Monday, November 30, 2009

a holiday season prayer

I’m sitting in the airport in Atlanta – delayed. I’ve just been “home” for 4 days, visiting family – finally getting to be a close-up Aunt instead of a far-away Aunt. Having Thanksgiving dinner with most of my family. Celebrating an early Christmas with most of my family. It’s always times like these that make me realize exactly how hard it is to live my life.

Granted, I’m not in any major danger. I don’t put my life on the line daily. There are MANY nobler jobs than mine. But I do live a day’s drive away from my family. And for a nuclear family girl like myself, that’s hard. It seems to get harder every time I see my parents, my sisters, my brothers-in-law, my nieces and my nephews. My nieces and nephews always have these new little nuances that have shown up in their personalities. It’s always time to go right as they’re opening up to me – as they’re welcoming me into their lives. And that is hard.

I’m in Atlanta and there are people rushing past me – business people, family people, military people, kids, moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, friends – you get the picture. There’s a pilot sitting directly across from me and my first thought wasn’t, “Wow, I wonder if he enjoys his job?” My first thought was, “I wonder when he last got to spend quality time with his family?” Why is it that the Holiday Season always brings thoughts of families to mind? We’re always more open to helping others during a season when we realize exactly how good we have it. Why does it take us being bombarded with images of what we have for us to realize that there are others who desperately need our help?

And then there’s me – guilty of all of this. I only think of those “less fortunate” than I am when I’m lonely. Or when I’m in an airport. What kind of hypocrite am I that I sit at home, enjoying the warmth of my many blankets while sitting on the couch, watching old movies on my flat screen TV that I had to have to replace the one the movers broken when I moved to Florida? I’m afraid I’ve totally bought into the American mentality of “I need, I need, I need” instead of “I want, I want, I want.” Because, to be honest, who needs multiple TV’s? Who needs a nice computer, a nice phone, multiple music players and a mostly new car? These are just wants.

Here’s my prayer for the Holiday Season:

“Father God, take away my desire for those things I don’t need. Teach me the difference between a need and a desire. Instead, turn that desire towards what I can do for others – for those who actually need: for those who go without daily so that their children might be able to eat. Holy Spirit, build a fire in my soul for those who hurt, for those who so desperately need to know you when I am so blessed to have been given so much by you.

God, thank you for what you’ve given me. I’ve received an overabundance of gifts from you – help me to use them for Your glory. You are an awesome God and I want to live to serve You.


Friday, August 21, 2009

an interesting end to a good week

So here I am, sitting in the USO of the Baltimore airport. A very unexpected, yet pleasant, visit. I’m stuck here overnight because of apparent bad weather in Memphis. So after a few hours of freaking out (crying, being pissed, waiting in line, getting new tickets, etc) in the airport, I can honestly say I’m ok with this.

Honestly, I’m pretty sure God had something up His sleeve when I got here. The Bag Drop lines were SUPER long and I would’ve missed my first flight. Then I found out my flight was delayed by 2 hours. Yay God. Then I found out that my flight from BWI to Memphis was taking off about 5 minutes before my flight from Memphis to Panama City was to take off. Obviously I was missing that flight.

I did find out some useful information, however. Apparently when there’s a rash of bad weather, airports make it a point to keep some seats on all flights open (until the last possible minute) for any military members whose travel has been interrupted by weather, delays, etc. So the ticketing agent tried her best to get me on a flight that would get me home tonight. But to no avail. The only flights that were flying into Panama City (or any surrounding airports, for that matter) were landing tomorrow morning.

So here I am, sitting in the USO. The man running the snack bar gave me 5 boxes of Girl Scout cookies for free. For FREE! How cool is that? He had to talk me into taking them (yes, Cori, we are set for snacks for the next few weeks)! But I’m glad he did. He convinced me to pack them in my suitcase.

As I’m sitting here (using free wireless courtesy of the USO), more and more people are walking in the double glass doors. We’ll be leaving here for another room, soon, because this USO is under construction. I’ve heard it’s smaller, but it’s still free. And it’s still a safe place to stay for the night.

A Marine and I were conversating and he randomly guessed that I was in the Air Force. He said I fit the Air Force “type”, but he couldn’t explain to me what it was. So, joking around I said, “Nice? Happy?” He didn’t really have an answer, but he said that those were a few reasons. That kind of surprised me. Apparently I’m a good “ambassador” for the Air Force even when I’m not in uniform! Me, a “disruptive presence in the shop”, a good ambassador? I’d love for my Supervision to have heard that. But at least it didn’t fall on deaf ears!

Wow – LOTS of people are walking in now. Hopefully things will quiet down and we’ll all fit in the other room. There are 4 small kids hanging around here with their Mom and older sister. I guess you can figure how quiet it isn’t around here. As I’m typing, their mother is arguing with the nice snack bar man about how her 4 kids under the age of 10 should be able to play the xBox. I guess some people just take the free stuff we get for granted.

All-in-all, it’s been a GREAT week. I loved spending quality time with my nephews. I got to see my nieces. They love me. My nephews love me. I got to spend quality time with my Creation friends (well, most of them). I helped them out two days this week where they work… we were all clean, we didn’t smell, and we were well-rested! It was wonderful!

But I’m so ready to be home. I miss home. I miss my friends there. I miss my bed. I miss my roomie. Yeah, I’m ready to get back. But it’s been a great week off. I’d love to have another one just like it. Soon.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

a righteous anger

I have a lot to write, but let’s just suffice it to say I’m mad. Truly, genuinely, good and mad. It kind of came out of nowhere. I’m not hurt, I’m not emotionally scarred. I’m just mad. And I need to write about it.

This is probably the first time in my life that I’ve actually been mad enough to cry (and I have – a lot). I’ll admit it – I have a bad temper (I come by it honest). Normally when I get mad I throw things. Or I yell. Sometimes I even don’t talk (it’s better for everyone around me that way). But this time, I just don’t know what to do. This is where the crying begins.

I feel like I’ve been made a contingency plan. Not a “Plan A”, not even a “Plan B.” Just a contingency. ”In case. If our new plan doesn’t work out, then we’ll turn to you.” What’s that about? Who deserves that?

This is why I’ve decided that I can’t be a contingency – I won’t be a contingency. It’s not fair to me. Not at all. For the first time in my life, I’m sticking up for myself (however indirectly). My therapist would be so proud.

But, yeah – back to my anger. I need to do something constructive about it. Maybe this is my first step towards it. The next step? A tough one…

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

the hard "no"

“I’m sorry. You’re a super wonderful guy… but no.”

This has been happening to me a lot lately… I’ve had to say the hard “no”, on average, at least once a month since becoming single again back in August. But it all seems to be concentrated into the past 2 months or so. Is this God’s way of telling me I’m ready to date again? Or is it just that the guys I’m around see something they like and they go for it? The hard thing is that, lately, it’s been nothing but great guys doing the asking. But they’re all wrong for me in some way, shape or form.

I don’t consider myself too picky, I just know what I want and, more importantly, what I need. One of my past boyfriends was actually 85% what I need. He knew how to handle my neurotic tendencies. He knew how to handle my anger (and the fact that, when I fly off the handle, he needed to get ready for a pretty wild and lengthy ride). He knew how to make me laugh, how to make me genuinely happy. So, in a way, I’m looking for another him. But in a totally different way. I now know mostly what I need… I’m just narrowing down the rest of it and the “what I want”. I was walking with a friend of mine the other day and I actually created an almost complete list of what I know I need. But I’m not going to list that here. Face it - blogs are personal enough, but the list is a little too personal to broadcast on the internet. God knows what’s included on that list and and He’ll provide exactly what I need and want - maybe even throw in a few surprises, too!

I’m not going to lie. I’m ready to date again. But I’m not actively looking. I’m not also looking at every guy I meet thinking, “Hmm, he’d be a great guy to date. He should ask me out.” It’s just not happening. God will bring me who I’m supposed to be with. And he’s going to be great. This is the longest length of time I’ve been single in a long time and I’m actually enjoying it. For awhile I was afraid that I’d be one of those people who couldn’t be alone. But look at me - 8 months or so and I’m still going strong. When I was younger I used to wonder if every guy I met was “the one”. Now I just see these guys as potential friends. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to date someone. But I only want to date someone when it’s right that I do. Nothing forced. Nothing read into anything that’s been said or done on the fly. I want to be excited, to be comfortable, to be open to opening myself up again.

So thank you. Thank you for the flattering invitations. But I’m waiting. I’m waiting for the guy who breaks the mold.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

a change in view

I’ve recently been an indirect witness to some pretty major legal proceedings. Normally no big deal, right? Well it’s different when you know the entire story - when you know the people involved, the effects the situation has had on the people involved… the family histories, personal histories, personalities involved, etc.

I used to think that I had my opinions of crime & punishment all figured out. Black was black and white was white. And it is that way - in a perfect world: a world where no morality is involved, a world where humanity is not taken into consideration. Now the obvious black and white areas seem to have merged into one huge grey area. Prison sentences now seem harsh (to a certain extent). Probation/community service seem to be the way to go - but is it right to err on the side of caution? The death penalty used to seem pretty cut-and-dry. Not so much anymore. Exactly what do the judge/jury take into account before imposing the death penalty? Does personal opinion carry any weight on their decisions at all?

How long will this new point of view last? Will this change be a forever type of change, or just a passing fancy? Will I be able to apply what I’ve learned to everyday situations or will I just let it go by the wayside? Why have I been given this look into humanity? Will there come a time in life when I will need to make a life-or-death decision, weighing all the facts, not just my personal opinions?

It’s a lot to chew on. But maybe, just maybe it’ll help me change this world for the better.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Originally uploaded by Jay Arpin
I've come to realize something - I'm happy with where I'm at. I love my friends. I love where I live. I love my church. My job is great (even if it's time for a change) - you couldn't get better benefits. I'm actually pretty content with where I'm at emotionally. I can't explain it - it's just something that came on me after church today. I was standing around with my friends, talking about where we were going for lunch, and I just felt happy. There's no other word for it, really.

I kind of fell in love with my friends all over again. There's something so special about all of them, but I can't quite put my finger on it. I'm not even sure what's made me so content.

But I do know this - it's a feeling I haven't felt in a really long time. It's refreshing. It's like walking out on a wintry morning, feeling that first blast of crisp cold air.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

truth in twilight

The last time I wanted to write, I decided that I would write about what I was feeling at that time - very confused, not sure what I should have been feeling. I was going to write about jealousy, emptiness and extreme loneliness.

I was going to write about what I thought I was missing, from what seemed like a “loser’s” viewpoint. Not anymore.

What brought on this change? Believe it or not (and this is probably going to sound really stupid), I went to see Twilight on a whim last night. My friend and I wanted to go see a movie, and it was the only movie that wasn’t 2+ hours long. Believe me, I was skeptical. I’ve never liked vampires, let alone vampire movies. But, strangely, seeing the movie changed something inside me.

It’s, honestly, the first time I’ve felt a tangible longing. I’ve longed to see my family, my friends, my loved ones. But I’ve never physically felt a longing. It’s like it’s a desire, a craving that I can’t just turn away from. I’m not sure what to do with this new tangible longing, but hopefully it’ll be met/filled soon.

That’s really all I have to say right now. There’s really no way to explain any of this to anyone reading this without watering it down, so I’m not going to try.

That’s all.