Thursday, September 15, 2005

Finding Joy

Yes, my week has continued in the previously explained crappy mode. More bad things happening, more piles of bureaucracy to wade through, though thankfully no more semi's looking to crush me.

Today as I was wading through what appears to be an insurmountable pile of work on my desk, I heard an interesting sound. I turned around and sure enough, it was pounding rain. I love the sound of rain pounding on roofs and windows. And for a few minutes I didn't even consider that I need to get groceries on the way home and am going to get very wet doing so.

And then I remembered that just a few weeks ago I was sharing an office and didn't even have my own window. And then I sent off a quick email to someone in my small group about something and realized that a few months ago I didn't really know anyone who lived in my area.

There are lots of small pieces of joy out there to be found. I just need to look a little harder.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Ever Have One of Those Days???

The kind where leading up to it everything has been going right? Everyone thinks you're doing a great job at work, things are going well at home, and you're just generally feeling great?

And then the day hits. At first you don't realize it's One-Of-Those-Days. In fact, at first you think it's just that you aren't a morning person. And then, when you almost get hit by a semi you think "Wow - city drivers are bad." Later you start to wonder if there's a pattern developing. Then everything hits the fan at work and boy are you glad when the day's over. Only to discover it's extended to all aspects of your life.

And not only have you had a sucky day, but it's been sucky in ways you're going to have to fix the next day, and the day after that. In fact, this might be a full week clean up job. And, because people were already exasperated with you today, calling in sick tomorrow and hiding just isn't an option.

Yes, I did have one of those days. Where you wonder why you went to grad school for a job like this. Where people scream at you about what you're doing with your time that you're not taking care of the issues you're supposed to. Where random people leave voicemails explaining how incompetent you are at work while you're out screwing up another project.

Then, I went to my small group. And I was leading the study. And it sucked. People responded with monosylabic answers. Or with bits and pieces of heresy. And all I wanted to do was scream "what?", but realized that would make things suck more, not less.

As I was driving home from my Bible study the full weight of the suckitude of the day hit me. Bam.

Can I have the life behind door B??

Monday, September 12, 2005

On the Lighter Side

So much for my career as an editor!

You are a MASTER of the English language!

Huzzah. While your English is not exactly
perfect, you are still more grammatically
correct than just about every American. Others
admire the way you speak and could learn a lot
from listening to you. Still, there is always
room for improvement...

Take the quiz here.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

It's Raining Politics

Yes, I know, once upon a time I loved politics. In fact, I loved it so much I took several degrees in it. And worked on campaigns.

This week? Not so much.

I am SO tired of average people in the US and their political games. The amount of time I've spent this week listening to people pontificating on why their party is so far superior is disgusting. It seems people come with two settings - "Blame it on Bush" or "Blame it on anyone but Bush". I've seen some pretty horrifying information supporting both sides, but for right now I just don't care.

What exactly is this accomplishing? Do people really see bashing as a productive passtime? Do they think they are helping someone? Solving problems?

Don't get me wrong - I'd love a fair and just investigation of everything that happened. Later.

There are so many issues we really need to be dealing with both short and long term. In the short term there are staggering issues related to the relocation and medium term care of the evacuees, the economic impacts on the country of losing oil and a major port, and costs of the rescue and recovery effort.

More long term issues include the questions around the poverty in this country this tragedy has brought to light, the need for better and more comprehensive crisis plans, healing race relations, rebuilding the port of New Orleans, rebuilding the Mississippi coast and rerouting the US dependence on oil.

Those are some pretty major questions to face. Perhaps those that are spending great efforts turning this into a political battle could focus on one of these issues and start working on a solution. Or spend some time volunteering for an organization that is helping out with the relocation efforts. Be creative.

A couple of closing thoughts. Relevant magazine has a really great article on their site right now that addresses the issue of poverty. I challenge you to read it. The link is here.

In talking with a friend earlier this week he reminded me that God is in control and we will see His hand in the events that have happened and are to come. With every great crisis there is the potential for tremendous positive change. While we certainly need to mourn with those who mourn and to comfort those that are hurting, we also need to seize the opportunity to effect change in the world. Wonderful things may end up coming out of this. I want to stop talking and start doing.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

In the Storm

Yes, I'm back from the end of summer adventures. I haven't blogged this week pretty much because I couldn't. I didn't know what to say. My own exhaustion and illness after the trip mixed with the shock, frustration and disgust as the events of the week unfolded. Much has been said about the shocking lack of forsight and preparation on the part of New Orleans local, state and federal governments. I hope out of this the government officials who made critical decisions not to be prepared and not to address the engineering issues facing New Orleans receive justice for their decisions that have cost so many lives.

As I'm typing I'm watching CNN and the federal officials are holding a press conference that appears to be mostly to pat themselves on the back and shifting blame to "Mother Nature". There's not enough blood pressure medication in the country to handle this kind of crap.

Okay, I'm getting off track here (this is why I haven't blogged all week). The high point of the situation for me has been a CD that came out this week. Casting Crowns put out a new CD this week called Lifesong. On this CD is a song called Praise You in This Storm that has really touched me. Please take a moment to read the lyrics I'm going to post below and consider heading to iTunes to download the song. I hope it brings the comfort to you it has brought to me.

Praise You in the This Storm

I was sure by now
That You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I'll praise You in this storm
And I will life my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find you

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth