Monday, March 26, 2007

The Beginning Of A Season

It is the beginning of a new season.

Spring is here. It was warm today, almost cloyingly so. I am excited, though, because it's time to break out the pretty clothes - the skirts and sandals of summer.

I am also at the beginning of a new season with God. And I am scared. I am standing on a precipice, and I am teetering. He is asking me to fall, face first, into the emptiness I cannot see. I don't want to. I am having a hard time believing He will catch me before I hit the ground. I want a renewal of His promises, like the renewal of spring. I want to believe like the author below, that all fears are swept away when I am with Him.

Out in the Fields with God
by Anonymous

The little cares that fretted me
I lost them yesterday
Among the fields, above the sea,
Among the winds at play,
Among the lowing of the herds,
The rustling of the trees,
Among the singing of the birds,
The humming of the bees.

The foolish fears of what might happen,
I cast them all away,
Among the clover-scented grass,
Among the new-mown hay,
Among the husking of the corn,
Where drowsy poppies nod,
Where ill thoughts die and good are born--
Out in the fields with God.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

My Sunshine

This has been a hard week. But a great one too. Never before have I felt so relieved at having my hand slapped, or being disciplined. There is a peace and a joy that is accompanying what I am going through right now that can only be attributed to God's grace. I am more than grateful, and don't want to lose sight of this time in my life!

It was also a good week because, at the beginning of it, like a ray of sunshine who's warmth would carry me through some cold fog, I talked to my darling, my sweetheart, Kaya Grace Herdle. I didn't just talk to her though, we had a full blown conversation, centering a lot around favorite colors. It went something like this:

Kaya: What's your favorite color?

Me: Umm, red. What's your's?

Kaya: Well, my favorite color is pink, but then my other favorite color is purple. Do you like purple? What's your other favorite color?

Me: Wow, Pink is my other favorite color too!! What a coincidence.

Kaya: (yelling off into the distance) Dad, Trinette's other favorite color is Pink! Just like mine!! Dad, what's your favorite color?

Mike: (yelling back) Blue.

Kaya: My dad's favorite color is blue. What's your other favorite color?

Me: I don't know, I really just like red and pink. What's your mom's favorite color?

Kaya: (yelling off into the distance, and REPEAT).........

This went on for quite a while, with favorite colors. But then out of the blue, all of a sudden, in a very emphatic tone, she commanded "Sing me a song. Sing me 'Deck the halls with boughs of holly falalalalalalalala'. That's a beautiful song." So I did, I sang to her, and then she sang something back to me. But even though she's three now, and her vocabulary is impressive and her conversational skills are advanced, she still has this little chipmunk voice that I can't quite discern at times. So, she sang to me, but what I don't know.

It was pretty much the highlight of the beginning of my week. A dark, dreary, disciplining week. I am blessed!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Wanderlust is one of my favorite words. Maybe that's because it's a concept that is so dear & near to my heart.

I have a major case of wanderlust. Always have, and probably always will. Just part of who I am.

Today, well, ok this week, I'm dreaming of Jackson Hole, WY. I can envision myself anonymous there, in a town of 8,647, with snow capped mountains and a quiet job, maybe a cat. I want to live somewhere with mountains and snow and hardly another soul.

I have a major case of wanderlust!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Something Bigger Than Me

I must admit, I am a selfish being. As I am walking through a time of discipline, trials and pain, all I can focus on is me. I feel like I am in the midst of a forest, barefoot, stepping on thorns and bristles, tired, alone, hungry. Somewhere there is a light and I can discern the forest from the trees.

Even when I am taking these things to God, and praying, or in the Word, my mind comes back to all these little lies, about myself, and I lose focus on what's really big, and what, in my mind is just grandiose. I want to forget myself, and remember, again, that there is something so much bigger than me. The God who loves me. Please God, help me to see You more and me less!

Something that encouraged me in this challenge today, was the story of Anne Frank and her beautiful chestnut tree. Anne Frank was just a young girl, when her family was forced into hiding, from the Nazi's. She was still a young woman when she died of typhus in a concentration camp. Yet, her diary, and her life have inspired countless numbers of people, myself included. Her optimism, as seen through her poignant writings, is positively inspirational.

In her time spent hiding in a musty old attic, Anne drew inspiration and comfort from a chestnut tree that was just visible outside her window. It's presence gave her hope and solace, as she expressed when she said

"Nearly every morning I go to the attic to blow the stuffy air out of my lungs, from my favorite spot on the floor I look up at the blue sky and the bare chestnut tree, on whose branches little raindrops shine, appearing like silver, and at the seagulls and other birds as they glide on the wind. As long as this exists, I thought, and I may live to see it, this sunshine, the cloudless skies, while this lasts I cannot be unhappy"

Anne's father, Otto Frank, upon reading his daughter's diary (aren't dads not supposed to do that?? I guess we'll make an exception in this case) was greatly surprised to learn how much the tree meant to Anne. In 1968 he delivered a speech where he said

"How could I have suspected that it meant so much to Anne to see a patch of blue sky, to observe the gulls during their flight and how important the chestnut tree was to her, as I recall that she never took an interest in nature. But she longed for it during that time when she felt like a caged bird. She only found consolation in thinking about nature."

This tree, which is still standing today, is said to be the oldest in Amsterdam, at over 150 years old. It remains as a sign of hope and as a memoriam to Anne, but not for long. This beautiful horse-chestnut tree is slated to be chopped down soon. Despite the city of Amsterdam's best efforts, the tree cannot be saved from a terminal fungus and moth that is devastating it's leaves.

Anne Frank was blessed with a spirit and outlook much more positive and generous than what I have wallowed into lately. Her diary was not full of selfish thoughts about her losses, due to her circumstances. Nor was it full of lies about the whole world hating her and being out to ostracize her - for Anne that was a reality!

Here I am, immensely blessed with friends who love me, people who support me, and a ton of trees and lakes outside that I can readily walk or bike to, in the freedom of a country that has not forced me into hiding. Most of all, I know personally and can worship the Creator of all these beautiful things. He has loved me, and promised to protect my life from those who would seek to take it. This God, in whom I can implicitly trust and who offers me much more solace than the views of nature, it is He who reminds me:

"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith" Matthew 6:26-30

I am not unlike Anne this morning. I am sitting here in the study I am blessed to have, looking out at the bare branches of a tree outside my window. As I see the bright blue sky, streaked with just a wisp of a cloud, I am marveling that Spring weather is finally here This brings me such great joy and exuberance. I would not fully appreciate the beauty of Spring, however, were it not for the darkness and cold of winter.

So, as I go through a dark and cold time in my life, I want to, I must take hope that Spring may arrive as well. I pray that the God of four seasons would not leave me in winter long, but do what work He needs to do in my life in this time, and then bring me to a place where I can grow, and shoot up, like a lily of the field.

In the meantime, I have added my very own leaf, to the interactive tree that honors Anne Frank, and her beloved chestnut tree. If you get a chance, I would encourage you to as well. It is the sounds from that site that I am enjoying listening to this morning, artificial as they might be. Birds, bells, and a slight breeze. Our God is good!

One last quote "I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people. And therefore I am so grateful to God, for giving me this gift of writing, of expressing all that is in me!" Anne Frank, March 25, 1944

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Trying To Do What's Right

I have a confession - I am frustrated with trying to do what's right.

I'll keep this brief, but I recently screwed up in a big way, and am having to pay the consequences of my sins. In doing so, I have asked the parties involved to please work with me, to see that I am trying to do the right thing, and give me a chance to make things right. They just won't. All I get is their rudeness, which, in their unregenerate minds, they have a right to spew on me.

I just want to make things better, atone for my mistakes, for once, do the right thing. But I am frustrated, because I can't do all that they want me to. I literally, physically, just can't. And that's not good enough for them.

I am trying. I am trying hard. But I keep getting shot down. Why, Lord, are you allowing that to happen? What am I supposed to learn from this? From this lesson in good intentions and frustration. Where are you working in this situation?

Please show me. Please let me know

Friday, March 09, 2007

A Red, A White & A Good Laugh

So, here are three of my favorite things:

My favorite white wine - Conundrum, a white varietal, that I first tried on my 30th birthday at Zeno's in Uptown. It is one of the smoothest, crispest white's that I've had, and though it's about $27 a bottle, it's worth every drop. Pairs great with herbed chicken, salmon, and pears.

My favorite red wine - Toasted Head's Cabernet Sauvignon. I'm not a dry red person, the more tannins, the less appealing in my book. But this Cab is fruity, jammy, rich with chocolate and leather, packed with lots of intense berry aromas and a smoky, oaky, woody undertone. It is by far, one of the best red's I've tried!!

I love it, I love it, I love it, I love it, I love it, I love it, I love it!!!!

Last but not least.... The Career Builder Chimps. I miss those guys. I mean, come on, what's better than monkeys dressed like humans. Whiplash the Cowboy Monkey? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? But those CB Chimps, they had sass! Real spunk! They were your worst work nightmare, and they didn't care. I loved them! Bring 'em back CB, bring 'em back. *sigh*

So yeah, this post is totally random. But still, a little insight into some things that make me smile, when I think of them. Some more cultured than others. But what can I say? I'm a monkey kind of girl at heart!

Could be worse, I know someone who has a celebrity crush on the caveman from the Geico commercials. Creeeeepy.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Oh yeah, and I went sledding yesterday

So, the Herdles have this old 4 seater, wooden, antique tobogan. Pretty much the coolest thing to hit snow in a long time. That puppy was swift. We caught air a few times, and now my bottom is SORE!

Baby I'm amazed...

How awesome is the God who loves us? How full of grace, and mysterious ways?

Today I am quiet. Not because I'm tired, though stressful thought kept me awake all night. Not because I'm hungry, though all I've had to eat since yesterday breakfast was three soy lattes. Good protein that soy. But because I have a lot on my mind. Yes, stop the presses, I've been thinking, and now I think I smell smoke.

There is a lot going on in my life right now. A lot that I can't deal with frankly. The consequences of my own sinful actions earlier in the year are around every corner, leaving me in states of panic, unless I have peace from God. Blessedly, this morning He gave me peace again.

Not that the situations have changed. But today, He brought into my life an old friend, who shared with me her struggles, her hurts and pains, at this Christian life. Someone lied to her, and to me to, once upon a time. They said that if you're a good girl, a God-fearing one, who stays pure of heart, and body, then one day, hopefully before you're 28, the Lord will bring you a great husband who loves you and God and everything will be all Leave It To Beaver & White Picket Fence. Someone lied.

What is this Christian life about? It's about giving glory to God, through our lives and our choices and our actions. It's about union with Christ, living in Him, and sharing in His life, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

So, as we live in Christ, we can take example from His own life, and know that the American dream wasn't necessarily the Jewish Carpenter reality 2000 years ago. He was alone. He slept alone, sometimes with no bed for His body, no pillow for His head. He was scorned, mocked, ridiculed, despised, plotted against, humiliated, beaten, and eventually crucified. But He was also glorified, ressurected and ascended to heaven, where He sent the Holy Spirit as a down-payment to the believers, for the inheritance that they shall receive as they share in His inheritance, as children of God.

In trying to articulate this to my friend this morning, through her tears and the frustrated outpouring of her heart, I realized, God was showing me grace. He allowed me, poor, deficient me, to share with this woman His grace and love and truth. Me, who was up all night fretting because of my sin, and how it has led me to have to deal with consequences beyond my strength and ability. Me, who feels completely useless to God, because I am a lowly sinner, a harlot and a thief. Yet, me, who God foreknew years and years and years ago, and who He chose, in His sovreignty and mercy. Not because I'm so awesome, because clearly I'm not, but because in this crappy person He might be able to be of some use, as I empty myself so He can shine through. He has shown me grace this morning, and I am in awe of how amazing He truly is.

I know that I am nothing. I am pond scum. But I need my God. I need Him more than anything in this life, and above all other things. I want a heart to follow Him so closely, to love Him, and to WANT to sacrifice my life for Him.

I am tempted so much by the things of this world, the thought of being in a relationship, the material things that glitter and shine. These are all the things that draw my eye, and in the last few months have secured my loyalty. But God has shown me grace, and lovingly let me see the results of following after these things to the point where I forsake Him and His holy ways. It is a trap door to death, and though He let me fall in for a point, He reached His hand out and helped me out. Muddy, dirty, broken and bruised, He has brushed me off and is offering me a second chance. I want to take it!!

So, if you read this, please pray for me. Pray that I would not leave His side. Please pray that He would not only continue to show me mercy and grace, but that He would put these characteristics on the hearts of those who have to deal with me. Please pray that He would faithfully provide the things that I do want, the things that are not bad in of themselves (like a relationship, or financial provision), but not to the detriment of my walk with Him. And please pray that in all things I would love Him with all my heart, mind and soul. He amazes me. Baby, I'm amazed at the way you love me all the time!