Sunday, November 16, 2014

Dreams... Are you ready?

Do you remember your dreams?  I tend to not remember mine.  If I wake up remembering a dream by the time I walk into the restroom I've forgotten it already.  Usually I don't think I do dream.  My oldest daughter dreams about every night.  She remembers them, usually in detail.  I have a friend who can do that as well. 

The entire idea for the Twilight series came from a dream that Stephenie Meyer had.  Yes, I read the Twilight series.  Yes, at one time I loved every single one of them.  Now, I'm over it.  I got caught up in the hoopla of it all.  As someone who writes, I am envious of the gift of being able to remember your dreams.

This morning however, was different.  I was mid-dream when I awoke.  In my dream I was sitting in a chair among hundreds of people.  There was a stage and the stage was surrounded by chairs filled with people.  I stood up with my papers in my hand and headed to the stage.  I walked up on stage and knelt down next to the lady who had asked me to come and speak and whispered, "umm...this looks like a lot more than twenty five women."  She replied, "Yes, I know honey but they are here, are you ready?"  I told her I may throw up and I should pee first.  I looked up at the crowd and when I went to stand up I woke up.

On Tuesday I will be speaking to a group called the Department Club.  I have known this was coming since July.  In July, I grumbled and fussed and told God I was certain that He needed someone else.  In the end, I agreed to do it.  The funny thing about this is that I haven't really been all that worried about it.  I think that is what scares me.  I have a genuine fear of public speaking but what if that goes away?  What would I hide behind then? 

This woman in my dream who I haven't even met in person, only talked to on the telephone in my real life asked the most poignant question of me ever.  Are you ready?  Am I?  I have no idea.  How does one know if they are ready?  How does one know if they can really do something for God and do it well?  I suppose that is where trust comes in.  How much do you trust God?  The One who created the heavens and the earth and even me, how much do I or can I trust Him?  Are you ready?

I live in the land of What Ifs.  I have spoken in public a total of three times now and I never eat before hand because I am afraid of losing control of bodily functions.  Would that happen?  I suppose it could.  It is unlikely but what if?  What if I forget what I'm saying in the middle?  What if I'm not interesting?  What if I'm not funny?  What if no one shows up?  What if too many show up? Scarier what if I really bomb and I let down not only the people who have come to hear what I have to say but I also let God down int he process? Scarier yet what if I'm actually good at it and I have to do it again? 

Am I ready?  I don't know.  Am I?  I have been thinking about speaking to these women since July.  I know what I want to talk about.  All day I have thought about that dream.  What happens next?  It's like a cliff hanger only instead of a television show it is my life.  Did I go pee then come back and do well?  Did I go pee then throw up on stage or in the restroom?  What happened or happens next?  My greatest downfall is wanting to know the outcome instead of just trusting God to lead me where he wants me.  I have to always question it.  Always analyze it.  Always argue about it.  My best friend once asked me what would happen if I didn't throw a fit and just did what I was told.  I told her it was my process.  God knows it's coming, if I don't throw my fit he will think he got the wrong girl.  The ridiculous thing about that is that that is usually my argument.  He has the wrong girl. 

My favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Do you see the irony?  My favorite verse goes completely against my control issues.  I always want to know the outcome and yet...maybe I don't need to.  Maybe I need to accept that God knows the outcome and quit trying to take control.  He has control.  I don't have to.  I'm a slow learner but I think I'm starting to get it.  I don't get commissioned to go alone.  I am only being asked to go and allow Him to do His thing through me.  I have to learn to stop taking God out of it and start taking me out of it.  It's not about me. 

I was raised an only child.  I have only child tendencies but what a relief it is to know that in this instance, it isn't about me.  It is about doing what God asks me to do.  I don't need to panic, I need to get with the program.  So...am I ready?  I'm shaking in my boots, but my boots are made for walkin'.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Paper Gown Patient...err Princess?

I have a not so secret secret.  I don't like to go to the doctor.  I am horrible about preventative medicine.  I don't go to get my yearly exam except every three to five years and up until this year I had never had a mammogram.  I do go to the eye doctor every year because sight is very important to me.  I have to be able to read, also glasses are cool.  I go to the dentist every six months because I like to chew my food.  Food does not always agree with me but I do enjoy eating.  Eye doctors and dentists I have no problem with.  I don't have to get naked to see them.  OBGYN's I see no use for.  I'm done having babies.  Yes, I get that it would be responsible of me to make sure I don't have cancer, but nothing else gets checked every year for cancer.  My husband doesn't go see a doctor every year and get naked to check for cancer. 

Some years ago my doctor actually moved her practice an hour away.  I have seen her once in her new office.  The discussion with my husband recently when like this:  Vaughn:  You need to go to the lady doctor.  Me:  Why?  I feel fine and I can't get pregnant.  Vaughn:  Just to make sure everything is ok.  I don't want to have to explain to our kids if something happens to you, that I couldn't get you to go to the doctor.  Me:  First of all, I am pretty sure I was just there a couple years ago.  I remember going to the Italian place for lunch and shopping after.  Second of all, I am also sure our children are well aware that no one can talk me into doing anything I don't want to do.  Vaughn:  Please just call and see if you can get an appointment.  Me:  Fine.

 So I called my old doctor and she was out until February.  I took that as a sign that I didn't need to go, because obviously I'm not going to go in February.  It's deep freeze winter in February.  This didn't fly with my beloved husband so I called and got a new doctor. 

Now here's the thing with new doctors who happen to be in the OBGYN field.  You meet them naked.  I don't know about you, but I don't normally meet people naked.  I prefer to see a woman doctor because other than what they studied in school, a man isn't going to get women's issues.  I found a doctor closer to home that met my criteria and made an appointment.  I found the office and checked in.  (Side note:  My husband told me before I left for the appointment to remember that I laugh at myself when I get nervous.  I have no idea what he's talking about.)  When the nurse took me back, she took me straight to the scales.  Now... I have to take my shoes off, my coat off, take my phone out of my pocket.  Essentially remove any excess just to be weighed because I need all the help I can get.  So I say, "You know, I think it would make more sense to have the scales in the rooms because I can tell you for a fact, that I weigh less without clothes and obviously my clothes have to come off here." 

Once in the room and after all the preliminaries I am asked if I need to use the restroom.  Why yes, yes of course I do.  When I return I have to put on the paper shirt and cover up with the paper blanket.  So now the situation becomes horizontal or vertical with the paper blanket.  As I'm sitting on the table of torture awaiting certain doom, I am thinking that when the doctor (that I am meeting naked in paper coverings) comes in she will see my backside first so..I definitely want to go horizontal with the paper blanket so I can wrap it around and sit on it, thus keeping all parts covered at first meeting.

The doctor was very nice.  We talked about Women of Faith and had I not met her wearing paper, I think we could have been friends.  I think that she and the nurse were disappointed that visiting them rated below going to the dentist for me, as they said usually rate just above the dentist.  Chat time was great.  Exam time was uncomfortable as best.  After the exam with a bonus round that apparently is required after forty.  No, just no.  We must not speak of that ...ever.  I thought I was done.  No, no so much.  I need a mammogram and apparently it is a bit appalling that I have never had one at this age.  I was given an order and told to go where I wanted to have it done. 

All I knew about mammograms at this point, was that 1. I didn't want one, 2. They are apparently uncomfortable and painful.  I pictured metal jaws of life compressing what little bit of deflated nothingness I have left after nursing three kids.  I called on a Wednesday in October.  October is breast cancer awareness month.  I was sure I was going to get a reprieve until at least November.  They got me in two days later.  It was crazy.  I made it to the appointment and there were no metal jaws of life.  I was given pink beads on the way out.

All in all, it was bearable.  It is funny how our imaginations can make things to be worse than they actually turn out to be.  I still don't think these appointments need to happen every year, but I am not found of being a paper gown patient.  Or would that be a paper gown princess?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Running Toward Elightenment

Enlightenment comes when you stop looking around for it.  In my wildest dreams I never imagined that I would ever run.  Of course I'm still not sure what I do could constitute running.  Today during our run a neighbor came up in his car and asked me if I were trudging through Nutella.  When I finished begging him for gum, because I had forgotten to grab some before heading out, I told him that was exactly what I was doing.  So there is one lesson learned:  Never, ever, under any circumstances run without gum.  All that huffing and puffing makes for a very dry mouth which makes the run almost unbearable.  He didn't have any gum but offered me water which I declined because I can't carry anything when I run.  It's just too much of a hardship.  I have enough trouble carrying myself.

Today we ran for thirty minutes.  In. A. Row.  Yes, you read that correctly.  The girl who whined about running for two minutes is now running for thirty.  Not well I might add, but running nonetheless.  It's painful, I ache, and it doesn't help me in my quest to stay up late and read as many books as I possibly can in one year, but I am persisting in the quest.  I am being enlightened in doing so. 

God tends to use unlikely means to get his point across.  I always said I couldn't run and I wouldn't run.  So...God put it on my husband's heart to want to Run for God.  I wish he had put it on my heart to want to run.  He didn't.  I still don't want to run.  But he did put it on my heart to want to encourage my husband and to do this with him.  He also took a non-runner and made her a runner, or a trudger (that may not be an actual word but it should be) at the very least. 

A couple of weeks ago we were going out to run for twenty minutes.  I told myself that my rate of surviving the runs was 100% so I needed to just get over it and get ready to go.  Funny how just as we were getting ready to go I heard a whisper from God that said that my survival rate for public speaking was also at 100%.  Some people tend to look at me funny when I tell them that.  Sometimes God whispers to me but sometimes I need big neon signs. 

In July I was asked to speak in November to a group of ladies in the Department Club.  Now maybe that doesn't sound unusual to you.  Maybe it isn't but what if I told you that just the day before in church we were talking about evangelism and everyone took a candle to light and pray about who we could ask to church.  In all fairness maybe not everyone took a candle.  I did take one, to this day I think it is still in my car.  In my mind I thought, "Well sure I can invite someone to church.  No problem!"  The next day I got the phone call asking me to come speak.  God not only whispers and uses flashing neon signs sometimes he just uses his sense of humor.  Funny that I can't just go speak to one person I get to go speak to the masses.  OK maybe not the masses.  There could be only like ten of them for all I know.  But you see the humor right?

I think I'm learning that maybe there are a lot of things that I have always thought I couldn't do that maybe I can do.  (Excuse the obnoxiously long sentence.The get longer when I get excited.) 

Saturday I went to see Beth Moore live.  I cannot even begin to tell you how amazing she is.  I look at her and I think, "She is who people should hear speak.  Not someone like me.  I couldn't possibly have anything to share that could help anyone."  But what if I'm wrong?  What if I'm just broken enough that God could use me to help even one?  Being the runner that I am, in which I tend to run from everything.  I'm usually too scared for anything out of my realm of comfort.  God is trying to teach me not to run away but to run to him and let him do the work. 

At the end of the even on Saturday Beth asked anyone who struggled with panic and fear to stand up so we could be prayed for.  Yes I said we.  That's my first reaction always.  I stood and my best friend and people I've never met laid hands on me and prayed for me.  I have never experienced that before.  It was very emotional.  I suppose I have never thought about whether or not anyone prays for me other than my children, my husband, and Christi (a.k.a. the bff.  If you have read my books you've read about our antics.)  After the event I asked her if she was ready to take our act on the road.  She's not so sure but I think I have her convinced we should have a band.  The way I see it, any mistakes I might make in speaking can be made up for by a good praise band. 

All that to say this...I'm still running, I'm a runner, only from now on I'm running towards something instead of away from something.  Oh and IF you are unfortunate or fortunate enough depending on your perspective to hear me speak, just keep in mind I'm a movie lover so there will be movie references and even clips shown.  This broken servant needs visual aids.