Monday, September 21, 2009

The Lord said to Noah....

It's raining. A lot. Which makes me think of Noah. I know that one afternoon of rain is nothing compared to what my family and friends have been experiencing in Texas for the last couple of weeks, or what folks in the southeast are getting right now. But my ceiling is leaking, so I'm feeling under a deluge.

Twice since yesterday morning the story of Noah has been brought up. The church we're attending in Tulsa is a Methodist church, and they pass out Bibles to the 3rd graders in order to encourage Bible learning. Yesterday was the Sunday that those were passed out, and the woman in charge of the kids' program gave a little speech. Her coworker (a teacher) mentioned in class that she thought she was going to have to build an ark to get to work because of the rain. Half of her students didn't get it. How sad is that? This is a Biblical story that is referenced constantly, at least in my world. How is it possible that these students were not aware of who Noah is, or why, in a torrential downpour, their teacher would need an ark to get to work?

The second time Noah was mentioned was today. I was watching a DVRed episode of Psych, and at the very beginning the two main characters are shown as children, discussing the story of Noah with their priest. Sean, the lead guy, has some very serious doubts about the reality of this story. He does make some interesting points, like why DIDN'T the lions eat the zebras? And how did koala bears get to the middle east, where the ark was built?

What a world we live in where children don't know this basic story. I know at least two songs about it. And unlike a lot of things about the Bible, I have not ever questioned Noah. Truly. I won't lie, I've had my doubts about some of this "stuff," even though I was raised with it (maybe because I was raised with it, who knows). But even with all the stuff about Noah that doesn't make sense to the logical side of my brain, it never occurred to me to wonder why the predators didn't eat the prey.

The scariest thing to me is that while God promised He would never do this to His people again, how many of us aren't His people? This world is a sinful place. There are storied every day about murder, rape, child abuse, acts of terror, genocide, et cetera. How much worse could it have been in Noah's day? I know that there will come a time when God will take His people outta here. I shudder to think how very bad it will be for those who are left behind....

Friday, September 18, 2009

Humdrum days in OK

Not much to talk about today.....I just feel like I haven't updated this in a while. Things are pretty much the same where Chad's job and the restaurant are concerned. Hailey and I are doing well. We haven't gotten any bad news lately, so that's a plus.

I do get to go down to Dallas for a couple of days next week, although I'm not really going to get to see many people. It will be nice to see some friends though!

That about covers it for today....maybe I'll be more interesting next time!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

good news bad news

I finally have something to report on our lives, rather than just my spiritual journey. Seven weeks ago, I sent in an application (and a boatload of other paperwork) to try to get certified to teach through alternative means, rather than attending a university. Because I have a degree in English, some states are desperate enough for teachers that they will allow someone with a bachelor's to skip the coursework required through an education program and simply take the tests to be certified to teach. I started this process in Texas (although I only applied), and of course got no further once we moved.

The paperwork for Oklahoma was more involved (you can apply online in TX), indicating less need (to me), so I had some trepidations about applying, particularly since we have had our shortage of good news in the last few months. Yesterday I tried repeatedly to call the number listed on my paperwork in the hopes of finding out something, anything. I was informed to allow up to six weeks, and I had worked out that it had been seven, so I braced myself for a "no" and called. I was unable to get through, and decided to get online and research some post baccalaureate coursework to get myself certified the old fashioned way. OU (I know, ick) Tulsa had what looked like the right program, so I printed the application and filled it out, hoping that my negativity would pay off when I made the call to the state department of ed again today.

Now, I know that the answer was already there, and that regardless of what I filled out, God had chosen a path for me. Sometimes it helps ease my mind to be superstitious, even though I know who is REALLY in control here. So today I called, and my negativity (okay, prayer) paid off. I have been admitted to the program!!! I will still have to complete some coursework, but not until after I have passed the tests (thereby saving on tuition if I do not pass), and I will be able to begin teaching once the coursework is completed. They also allow up to 3 years to complete the work, also allowing a break on the old wallet.

This was a huge relief, and I immediately began calling people to let them know before I posted my good news on facebook (some people deserve to hear it in person, after all). However, my excitement and relief were short lived, because while Chad was on his lunch break at 3, he called (as he does everyday) with bad news. His uncle Rodney, who has stepped in to oversee things while the trust is settled, sat him down today and advised him that it looks like the family will have no choice but to sell the restaurant once all the financials are straightened out. This means that in all likelihood he will have no job once they sell the place, and that even if he does, it will not be one that will support us without blowing through our savings.

Now, I will admit, I spent a large part of this afternoon angry-at myself and Chad for deciding to move up here, at his late uncle for suggesting it, at God for not just letting me have MY good news and my day. I cried, I complained to my mom and dad, I posted a kind of grumpy update on facebook, and I cooked a ton of food (fortunately, it is freezeable). Even at this hour, I don't feel at peace with things, but I do feel better. My mom is in Alabama for a visit, but she has offered to come up and visit after she gets home. She suggested that I call my dad and have him come get Hailey and I and take us out to AL, but I think that perhaps Chad will want/need us here on his three day weekend. When I suggested that we would not be able to afford for me to take the tests I just found out I need to take, she said she would pay for them (although some sort of financial aid might be possible).

After all this, I still don't understand why I couldn't have my one day of excitement over a piece of good news, but I'm going to stop trying to figure that out and instead concentrate on prayerfully considering what is going to happen next for our family. I know that God wants us to be happy, and I am grateful that He has provided us with a roof over our heads, food to eat, and a beautiful, intelligent daughter. Perhaps this was His way of reminding me again that this life is not mine to control, and that it is His will, not mine, to be done. Please keep our family in your prayers as we go through this time of transition.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I say it a lot. "I'll keep you in my prayers." "I'll be praying for you." My home church has a prayer list for joys, concerns, and other prayer worthy occasions.

Here's the thing, though: I'm not really sure how to keep up a prayer list. I try to remember everyone in my daily prayers, and of course in church or personal reflection. But I know I miss some. So my question is, how do you keep your prayer list? Do you keep an actual written list? Save Sunday's bulletin and add names to it as the week goes on? Or do you just carry the list in your head and your heart, and trust that even if you don't mention those folks by name that God knows what is written there?

Because in my heart of hearts, I know that God knows all, sees all, IS all, but I sometimes have the feeling that the people I have promised to pray for are somehow cheated because I failed to mention them by name. Or that I'm somehow less of a person because I can't remember the 32 people I promised to pray for. And admittedly, while I know that they need them, I never remember to mention our country's leaders, or our troops overseas (or at home).

So I guess I'm just taking a do you keep your prayer list?

P.S. Going through some transitional, spiritual growth (I hope) stuff.....and honestly, the changes happening in our lives right now are so overwhelming that I'm not ready to deal with them publicly-so I apologize if some of you are tired of the incessant, public, faith walk.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Raccoons on the roof

In our old apartment in Dallas, we lived near the dumpster. Not close enough to smell it, but close enough to hear the trash truck beep as it backed up to lift the sucker. Also close enough to worry that our parked cars were going to get hit by said truck. Oddly enough, living near that dumpster provided us with a small measure of enjoyment.

The apartment complex was bordered on one side by a small creek, and was in a relatively low traffic area. Put those two together, and you get critters. One such critter? Raccoons. And since we didn't have to clean up the mess they made around the dumpster, we had a great time watching them. And, I'll admit, we occasionally gave them leftovers we didn't want. (Not really moldy ones, ones from restaurants that we had just visited.) And since the management of our apartment complex was two ladies who didn't like us and were not very nice, we also thrilled at the thought of them having to pick up the trash. Ok, not very Christian behavior, but there it is.

So when we moved to Tulsa, we were a little sad at losing our little furry friends. We actually watched one hoist another into the dumpster. The guy who went in? He threw food out for his buddy. Such teamwork from wild animals is a little astounding. And then again, not so astonishing after all. Chad and I have been reading about the Creation for our Bible study, and having reread that age old story, maybe it isn't such a shock after all that those little bandits were looking out for each other.

Fast forward to a couple of months ago. Chad and I were sitting on the couch, watching TV like we do every night. Being on the second floor, our apartment has skylights in the sunroom (really, not as swanky as I make it sound). I heard a scratching noise coming from that direction, and wondered if one of those horror movie monsters was coming for me. (Chad makes me watch those, and I despise them.) He didn't hear it, so I figured it was my imagination, until a few moments later when it happened again. This time we both heard it, and investigated. It took a little work, but we quickly found the source of the noise-raccoons playing on our skylights. Now we hear them several times a week.

It seems that God will provide you with ANYTHING. Even raccoons.

P.S. It might not be a coincidence that this apartment is also not far from the dumpster, and also backs up to a creek.