Barbara's Random Thoughts

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Christmas

I need to get out of bed and join the family NOW, but I wanted to post these bits of things I've read lately, which are in my head today as I celebrate Christmas and as I head out tonight for two weeks in the UK.

This, from here, which reminds me that God can and will speak when He chooses. I am longing to meet with God in these next two weeks, and I know how He's broken through with me before. It's never safe, but it's good. =)

“If holiness and the awful power and majesty of God were present in this least auspicious of all events, this birth of a peasant’s child, then there is no place or time so lowly and earthbound but that holiness can be present there too. And this means that we are never safe, that there is no place where we can hide from God, no place where we are safe from his power to break in two and re-create the human heart because it is just where he seems most helpless that he is most strong, and just where we least expect him that he comes most fully.”

-Frederick Buechner, The Hungering Dark

And this, a reminder of how God speaks, from reading this:

And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him.
-1 Kings 19:11-13

God speaks in strange, unexpected, and quiet ways. May He speak to you this Christmas, breaking through where you least expect it, but where you need it most.
| posted by Barbara | 6:57 PM |

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Stop Struggling

I usually don't mind the long drive between the Bay area and SoCal. Six hours is actually just about right--six hours to be alone, listen to music, think, pray, and think some more. I stock myself up with some good music or a book on CD and I'm good to go. As long as there’s no Thanksgiving traffic, I really don't mind. Just don't take away my CD player.

Last Saturday, just after I stopped for gas in Kettleman City, I got a crappy burned Christmas CD stuck in my car's CD player. I tried various methods of extracting it while driving, to no avail. So there I was in silence with 2 ½ hours of driving ahead of me. Please note that this was in the middle of the Central Valley--the most boring part of the drive. This is the section my sister calls "Bridgefield," because--you go under a bridge, you go through a field, you go under a bridge, you go through a field--for TWO HUNDRED MILES.

So. I couldn't help but think of times other friends have talked about this type of thing happening and it being a case of God forcibly removing distractions so that they could listen. I think there's sometimes some truth to that. I also think that people can over-spiritualize things like getting a CD stuck in your car's CD player. It's an inanimate object, for crying out loud. And after all, I've been doing a lot of talking to/ trying to hear from God lately. I wasn't really feeling it, to be honest. But I sat there in my silent car, driving through the middle of Bridgefield, and said: "Ok, God--what have you got?"

I started rehashing some of my frustrations with where I am right now. I don't like being in transition with no real answers as to what's next. I don't like living back at my parents' house with little idea of how long I'll be here. I hate answering the same questions over and over: "Aren't you glad to be home?" and "How long are you visiting?" and "So what are you doing next?" And you know what I heard from God in response to all this complaining? "Stop struggling."


And then God, in his infinite wisdom, continued on to remind me of the immortal words of Josh Bates. An echo from years past, advice given back in my Fullerton College days: "Be where you are." Even when you don't want to be where you are? Yeah. I guess so. I know I'm not going to be here forever. But that doesn't mean that it's okay for me to spend every minute fighting against being where I am. This IS where I am, for now. And until the next thing becomes clear, I need to stop struggling.
| posted by Barbara | 2:13 AM |

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Keeping up with myself

Tonight I discovered my baby book in the closet in my room. Tucked inside the front cover were the following newspaper clippings, which I feel compelled to share. Our local library, like most libraries, always had a "summer reading scheme" for kids. I won the thing two years in a row.

Look at my smug little smile as I display my certificate and prize! Please note that I am the youngest of the winners. =) There's no picture with this clipping from the following summer, but I love the headline and the effusive praise of my reading accomplishments:

Earlier in the week, I was looking over what I've read so far this year and comparing it to last year. I haven't yet reached a total that would match my summer reading in either 1984 or 1985. Neither have I matched my total books read from last year. This year so far: 27 books. Last year: 42. Maybe I can catch up with myself in the next month, but I doubt it.


| posted by Barbara | 5:09 AM |

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Most annoying application questions ever

"How would your friends describe you?"

Or, in a slightly different, fill-in-the-blank version: "In regards to God's calling for my life, most people who know me would say I..."

Well, let's see. I'm giving you five references to contact, in addition to the names and contact information for at least three of my former employers/supervisors. Why don't you ask them instead of me and then: I can stop speculating on what they would hypothetically say, you can find out what they would really say, and I can get back to the rest of this novella of an application. AUGH. I hate questions like these. HATE THEM.

Maybe I've been working on my CRM application for too long. Maybe I should take it easy, sit this one out, stop talking for a while...


| posted by Barbara | 8:32 AM |