Thursday, August 30, 2007

Meteorological Phenomena

I took this last night while driving... actually, for once, I was sitting still at a red light. Can you see there are two rainbows?!?

Whenever I see a rainbow, it not only reminds me of God's promises, but also I remember the day, several years ago now, when I was in Seattle. I was going through a really hard time and I had just finished telling my friend, Christy, that I'd never seen a "full" rainbow. She stopped me mid-sentence and said, "Mer, look up". And there in the sky was a FULL rainbow!!!! God doesn't always answer me immediately like that, but I think He knew I really needed the encouragement that day!!

I just looked this up on Wikipedia, "Rainbows are optical and meteorological phenomena that cause a spectrum of light to appear in the sky when the Sun shines onto droplets of moisture in the Earth's atmosphere. They take the form of a multicoloured arc, with red on the outer part of the arch and violet on the inner section of the arch. More rarely, a double rainbow is seen, which includes a second, fainter arc with colours in the opposite order, that is, with violet on the outside and red on the inside." Isn't that amazing?!?

Want to learn more about rainbows?? Click HERE.


"History does not entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Crazy Sexy Cancer

Hmmm.... where do I start?

I was watching this program on Lifetime a little bit ago entitled, "Crazy Sexy Cancer". I'd seen it adverstised earlier and thought it looked interesting. Essentially, it was about a woman's life, presented in documentary style. I missed the first thirty minutes, but wow, I was transfixed the next 90. This woman was told she had 24! inoperable, uncurable tumors. She tried many different methods of "healing" herself. But during the course of trying to get beyond what was right in front of her face, she developed this peace.

She began to do the things she'd always wanted to do because, honestly, not knowing how many days she had left encourages one to try new things. As she was about to swing from a trapeeze (sp?), she looked into the camera and said, "I'm really afraid of heights". But she climbs to the top of the ladder and the next thing she knows she's flying through the air. You can tell she's really unsure of herself, until all the sudden, she realizes she's having fun. For a moment, she's just a girl having the time of her life, not a girl who's dying from cancer.

When she was done, she realized something, "Cancer wasn't killing me... it was pushing me to live". Wow, what a statement. I guess, in a strange way, I feel like that too. Not that I have cancer, but I do have things that are eating away at me. They erode the very fiber of my being on a day to day basis. If I don't keep them in check, soon, they will grow! So, if I don't change, then whose fault will that be when my life doesn't turn out how I wanted. I mean, granted, I can only control so much. Everything, even what I think I have control over, is in God's hands. But that doesn't mean I can't change my eroding shoreline.

I have dreams and goals which God has obviously given me - He made me - so He wouldn't be so cruel to give me these desires, then not fulfill them. I just look at where I am and what I've "accomplished" in my 30 years, and it all seems so inadequate. I have so much more potential in me. I know I do. But I get so bogged down with the business of life, that I seemingly don't have time to live. Ironic, wouldn't you say?

I want to change that!!! I want to look back in ten, heck even one year from now and see that I've done something with my life. Accomplished some of my dreams. conquered some fears. I allow fear to stand in my way far too often. It paralyzes me to the point where I become completely useless. "God didn't give me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind"!! (2 Timothy 1:7)

So, where do I go from here? Sometimes, I feel as though I might drown in my own thoughts. They overwhelm, wash over and consume me.... but no one knows. To the casual observer, I am still the same. But in many ways, I feel like apart of me has died. I don't know how to state that in a less melodramtic way. (I'm in a very analytical mood... and it shows!)

I just, don't know where to start. I guess, in little ways at first. Like doing the things which make me happy; make me feel alive. Taking pictures. Painting. Writing. Creating. The rest, well, I guess that's part of the fun. The joy of discovery.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Some assembly required

Do you ever feel like you're trying to live life without seeing the picture on the puzzle box? Or should these words should float above your head, "Some assembly required", like "I'm thinking Arby's"? It would seem, from our perceived reality, that our lives are often so out of control... or at least they feel that way. Much like, if you dumped the pieces of a Scrabble game onto a table. From first glance, it's just a jumble of letters. But if you look at it for a bit, you'll start to see words evolving right before you're eyes.

I think the same is true when God looks at our lives. Well, first, He knows what the picture on the puzzle is going to look like even before we were created. Blows your mind, huh?

See what, Psalm 139:12-14 (The Message) says,

"Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you're there!
If I go underground, you're there!
If I flew on morning's wings
to the far western horizon,
You'd find me in a minute—
you're already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, "Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
At night I'm immersed in the light!"
It's a fact: darkness isn't dark to you;
night and day, darkness and light, they're all the same to you.

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother's womb.
I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I'd even lived one day."

Isn't that comforting to know? So, when life feels like mixed up Scrabble pieces, just remember, God knows you like a Creator would. If we came into life perfect, then what need would there be for a Savior? What then could we testify as to what He'd done in our lives? Kinda puts a whole new perspective on it, huh? It did for me too.

Friday, August 24, 2007

First Words

I wanted to share the love of my life. I've been smitten by a tiny person, who said his first words a few weeks ago, while at the beach. His daddy is a little upset that he said "Ma Ma" first. My nephew is precious and honestly, a miracle. My sister and her husband tried for many years to concive, but eventually turned to invitro fertilization. Through TONS of prayer, little Grant McMeurray entered into the world on November 13, 2006. I find it hard to believe he's now nine months old!!! It's such a blessing to watch him grow up and learn new things, literally every day!!! (You'll hear me say, "ma ma ma" before Grant repeats me).


I picked up my plates from Painted-By-U today!!! Very exciting stuff! They are way cuter than I thought they would be, though, I had trouble getting the lighting just right (the greens look funny) when I took the pictures this afternoon. See what you think!

When I get some more "spending money" I plan to go back. But for now, I need to find a prominent spot in my house to hang these. I was trying to decide whether to use them as eating or decorative plates, but I think they'd match the walls of my house nicely.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Bubble Wrap

A package came in the mail yesterday afternoon. My first thought was, "Oh great, one more thing for me to deal with." (Had the cute UPS guy delivered it, I might have felt differently. But alas, it was our usual guy. Don't get me wrong, nice guy and all, but not for me. Cute UPS boy always makes my day.) Anyway, by this point in the day, I'm just plain tired. I'm tired of answering the phone on the first ring (sometimes, a completely unrealistic thing to happen). I'm tired of having to "figure it out". I'm tired of doing all the work that no one wants to do and I get stuck with it. I'm just tired, you know?

I cut the box open to find sheet after sheet of bubble wrap!!! I immediately unpacked the very overprotected, essentially plastic waste toner box for the printer (really, folks, all that bubble wrap for something that's plastic?) I took them all to my coworker so that we might have a little fun before the day was over. Now, as I previously stated, I was dragging!!! It was all I could do to answer the phone and not sound like I wanted to go postal on anyone who spoke with me. But within the span of opening the box up and finding my treasure, I was immediately energized!!!

I tried the "normal" method of popping it with my thumb and forfinger, but I could only contain my sheer and utter joy for so long. The next thing I know, I've placed the sheets onto the floor, kicked off my shoes and I'm literally jumping up and down with joy on the bubble wrap! Christie and I were cracking up! It was awesome.

It reminded me.... even on those days when you can hardly 'keep moving' (that's for you, Stacey), I find it interesting how God places, what I call (actually borrowed from Robin Jones Gunn), "pockets of grace". (Something you don't deserve, but God gives it to you anyway - Meredith translation.)

As the *pop* *pop* *pop* continued to fill the room, I smiled to know that God loves me. He knows me. He knows what to do to make me laugh. What will bring sunshine into my otherwise deary day. As my sister might say, in her "I'm a cool mom" voice, "That's just how He rolls!"

By the way, should you like to have of this same sheer joy, only within the span of the virtual world, check out this link:

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we've been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Dormant Dreams

God's reawakened some dreams and desires I've kept dormant for far too long. Subsequently, I feel like if I don't express myself creatively somehow, I might just explode. Well, last Wednesday night, some friends met at Painted-By-U to spend time with Nikki before she moved away. I'd given what I wanted to do a lot of thought. I'm not one to just do something spur of the moment. Oh no, probably too much thought went into it. But I wanted to share what I'd created. I ended up going back the next night and worked for nearly three hours. I like each of these for completely different reasons. And of course, you can still see all the pencils marks. But when they are finished (this Thursday!!!), they will look completely different!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Storm by Lifehouse

Often, the times in my life, when I feel like I'm the most alone and struggling to exist, are often the times God's the closest to me... if I'll only turn to Him and rely on His strength. Sometimes, like Peter, we have just get out of the boat for God to use us.

how long have I
been in this storm
so overwhelmed by the ocean's shapeless form
water's getting harder to tread
with these waves crashing over my head

if I could just see you
everything will be alright
if I'd see you
the storminess will turn to light

and I will walk on water
and you will catch me if I fall
and I will get lost into your eyes
and everything will be alright
and everything will be alright

I know you didn't
bring me out here to drown
so why am I 10 feet under and upside down
barely surviving has become my purpose
cause I'm so used to living underneath the surface

if I could just see you
everything will be alright
if I see you
the storminess will turn to light

and I will walk on water
and you will catch me if I fall
and I will get lost into your eyes
and everything will be alright

and I will walk on water
you will catch me if I fall
and I will get lost into your eyes
and everything will be alright
I know everything is alright
everything's alright

God's so gracious...

I don't deserve God's grace. Pure and simple. I mean, despite all my sin, though, obviously, not to be over looked. I just don't deserve how God continues to show me His love. For instance, I've been going through a slump in my Walk. Frankly, I haven't been studying His Word, I praying or for all purposes, growing. I've been existing, but, just barely. God's not honored when I live like this. He saved me so that I could live life, abuntantly. (To the fullest, making the most out of every opportunity, joyful, happy, etc.) This isn't how I've been living.

I never know how honest to be on blogs... afraid of what people might think or say... but sometimes, I think it's necessary to just write. Regardless of how I might feel, I know that God will use me to encourage and bless someone else. So, here's the truth. I struggle with depression.

On the outside, my life looks hunky-dorry, but on the inside, I'm torn up. I often deny or push away how I'm feeling. To dwell too long there requires too much of my analytical side. (And unfortunately, these deep conversations I have with myself, always seem to fall exactly when I should be sleeping.) I did discover that my mom struggles with depression as well. Which, I found not only comforating, but ironic as well. (But that's another story for another day.)

I'm constantly battling within my self to stay above the drowning zone. I've only reached that level a few times in my life, but those few times scared me. So, it's really an every day decision to live. Which, sounds so crazy for me to be typing these words right now. It makes me seem like such a drama queen. But in the midst of the storm, it's often hard to see beyond it. I get so twisted around by the winds of emotions, it's hard to know which way is up.

Back to God's graciousness. OK, so recently, I turned 30. I know, not a big deal. But, I feel like I'm having a quarter life crisis. The dreams I had as a kid have yet to be fulfilled. I honestly don't see them happening any time in the near future... and frankly, that kinda freaks me out. I know, I know. I need to trust God. Strangely enough, I've always had some major trust issues with God. (Not that He's given me any reason not to trust Him.)

I woke up one morning and decided it was time to stop dreaming about things and start actually doing them. God made me a dreamer. Which is amazing. But, sometimes, I get lost in the dream and don't know how to actualize these things. Well, here's the cool thing aboug God. He knows me. Duh. He created me, so of course, He knows how to get my attension. (I promise all this rambling is leading to a point.) Recently, through several different people, God's shown me what He wants me to do. Which makes me soooo excited!!!

I've ALWAYS wanted to write a book... and illustrate it with the photography I've taken over the years of nature. I have no idea why I have this desire, but I know it's from God. Who else could whip up such a God-sized dream? Well, I've looked into the cost of getting something published and let's just say, it's not cheap. My good friend, Amy told me the other night, about this product from Creative Memories, where you're able to make your own hard back book. (I seriously need to look into this.)

That was an answer to prayer.... God LOVES to LOVE on me. I know He does. Even when I'm a punk and don't deserve anything, He continues to bless me. I think, it's His way of telling me to keep on keeping on. He has amazing plans for my life, plans to prosper me and not to harm me. Plans to give me a hope and a future. But, if I quit on life, that can never happen. I see his as God's little pep talk. He's like, I know you feel like giving up sometimes, but just keep walking. ("Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.") He's right there along side of me on this journey, giving me water to drink and love when I need it.

I know this post has been all over the map. A wise friend (thanks Dave!) told me to blog for me... which I am, but I don't want to make it like a journal and it needs to be interesting, so in case anyone should actually read it, they won't fall asleep while reading it. But, regardless of anything I might ever say.... GOD DESERVES ALL THE GLORY FOR ANYTHING GOOD IN MY LIFE. Let that be known.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Too Tired...

I really want to talk about church tonight, but I'm so exhausted, I can hardly stand it. I actually told myself not to blog tonight, so I'm only doing a short mini-one. Cheating? Perhaps. But anyway, church was awesome. I'm so glad I went.

Also, perhaps because it's so freaking hot outside, tons of living creatures have decided to come live with me. My friend who's in Africa right now is probably laughing at me, or at least, she knows how I feel. Yesterday I bought ant killer (traps and spray). Today, big, scarey roaches are all up in my house!! I thought maybe it was just one that snuck in when I came in. But oh no!!!! There have been at least 10!!!!! I sprayed them to death! Then, just to make sure, I went around and sucked them up in the vacuum cleaner. I'm insaine, I know. Admitance is the first step, right.

Ok, I must go to bed.

"Get busy living or get busy dying."

I've never been very good at keeping up with a blog... but I have a lot of thoughts rolling around in my head and I figure, if nothing else, at least I'll get them out. Perhaps others might even be entertained by the seemingly endless crazy things which happen to me. Or maybe something I ramble on about, might actually make sense to someone and they'll be encouraged by it.

Today, a good friend of mine reminded me of a dream I once had. I'd gotten so busy being busy that I completely forgot about it. She, by God's leading, I believe, helped reawaken that dream. God has given me several passions but this particular dream encompasses three! Can you imagine the possibilities?!?! You see, I've always wanted to write a book. What I'm to say in said book? I don't know. I have a unique way of looking at the world, and I honestly believe God can use me in this way.

Have you ever seen "Shawshank Redemption"? It's a great movie! Though, in good conscious, I can't actually recommend the movie, as I believe it's rated R. But man, do I love this movie. :) If you cut out all the "R" material, there's a lot of truth there. One of my favorite quotes comes from Red, talking to Andy about what to do with his life, he says, "Get busy living or get busy dying". In a totally different context, Paul talks about this in the Bible too, " live is Christ, and to die is gain..." See that? Paul had eternal perspective. If only we all could live our lives with this same intensity, what would the world look like? What would change?

Where was I, oh yes, dreams. I believe that God has destined each one of us to fulfill a specific moment in History which no one can do, but you. If you feel God tugging you in a certain direction, follow the "rabbit" and see where God takes you. I heard recently that God gives us God sized dreams so that others will see Him in it, not us. I pray you too will get a revelation as to a dream in your life. Never give up hope. God's always with you, always working.

My pastor told a story this past Sunday about a preacher in another country. This pastor felt God calling him to give up his really expensive watch to a man in the audience. This man struggled with what to do. He didn't understand why God would ask him to give away this prized posession. (To make a long story short.) This man obeyed God. The man in the audience traded his watch with this pastor. On the home, the pastor and his team was ambushed by rebel soldiers and many were wounded. Upon arrival at the hospital, the Dr.'s told him, if not for the watch, he'd be dead. You see, a stray bullet hit that watch and saved that pastor's life. What he thought was just a lesson on humility and pride, was actually a tool to save his life. So, you see, you never know what God is up to. Be encouraged!!