Sunday, July 29, 2012

Summer Update #2: Lessons from the Dog

I'm not exactly a dog person.  I love dogs, and pretty much any furry animal...that's not a tarantula...but I'm more of a cat person.  Cats are more my speed.  Feed them, give them water, give them a poo box.  That's all they need, really.  I mean, some of them are needier than others, but I've never really felt guilty about leaving a cat to fend for itself for a few hours.  Dogs?  They're always giving me guilt trips.

I've done some dog sitting this summer for a really awesome doggie named Max.  Max is a Schnoodle.  I love the Schnauzer in him; the poodle?  Well, hmm, yeah, I love the Schnauzer in him. 

I've dog sat many times before for a German Shepherd.  The main difference between a German Shepherd and a Schnoodle is that a Schnoodle could easily be carried off and eaten by a large carnivorous bird, whereas a German Shepherd might only be easily carried off and eaten by a large carnivorous dinosaur.  And given that difference, I'm pretty sure that Max has every right to be a scaredy-pup.  And he is.

I had to leave Max in his cage for a few hours yesterday while I went to work, and I felt guilty about it.  And then I felt even guiltier about it because it started thundering and I was worried that would freak him out.  I kept thinking about him barking every time it thundered--trying to chew through the bars of his cage.  But...when I got back to the house, he was fine, of course.  He was just really happy to see me.

The thing is, if I could talk to Max and make him understand me, I wouldn't have to feel so guilty.  I could tell him, "Hey, little guy, I'm going to go to work and be gone for a few hours. I'll be back around 11," then he'd know not to worry.  But no matter how much I tell him that "I'll be home when the clock's little hand is on the 11 and the big hand is on the 12," he can't understand me.  Cuz he's a dog.

So when I put Max in his cage and leave the house, he was either going to trust that I or someone else is eventually going to come back and take care of him, or he was going to freak out a lot until someone actually did come back and take care of him.  And I don't watch him when I'm not there...for obvious reasons...but I do know that when I come back, even if I've only left the house to take trash out, he's always OVERJOYED to see me.  I'm not sure if that's because he really thinks that no one was ever going to come, or if he just loves me that much.  It might be a little bit of both. 

But I found myself telling Max, "You silly lil scaredy pup, don't you know I love you?  Of course I was coming back to take care of you."

And I started thinking how silly I can be sometimes.  I know that God loves me.  I know He's going to take care of me because He does love me.  So when life is chaotic and I can't see what God's doing, I can either choose to freak out or to trust Him. 

Tomorrow I'm turning in that application I've had forever.  Then I'm going to try sending out some resumes and see what happens.  If anything does, I'll be slightly less cryptic about it.  If not, I'll just keep working my 15 kazbillion four jobs and struggling to make ends meet.  Right now, the thought of doing that for another year kind of makes me want to chew through the bars of a cage, but if that's what happens--it's going to be all right.  I'm a silly lil scaredy pup, too, but I don't think I'm going to be carried off and eaten by any large carnivorous birds anytime soon....

There are still so many changes going on in my life--my fridge was in my living room for a while, but that's a different blog post, lol.  More friends have moved away, but other relationships have deepened.  God has been giving me so much blessing--blessing I know I'm not at all meant to keep to myself.  I know He's going to provide more because there's so much He's doing in my life, and so much He wants me to do--participating, coming alongside Him in the work that He's doing.  I just have to trust and wait, wait and trust, trust and wait...  You'd think I'd be an expert at that, but apparently I'm a silly lil scaredy kid who still has a lot to learn.

You know what, though?  I'm kind of enjoying the lessons.  ...Most of the time.  Lol.  There's definitely mercy in the struggle.  And I am very blessed.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Summer Update #1: No Longer Afraid

The last time I updated was several weeks ago, and it might be several weeks before I update again.  My roommate moved out, taking her computer and interwebz with her.  Right now I'm kind of in interwebz limbo, and well, that's okay.  I kind of like not being too connected.  I've got too many other things to do. cleaning my apartment so a potential new roommate can come look at it. 

I'm not sure how I ended up with so much STUFF.  Seriously.  My apartment has a large bedroom, in which I am currently sleeping/living/keeping my stuff, and a smaller bedroom, which was until very recently home to a lady I called my roommate.  I've decided that it's a good time for a change, so I'm going to move all my things into the smaller bedroom--getting rid of whatever doesn't fit or clutters stuff up too much.  And well...golly gee...I've just got too much STUFF.  Clothes.  Books.  Knick knacks.  Not to mention my collection, yes my COLLECTION of Eeyore beanie babies.  How many possible ways could they dress Eeyore up?  Idk...but I've got like 20 of them...

It's time to declutter.  It's time to get rid of old junk.  It's time to start afresh.  But sometimes getting to that new place is harder than it seems.  And I might have mentioned before that I just don't like change....

...but God keeps sending me little reminders that it's time for things to change.  For one thing, about half my friends (or so it seems) have moved away or are about to move away.  The other half (or so it seems) have either just given birth or are about to give birth.  Some of my friends have both given birth AND moved away, and well, it's just gotten ridiculously obvious that right now is such a season of change.  I knew it was coming, but I don't think we can ever be prepared for it when it finally comes.  CHANGE.

Even if I'm not moving from my current apartment, I'm still feeling the need to get a fresh start and shake things up even more than they've already been shaken.  I'm still working on a job application, hoping that when the summer ends, I'll be starting my work life afresh, too.  We'll see what happens.

But more than just the physical, obvious stuff, I really have been sensing some big changes.  Mainly, my attitude on a lot of things has completely flip-flopped.  I've finally, FINALLY begun to see that my life and talents are not really mine.  I've kinda sorta always known that, but it's such a hard concept to grasp.  And I'm not sure that I have fully grasped it, but I'm a lot closer than I was.  Because I'm finally realizing the truth that when my talents don't belong to me, then I have absolutely nothing to fear by sharing them with others.  And it's hard to explain the fear that I've had--it's not fear of sharing the talents so much as it was fear that I'd have excessive pride when sharing those talents.  And since I had that fear, since I knew pride was lurking behind every talent, it was actually a good thing for me to keep those talents as hidden as possible. 

For instance, I'd sing in the choir, but never audition for a solo.  But I finally figured out that my voice isn't something I created within myself--it's something God gave me.  And if God gave me that voice, He didn't give it to me to keep to myself.  All my talents are something God gave me so that I could give them to others.  That doesn't mean I should go out and sing solos all the time, or whatever, but it means that I can no longer be afraid to share my voice when the time is right to share it. 

And just this morning, I was driving to work.  As I flipped between the two tolerable Christian radio stations that play in my area, I heard two different songs by the David Crowder Band (who, sadly, are no more).  And I found myself thanking God for giving singing/songwriting abilities to Mr. David Crowder and his former band of awesomeness.  I was thinking about how much those songs meant to me, how they so genuinely praised the Lord and related to the amazing, awkward, sometimes painful beauty of humanity.  And once again I had this epiphany that if God gives someone a talent, then that talent is meant to be shared.  If DCB hadn't joined and performed their music, I and so many others would have missed out on some pretty extraordinary musical blessings.  And I'm not saying that my songs are anywhere near the caliber of DCB, but I kinda think that if God inspired me with some lyrics, along with giving me a decent singing voice and a barely passable guitar playing ability, then maybe I should so something with that.

And I can't be afraid. 

Just as I can't be afraid to take all the little steps I have to take in order to embrace all the newness in my life.  It's not easy.  It's not supposed to be. 

Honestly, I don't really have a clue what's coming in the next few months.  I don't even know how I'm going to pay my rent next month.  What I do know is that the Lord is faithful.  What I do know is that He already sees the end of everything before I even see the beginning.  There's a lot going on.  I've lost friends due to moving and even some to death.  And it's not easy, not for me, and not for others.  But I'm not alone.  They're not alone.  And I know God's doing something in my life and in the lives of others to bring us closer to each other, closer to Him. 

We can't be afraid.  We can't be afraid to give.  We can't be afraid to give because nothing we have is ours anyway. 

There's freedom in that.  I don't think I've grasped it.  Maybe it's not about grasping as much as it's about letting go. 

Shrug.  I'm getting there.

...until the next update...