September 22, 2009


I walked through twenty-one days without meat, sugar, dairy (minus protein-filled cheese), and fried food- but full of prayer and God-focus. It also began as a respectful demand for answers. It's no secret that my current life-situation has many imperfections, and I wanted to be proactive but still in-line with God's will.

Perhaps I fell for the misconception that if we do what God wants, He'll give us what we want. After all, it works that way with the rest of the world. Why not utilize social networking with the Most High? If God's for us, who can be against us, right? Apparently, that's not exactly how obedience works.

Remember that old song, "Trust and Obey"? I used to think it was a divine "because I said so". Just do what God says and believe it's the best, because He is good, after all. This is still true, but maybe there's another element to the process. I think perhaps we have it flipped around- it should be "Obey and Trust". Because if we are following God's instruction and direction, we know for sure we are in the right place. We also know that we'll see His promises. But this is not because we uphold our end of the bargain. Instead, it is because these instructions are the path TO the promises. Just as following assembly instructions leads to the finished product, God gives us the directions to His blessings. So the obedience makes the trusting possible.

So how does this apply to all those questions I handed God on September 1st?

Sadly, He hasn't handed me magic answers in return. And there haven't been any miraculous job offers or financial windfalls. I admit I half expected that to happen (it has for other people, so why not?). But i'm not anxious about it, either. I DO know He has it under control, and I actually trust Him that it's a good thing in perfect timing. And by "know", I really believe it- rather than just admitting it's the right answer regardless of my personal feelings. Instead of feeling the pressure to scour job listings, I cruise through them and wait patiently for the right opportunity. I'm staying in close communication with the Holy Spirit, and asking for discernment in regard to any major decisions. Instead of spending my hour-each-way in traffic desperately trying to think outside of the box for a new creative solution to all of life's obstacles, I substitute praise and worship and a lot of prayer- and listening. Just because my fast ended after 21 days, doesn't mean that answers must appear in the same time-frame.

So when I discovered my student loan payments are dramatically increasing in December, I didn't worry. And the news that the new income-based repayment plans do not apply to the majority of my loans didn't trigger a panic attack (ok, maybe a little bitterness, but i'm still a work in progress). I will still be proactive, but I realize there's not as much in my control as I'd like to believe- and that's ok. There's no use stressing over my living situation until I have another job, so my energy will be focused there instead.

Also, the fast provided an opportunity to "detox" and reset my body a little bit. I didn't crave sweets like I thought I would, but I sorely missed the protein from chicken and seafood (that's right, even deprivation doesn't make pork or beef sound the least bit tantalizing). This might be the start of new habits free of fried food or excessive sugar. And once I get the protein back into my system, I intend to up the exercise quotient very seriously. Stay tuned in October for details. :)

So it seems September's big changes were meant to lay a sturdy foundation for an improving lifestyle. I'll finish the month happily focusing on this weekend's Masquer show (see me for tickets!!), then taking a few days to rest and enjoy before kicking into high gear in October!

September 10, 2009

surrounding blur

Today, i tried to describe my current state to a friend. She said it sounded like “Garden State”, where Zach Braff is medicated. This is accurate, but I’m not proud of it.

Thankfully, I’m not medicated, but I have been in the past. And this definitely feel similar- a numb feeling while the world passes by in a blur. The post-vacation buzz is definitely wearing thin, and the mind-dulling routine is taking its course. Regardless, I am doing all I can to fight through it.

The Daniel fast continues, and it’s going pretty well. Strangely, I’m not craving sweets. Though today I would’ve considered trading my birthright for Long John Silver’s. Go figure. My current revelation is that I’m pretty selfish, and might have gone into this period of prayer and fasting with pretty selfish motives. Perhaps I should simply do this to please God, and trust Him with the details of my life. While it’s easy to write that sentence in plain Christianese, actually living that attitude genuinely is a challenge. I am pretty self-absorbed- more than I realized.

In daily news, there’s really not that much to report. The fires are reaching containment, thankfully. I think the So Cal firefighters deserve a place of extreme respect right next to the men and women serving in our military….. The Masquer show is coming along, and is now at the stage of perfecting and becoming excited to perform for an audience. It does feel odd that it’s only a one-night run. Months of hard work will be complete in only a few short hours. Of course, if you don’t want to miss it, please email me asap for tickets. ;)

Today, I got my ticket for next month’s Regina Spektor concert. It’s still weird that i’m going by myself, but i’m going AND i got a great seat. So we’ll just chalk it up to liberated living and enjoy it. :)

Last night, I was asked to dance in our church Christmas performance. I said yes without even thinking. As I drove home, I thought it interesting that in less than a year, I’ve gone from feeling intimidated at the dance supply store to actually being asked to dance in front of actual, live people.

September 03, 2009

moving along- day 3

A fast is just a diet unless there is prayer, Bible study, and listening for/to God as well. Now that i'm falling into the habit of this new eating style, I must move beyond my focus on the actual food. As a master of the perpetual motion of busyness, it's difficult for me to slow down, reprioritize, and pay the attention due to God.

I spent my lunch break in a little shady spot with my ipod and my Bible. After months lacking discipline, i finally finished the book of Acts. The last few chapters see Paul being captured based on false charges by the Jews , and being held by the Roman government for trial. Through circumstance and probably a bit of wisdom on Paul's part (he did used to be one of those conniving temple leaders, after all. He probably knew all the dirty tricks.), he ends up on trial before Caesar himself.

From this, i see that all of the crap Paul endured led him straight to Caesar's front door. Without threats to his life, imprisonment, and sacrifice, would he have been able to minister to the biggest decision-maker in that part of the world? We might not ever know the full extent of the impact Paul had on the Roman Empire, or what decisions and circumstances were directly impacted by his interaction with Caesar. But it is clear that every single moment was choreographed by the Almighty God for His good purposes.

Paul wasn't a super hero. He's just another guy, a Joe Schmoe from down the street- with one minor difference. He was devoted to serving God. This is a choice- not dependent on his supernatural calling, time or place of birth, a genetic predisposition, or any other pedestal we envision under his feet. This fact logically leads us to another- there's no reason our lives aren't like Paul's (minus the toga-wearing Romans, of course. Then again, maybe you have those, too). God directs our paths, orders our steps, or whatever cliche you want to choose to mean that our life circumstances have purpose. As a child of God, our existence is a blend of blessings from God to us, and from God to our brothers and sisters through us. That includes the messy stuff, too.

And on a personal note, I feel like today's message is more of a reminder than a revelation. My path has been cleared, and He's leading me through it. It's a good thing- all of it. And (this is where i often forget and most need reminded) I haven't wandered off the path, nor have i stopped moving. We're still walking forward together, and the journey's progressing on schedule.

I can't wait to see what comes next.

September 02, 2009

September- the beginning of something new (i hope)

(click to enlarge, if needed)