so, as I was driving into work that morning I was just dreading the day. I was asking God for favor for the day, Please Dear God. I was feeling like a total loser and was hoping that they would replace me so I could come home and nurse my wounded spirit. I was just around the corner from the studio when a song came on the radio that caught my ear.

It said,

“And the Voice of Truth tells me a different story.

The Voice of Truth says do not be afraid.

The voice of Truth says this is for My glory.

Out of all the voices calling out to me,

I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of Truth.”

I had to pull my car over and crank the volume to  mind tingling decibels and sing those words at the top of my lungs. By the end of that, I was ready to jump into the lions den and face whatever was coming my way.

To my surprise, the producers decided that it would be in their best interest to keep me, for whatever reason. The curious thing is that the actress completely changed her attitude towards me and ended up respecting me. She was just lovely to me for the rest of the project.

I tell this story to give a brief glimpse into the stress of working in the film industry. It seems that at the end of each project I am fortunate enough to work on, I need to spend recovery time with my Father. I need to get built up again and to be given the Grace to see who God says I am. I can not trust that I am who the producer says I am, or the actor or even who I say I am at the end of a movie.

I am currently reading Henri J.M. Nouwen’s book on becoming the Beloved. This paragraph gave me a selah (pause and think on this) moment.

“To identify the movements of the Spirit in our lives, I have found it helpful to use four words: ‘taken’, ‘blessed’, ‘broken’, and ‘given.’ These words summarize my life as a priest because each day, when I come together around the table with members of my community, I take bread, bless it, break it and give it.  These words also summarize my life as a Christian because, as a Christian, I am called to become bread for the world: bread that is taken, blessed, broken and given. Most importantly, however, they summarize my life as a human being because in every moment of my life somewhere, somehow the taking, the blessing, the breaking and the giving are happening.”

Nouwen says that it is through these four words that he has “come into touch with becoming the Beloved of God.”

I want that.

Blessing or a curse?

27 12 2007

Back in the day, when I was still a drunky junky, my language could peel the paper off your walls. I dropped the F bomb like it was the word “the”. At an AA meeting one night my sponsor asked me why I swore so much. I had never given it a moments thought before that very second. I had no answer for him so he suggested that one reason might be that I had no respect for myself. What a bunch of crap. Who did he think he was, so almighty and goody, goody? His mouth was every bit as nasty as anything that came out of mine. I shared a new expletive with him and went home.

We all know that was not the last thought I gave to his remark. It played over and over in my head for days. Every time a curse flew out of my mouth, I thought, of the words “self respect.” A couple of weeks later I asked him to explain what he meant by that comment.

“It’s pretty simple. You don’t swear in front of your priest even if you only go to church once every year, because you respect him. Yet, you let filth pour out of your mouth in your own presence because you are not worth the same respect.”

Sometimes I couldn’t stand this guy. This was one of those times. I told him he needed a shrink and I skulked off.

I have lost contact with that sponsor of 30 years ago but those words changed the use of my vocabulary forever. Swearing lost its emphasis and wasn’t fun anymore after he said that. I would like to say that I never again uttered a dirty word but… oh well. Changes have never come overnight for me. First, I had to see a need to change. It was true that I did not feel that I was worthy of respect. Not mine, not anyone else’s.

My life has changed immensely since those days. When I gave my life to become a follower of Christ, I asked Him to help me use good words and not destructive words. Words that build up and encourage not mean words that tear down and discourage. God has shown me that He sees worth in me. He values me. One day, I would like to see what He sees when He looks at me.

I still slip every now and then. I have not mastered the English language yet but I am expanding my vocabulary. Sometimes I make up my own words in an effort not to use the old ones. I figure, if God values me enough to let His only Son, Jesus, die for my sins, I can respect myself enough to speak blessings instead of curses.

Getting Antsy

26 12 2007

My heart is about ready to pound right out of my chest!! If I have one more granule of sugar I am sure to go directly into a coma.

Christmas has been an excellent time for us. We had dinner with our bestest friends and their family. I always feel blessed when I get to spend time with these guys. Our friend Rhonda and her son Josh were there too so it was like a double rainbow. Lots of chatting, good food and laughter.

We talked to all 3 of our daughters on the phone. Everyone was doing well and sounded happy.

Ed and I made wish lists this year for the first time ever. What a great idea! We both got things that were on our lists and a couple of gifts where we thought outside the box.

My favorite gift that I gave Ed was his cook book. He had a notebook full of all these recipes that he had collected from his years as a steward on the ships. The pages were starting to tear and fall out of his book so I sneaked his book away and typed out each recipe (about 120) and made him a whole new book. Each page is in a plastic protecter and placed in a 3 ring binder. I also managed to find him an old Bob Dylan collection called Slow Train Coming. It is a collection of songs he wrote when he became a Christian and it was not a huge seller for him which made it hard to find. It was remade into a CD by Sony in Japan so the cover is written in Japanese. Pretty cool actually.

The favorite gift that I got … a panoramic photo of Florence, Italy. It is just the right size to fit over my long mirror in the studio and it is in a lovely black frame to go with the decor. Also some jeans and a gift certificate for a pedicure. Oh yeah, my baby knows me well.

 It really has been a blessing to be able to plan and to shop for the holidays. However, not having a job to go to after the holidays is a little un-nerving. I have had a whole lot of time off and have managed to stay pretty busy for a while but I am starting to get antsy. Must work soon!! Thank goodness that I have the studio and a couple of clients to keep my mind and my hands busy.

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas and I pray that we all have a fulfilling and prosperous new year.

A Saturday at Empie Park

24 12 2007

For the past 3 years Ed has been invited to sign up for the men’s cook off that The Rock has each November. For the past 3 years he has had to decline because of work. This year was the first time he got to join in the fun. They held the contest at Empie Park and the weather couldn’t have been better. There were about 100 people and a lot of delicious dishes entered. We all got to taste everything. What a feast.

Ed made a Bavarian cheesecake with fresh fruit garnish and he took first prize! My baby got skills! He won this great set of knives. That was one blessing.

Another blessing was the 3 homeless folks who found our group, no doubt by the yummy smells of the food being prepared and set out for judging. Several folks invited them to join us for a meal. We told them about the Hand Up ministry that would have vans picking people up downtown and bringing them to church in the morning. Two of the trio did get the van next morning and came to the Rock where they were able to get a shower and some clean clothes. They also had the opportunity to hear the message of hope that has changed so many lives. The truth that God loves them and has a plan for their lives.

Sometimes we think we are just in the right place at the right time but I wonder how much is really Divine Appointments.

Christmas song

22 12 2007

If you have a couple of minutes you gotta hear this. Genius and guaranteed to make you smile.

Thanks for sending this one to me Donna :0)

Click here: YouTube – Straight No Chaser – 12 Days

did you see those eyelashes?

17 12 2007

Glory Academy, you blow me away!

Pastor Abbye, you are just incredible. You cause me to desire excellence in all that I do for the Lord because you give Him your best. Thanks for inspiring by example. Mrs. Melanie and Mrs Casey, you are both anointed to dance and to teach others to express their worship with the dance. Thank you for doing what you do. You are really good at it!

I was so blessed to be a part of the production of Imagine Christmas yesterday. My friends, Gina Baran and Wendy Bell, joined me in the hair and make up department. I love working with these ladies. They both told me how much they enjoyed being a part of the production. Their adventurous spirit and willingness to create helped make the look so funky and lovely all at the same time. What team work. Thank you ladies for sharing your wonderful talents.

I must say that the young ladies and the lone male dancer, Joseph, were just a joy and a pleasure to work with. You all behaved so professionally. You were on time for your hair and makeup calls (even though it meant arriving at the church at oh my gosh o’clock on Sunday morning!) And you absolutely rocked the looks!!! Eyelashes and all. And, the eyelashes lasted for all 4 applications! Thank You Jesus.

On a personal note: After the church that Ed and I were very involved with ended it’s ministry, we were sad, weary and wounded. We wondered if we would ever want to actually join a church again. I wanted to stay safely at home and not put myself in the line of fire anymore. It seems to me that the hardest hurts in my adult life have come from people in church. That’s just wrong, but that is the truth.

It was a big step of faith for me and Ed to join the Rock Church but I am more convinced than ever that this is the place where God wants us right now. I sure hope that you feel the same way about the church you have joined yourself to. It is not just about getting a good feeling on Sunday. God has given each of us certain talents and gifts and He wants us to use those talents and gifts to encourage each other as well as to reach the hearts of hurting people outside the church. I need to ask myself if I am using what God has given to me. Am I using it for His glory or am I just using it when I feel like it? Am I ego tripping with it or am I spending it on God?

In closing… whew, what a week it has been. exhausting and exhilarating. Right now, I am tired. More than tired. I am too pooped to pop.