Friday, October 12, 2012

#abtntc Days Four thru Ten + Other Musings

Okay friends, so I'm a bit late.  Today I just finished reading last week's readings.  I know Jeff instructed us to skip the end of a week and start each week fresh, but my love for lists and crossing things off just doesn't permit such actions, haha!  So here's my attempt at catching up the end of the first week and all of week two in one post.  I won't be going as in depth as I have with other readings, but that's okay.  I think I'm just going to stick to the discussion questions this time.

1.  What was new or compelling to you?
--I found encouragement when it said in Acts, "...they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah."  Can you imagine never stopping teaching and proclaiming the good news?!  That is so awesome.  What a witness and message to me that I need to be more vocal about my faith.  Yes I believe in living my life in a way that is pleasing to God as an example to others, but I need to be more vocal about my faith as well!  I was reading The Books of the Bible on my break at Biggby and one of the Tom's employees asked me what I was reading.  It was such a cool thing and a good challenge for me to be completely open about my faith.  
--I love how in Acts it says "About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them."  Amazing.  They are in prison, praying and singing hymns to God.  I can only strive to be that faithful and that much of a witness!
--In 1 Thessalonians I liked how Paul, Silas, and Timothy refer to their care of the people of Thessalonica as nursing mothers, and as a father deals with his own children.  How neat - what a cool relationship that is.  I hope that as I continue to grow in my faith and knowledge of the Lord, I too can encourage others in that way.

2.  What questions did you have?
--In Luke it discusses divorce and how if anyone divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.  What does that mean for our modern world today?  What if someone divorces their spouse who was abusive?  Or unfaithful?  Or...a number of other seemingly valid reasons?  Hmm...
--This is more just a thought of "wow, I had no idea this happened in this Bible!" kind of thought.  In Acts "an angel of the Lord struck him (Herod) down, and he was eaten by worms and died."  It sounds like the making of a good and creepy movie, one that John would probably like!  :)

3.  What did you learn about God?
--God is so merciful and just.  Rereading when Jesus was on the cross next to the criminal and Jesus says, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise" - I just think how awesome is our God that while saving all of humanity past present and future, he saves a criminal dying on a cross for the crimes he's committed.  What an awesome reminder.
--In 2 Thessalonians it says "The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat."  I didn't know that was in the Bible, and I guess I had never thought about that being God's ideas on the matter of work, but I like that it's in there and I like that I read it and am reminded of my responsibility to work.

4.  What did you learn about yourself?
--I learned that I love songs and can remember song lyrics way better than any scripture memorization!  I loved reading in Acts "For in him we live and move and have our being."  In my head I totally started belting out that song with those lyrics from church growing up.  Love it!

5.  How might this change the way you live?
--I liked in Acts how "So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off."  My church in St. Joe does this - they lay hands on people or groups going on missions trips before they leave and bless their work.  I think we need to do this in more day-to-day life!  What a cool thing!  Hopefully I can and will integrate this in my life as well.
--I love reading that verse in 1 Thessalonians where it says, " Therefore encourage one another and build each other up" - what an amazing reminder!  Also a few verses later it says, "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."  Amen.

Better than money, sweeter than honey, is the word of God!
Check out this beautiful ocean pic from my trip to California!

Alright, so the past two weeks have been insane.  A bit of a whirlwind, to say the least.  Friday, October 5th, John drove me at the crack of dawn (5am) to East Lansing where I hopped on the Megabus.  The driver got lost but we eventually got to Detroit where my good college friend Alyssa and her daughter picked me up.  We spent the day together before she took me to the airport and I flew to LAX where my cousin Brook picked me up.

Saturday, October 6th was a busy day!  Brook and I woke up, grabbed coffee and started our day of doing touristy things.  We first went to Santa Monica, which is where the ocean pic is from, walked around, walked the pier, then headed to Hollywood.  In Hollywood we grabbed Sprinkles cupcakes and Sprinkles ice cream before we ventured down Rodeo Drive.  We walked around ooh-ing and aah-ing at all of the expensive things (I even tried on rings at Tiffany's!), and then headed back to her condo.  We changed clothes and picked up her boyfriend and went to dinner.  After eating delicious Chinese food, we went to the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride!  I cannot believe I did not pee my pants.  It was so fun though!  We had two celebrity spottings - the main blonde actress from American Beauty (which I haven't seen) Mena Suvari and Elvira "Mistress of the Dark" - haha - also had never heard of her, but whatevs!  :)

October 6th marks 3 years of growth and 3 years of God's provision.  I won't go into great detail but I do want to say that God is faithful and cares for his children greatly, me being one of them.  No tears were shed on October 6th this year.  I did remember throughout the day how blessed I am and how far I have come from 3 years ago.  Thank you Lord!  My God is so awesome.

Next was Sunday, October 7th where Brook and I headed to Disneyland for the day and met up with her friends!  What a day!  Disneyland's claim to fame of being "the happiest place on earth" isn't lying! Okay well I don't know if that's true, but once I stepped foot onto the property, I was as giddy as a little girl.  It was so fun!  I absolutely love Disney and enjoyed every moment of being in such a magical place.  :)  We got to ride rides and try on different mouse ears.  Oh man, so fun!  We were exhausted by the end having had two very full days.

Monday, October 8th was relaxing and wonderful.  Brook had to work and so I stayed at her condo.  Brook's roommate drove me so I could hang out at Starbucks which was nice.  I just relaxed and drank good coffee.  I loved it!  I walked home in the beautiful sunshine!  When Brook got back we hung out and talked for a good hour or two and then went to the grocery store to get stuff for tacos and chocolate peanut butter pie, oh and wine too!  What a night.  We ate yummy tacos, I made Red Ball Jet's chocolate peanut butter pie and we dined like queens.  We watched a few episodes of Modern Family and then both went to bed.

Tuesday, October 9th is when the "fun" began.  What a day Tuesday was.  I talked to John on his lunch break lamenting my financial situation.  Brook's roommate had overheard me being upset and after I got off the phone, asked me if I was okay.  I was in the middle of talking with her and literally had just gotten done saying "I just need a job" - the words were hanging in the air, when my phone rang.  It was a job offer!  The one I reallllly wanted!  I had applied for this one in July, interviewed for it on August 30th and here it was, October 9th and they were offering it to me!  Since it's a state job, they said I needed to take a drug test within 24 hours.  I told them I was in California, they said that wouldn't be a problem, and told me to keep my phone by me for further instruction.  Yay!

So I'm all happy and calling family and friends with the great news when my phone rings again.  They called to tell me they had to rescind the offer.  There was no way for me to take the drug test in California.  I was crushed.  I asked if they could scan or fax it, but apparently they could not.  I asked what if I make it back to Michigan in 24 hours, could I still have the job?  They said yes.  Soooo amidst a good 3-4 hours of tears, I made phone calls, checked the internet and made it back to Michigan!  Ben and Kristen let me borrow their credit card, I booked a flight to Chicago, arrived around 1am Chicago time where mom and dad picked me up, drove to St. Joe, slept for an hour and a half, left for Grand Rapids around 6/6:30am, stopped at John's work where he had brought me my social security card, drove to my new place of employment, filled out some paperwork, drove to the drug testing place, and peed in a cup!  Hooray!  I'm now just waiting for the results and a start date.  :)

I also have free housing lined up in Ada, Michigan.  Through Premier, I met a fantastic couple, Rob and Lindsay, and their four boys.  Last week they offered me a spot in their house, rent free!  What a blessing.  Oh and they go to my church - Ada Bible Church - as well!  

So while I was in California I had left my car with a friend of a friend to look at it for me as it had been making funny noises.  Since I got back earlier than expected, he hadn't had a chance to look at it yet.  So I drove it back to Portland.  I took it to Joe's Auto Service in Portland yesterday to get a diagnosis and an estimate.  The diagnosis?  Not worth fixing. I am car-less.  I really think God is trying to pound into my brain that I just need to rely on him and depend on him for everything.  While I know this, it still just feels like one more thing to add to my to-do list.  I know God will take care of me, but I just want things to go smoothly!  Anyone have a car I can borrow until I have a few paychecks under my belt to start looking at buying one for myself?  My last resort is to bike to work, but since I work third shift starting at 11:30pm, and I will be living about 8 miles from work after I might be a bit dangerous.  But that's my plan for now.  :/

Whew!  Word vomit.  Today has been a good day.  I loaded up last week's sermon that I had missed on my iPhone, grabbed Shelby (Ken & Cindy's dog), and went for 45 minute walk.  It was fantastic.  God is so good to me.  I know things will work out; they always do.  

Thanks for reading guys, if you made it this far.  I love you all and appreciate your encouragement and support in this season of constant change and transition.  I know I just gotta keep trusting and smiling, with two thumbs up as depicted by me in the following picture:

Yeah fun Disney Toy Story hats!  :)

Love always, Emily

Alice Kingsley:  Sometimes I believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
The Mad Hatter:  That is an excellent practice.
     [from 2010 Alice in Wonderland]