Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Banquet

The ministry I work for had their annual fundraising banquet a week ago. It is a huge project that I am involved in and it totally takes up months of time. We have it at the Sheraton Premiere in Tysons and ended up with nearly 400 people which is a record.

Our speaker was Fred Barnes, who is on Fox News and a member of "The Beltway Boys". He had a wonderful talk - it was fun to hear him.

The music was provided by Rob and Linda, who are supporters of CSM, I thought this picture was just good of them - not that you can see much of Rob - but it is a great picture. They sing together so well.........beautiful music!

Here is Jay and I, after the banquet, handing out sponsor gifts. By this time, I was exhausted, a little cranky and hungry. I didn't end up getting my dinner until the speaker started and by then, I didn't care! Thank goodness Jay was with me at the table - he was definitely in his element talking to people.

I'm just very glad it's over. This week has been all about follow-up letters and analyzing what went right and what went wrong and e-mailing pictures..... I'm really ready for the weekend. All that said, God truly blessed us and it was a wonderful event.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Knowing When to Keep Quiet

OK - so I have a few "shortcomings". And I admit that one of them is knowing when to keep quiet but I've been working on that little detail very hard. It makes it much easier here in the city. If you say things to strangers, they don't like it. Not one bit. They think you might be an ax-murderer. Or a weirdo. Or worse yet, trying to invade their space. Truly - things could easily be the reverse. I could say something random to someone who in turn could be an ax murderer and there you go. Wham.

So - that being said, I'm a lot more careful.

Saturday was a true test of my ability to keep quiet. Twice.

Sitting a couple of rows in front of us at the ball game was a young woman in her 20's. She was dressed very nicely and very stylish (not necessarily appropriate for a baseball game but I digress). Anyway, she had her hair pulled back in a ponytail. Cute little ponytail - except for one thing. There was a huge lump of hair on top of her head that she hadn't smoothed down. At one point she took the holder out and smoothed through her hair with her fingers and put it back into the ponytail - with the same results. I really thought that she should know - but decided against it. Someone SHOULD have told her - like the guy she was sitting with - but probably not me. So I kept quiet.

Same day, same ball game.....and the father with the two kids sitting behind us were not for the Nationals. They were for the Marlins and as the game went on, they became more and more annoying. I truly don't care if they root for the other team. It's a big stadium and there are likely going to be people for the other side. But seriously. The language these kids used was horrible. They cursed! And then they started yelling BOOOOOOO instead of Ta da da dadada.... CHARGE. Every time they did that little routine, Jay would holler CHARGE louder and louder - but not enough to drown out those two kids. They kept yelling THE NATS SUCK! And their father really did nothing. They argued between themselves and were really obnoxious. So - was this a time to keep quiet? I'm not sure. I really wanted to say something like "Do you mind?" or "Your children are really annoying" or.... well, you get my point.

Once again, safety was on my mind. You just never know. So I kept quiet and didn't embarrass anybody. But it was close.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sleep Study

Well, the sleep study is over. It started Sunday evening at 9 pm and ended this morning at 5. Yes - that's correct. I'm tired all the time - feel like I never get enough sleep - I doze off during the day - and they woke me up at 5 am.

They hooked me up to lost of different wires and sensors and gadgets. They measured all sorts of things including my breathing, oxygen, measured when and how long I was in REM, leg twitches, so on and so on. I thought it would be hard to sleep with all that on, but it really wasn't at all.

I've been struggling for several months now - wanting to fall asleep all during the day. Whatever I'm doing.

And I just don't feel "myself". :)

Blood tests have turned out ok so far - and this might just be something else checked off the list - but it's a step towards finding out what's going on.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go take a nap.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

We're Moving!

So we finally got the word last Thursday that we're moving south! Should I say SOUTH! We're not entirely sure if it will be South Carolina or Georgia - that is yet to be determined - but by the first part of July, we should be down there - somewhere.

This is rather bitter/sweet in the fact that I will definitely miss our church and miss my friends in the church. But otherwise - not so much. I will not miss the traffic and the congestion and the people honking their horns at the slightest irritation. I will not miss this apartment complex and the lady who vacuums at all hours in the apartment above us. I will not miss the people who come home at midnight with their car stereo blaring and their need to hear the entire song before they turn their car off - or shut off the lights that shine into our bedroom window.

I've got into my head just exactly where I want to live and what kind of house I want and all sorts of details and how everything should fall into place. But I also know that God is in control of this entire process and any strategic planning and orchestrating on my part will only get in the way. So - I will continue to pray for His direction and for His leading and prompting. I'm excited to see what is in store for us.

Easter Blessings to everyone!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I wonder what all we're missing?

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule. A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk. A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy.

His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats averaged $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a
commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things
are we missing?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Looking into Jesus' face

My devotion this morning started a wonderful train of thought for me today.

"Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said 'Brother Saul, the Lord - Jesus, who appeard to you on the road as you were coming here - has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit." Acts 9:17

When Paul received his sight, he also received insight.

From this devotion, God put the desire into my heart to look into Jesus' face, into His eyes and keep my focus there. So many times, when friends have described how they made it through a trial or a really hard time in their lives, I've heard them say that they kept their focus on Jesus and not on themselves. Our Sunday School class is studying the book Facing Your Giants by Max Lucado where we've been discussing the fact that when David met Goliath, he kept his focus on God and not on Goliath. We are encouraged to keep our focus on God as well, during the hard times as well as the easy times.

Why is it so difficult to focus on God when we have so much to worry about? Is it because we think we can handle things ourselves? We wake up thinking about the problems or the burdens and we go to sleep thinking about them as well.

I just have several things that are on my mind right now, not the least of which is wishing some lab results would hurry up and come back to me. There are other things of course - we all have lots on our prayer list. I'm not depressed and I'm not down. But I do find myself focused on every single issue if I'm not careful.

Today, God asked me to focus on Him. To look into Jesus' eyes and give Him my full attention.

I was immediately reminded of that song "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus". I admit that I prefer praise and worship songs - but this hymn really had some truth that was perfect for me today.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face -
And the things on earth will grow strangely dim,
in the Light of His glory and grace!

Today, this has been my focus. When I look into Jesus' eyes, when I am solidly looking at Him, the other things are very dim. I can see how much He loves me and cares for me - and how nothing else is more important than being with Him.