Sunday, February 26, 2006

We're Not in Kansas Anymore

I wouldn’t have thought that in just over 6 months my mind would have forgotten just how much I don’t like San Francisco, but it did because today I got a reminder that felt like a good, hard slap upside the head. We arrived in the city at noon and I quickly remembered what this place is like… narrow, congested streets that were made before the invention of the SUV size vehicles and that all seem to go only ONE way without ever giving drivers the allowance to make a left turn onto ANY street! Whoever designed the city grid must have lost his left arm in some tragic accident because I had to make right turns and go around blocks time and time again to just to find my way around this stinkin’ city because no street ever allows you to turn LEFT ! Not to mention the fact that the streets intersect at weird points, go diagonal instead of staying north and south, or east and west, and only half the streets allow traffic to flow both ways - so it’s a constant guessing game of “have I turned onto a street where the only thing I’m going to see is oncoming traffic heading right for me?”

Oh, and did I happen to mention the lanes for the trolley cars yet? Who’s the genius that thought of creating streets where electric trolley cars could travel down the same lanes as motor vehicles? I know San Francisco is known for their trolley cars but I have to say that more than once I got just a little freaked out when I’d look in my rearview mirror and find a trolley car coming right up behind me and wondering if the thing actually had brakes to stop before it hit me! Yes, I’m over exaggerating but cut me some slack… it’s been a long day already. I’ve been up since 3:30 a.m., and I didn’t sleep well to begin with because I knew I’d have to be getting up so early!

Let me top it off the bad side of Frisco with this last addition… Coli had decided that she wanted to try to get her nails done today when we got here since we’d have some time to kill before having to go to registration and orientation tonight for the workshop. So we find a place in the Yellow Pages and head downtown. MapQuest tells us that it’s only something like 4 miles from us but between the ‘no left turns’, trolley car lanes, and diagonal streets, it took us 4 hours to get there. Not really, but it sounds good for the story effect.

Anyway, we finally find the street we’re looking for and wouldn’t you know it… we just happen to choose a nail salon that is smack-dab in the heart of the Rainbow District. I don’t know if that’s really what it’s called but it’s how I’ll always remember it. I’ve never seen so many rainbow flags flying than I did here today. And I don’t think I’ve ever driven through any part of town where the ratio of men to women is some thing like 100 to 1. It was insane, but not in a good way. Needless to say Coli decided that she didn’t need to get her nails done that bad after all. I know we live in a world that is plagued by sin, but I just couldn’t stomach seeing it vomited all over the streets to the degree it was here. This place truly is the modern day Sodom and Gamorrah.

Don’t get me wrong though. The day hasn’t been all bad. I had an 8 hour drive with Coli where we entertained each other so well that I think we laughed the entire drive. Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating just a little bit, but only a little. We seriously were so loopy and just over the top silly that we kept each other cracking up. The drive, albeit a long one, has been the best part of the day. I have so much fun with my best friend and when you lock us in a car for 8 hours straight the non-stop laughter is just a guaranteed thing.

Our new words that were created today…

Shphurprise! (screamed at the top of your lungs with Sponge Bob arms raised high)… I’m not even going to try to explain this one cuz it’s just not ‘gettable’ unless you were in the car with us, had been on the road for hours already and had found yourself driving through endless towns filled with people who have never heard of the invention of the modern day magazine.

Cherry Brossoms… to English speaking folk it’s really Cherry Blossoms but by the time I said it this way we had already seen 3 straight hours of nothing but cherry blossom trees and my mouth just couldn’t take it anymore!

After spending hours with my BFF I always find myself wondering if there are other people in the world who have as much fun as we do when we’re together. It’s crazy, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Thanks SisNBff for making that long journey seem like only minutes! I definitely have filled my monthly quota of ‘good for the soul’ laughter… and we still have another 8 hour ride home to look forward too on Friday!

Lastly, God did bless me with some gorgeous gloomy, rainy weather! I know that may sound weird, but I don’t get enough of it in Dirt Town so I was looking forward to the forecast of a week of rain.

Well, it's time to sign off for the night and see what tomorrow holds for us in lovely San Francisco!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Peace Revealed

In November and December of 2004 God brought me through an amazing process of discovering my 'Heavenly Name'. That journey alone was a remarkable one and so filled with God, but that's not what I'm here to record today. It's been over 2 years since the Lord revealed my name... Peace... but since then I've found myself questioning why Peace???? It wasn't until this past Sunday that God revealed His intention, His meaning, His purpose of His chosen name for me - and the Lord chose to reveal its significance through a simple statement born of a Sunday morning Bible study. This is it...

"Peace is a by-product of genuine conversation (prayer) with God".

(Peace: freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions.
By-product: a secondary and sometimes unexpected or unintended result.
Genuine: sincerely and honestly felt or experienced.)

As soon as this quote was said it was like God turned on a light switch for me - I had experienced an epiphany.

Webster defines epiphany as (1) : a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something (2) : an intuitive grasp of reality through something (as an event) usually simple and striking (3) : an illuminating discovery.

In a simple and striking moment I had complete understanding of my heavenly name.

Since I was in my early twenties I knew that my main gift from God was the gift of prayer. It's not that I pray 'better' than others or that God listens to me more intently, it's that this was the gift God had given me to be used in service for Him - it was my ministry.

For several years God has been developing that gift and has expanded His purpose for me by opening doors to take part in praying for deliverance for those seeking complete freedom in Christ. He has also opened the doors of the spiritual world and has allowed me the awesome opportunity to take part in battle against evil, against the enemy of this world, Satan.
In hindsight this shouldn't have been difficult to understand. My heavenly name and my ministry go hand in hand.

Peace is the result of prayer...

Friday, February 10, 2006

Puppies Go Home

How, in just a matter of days, do 10 cute, adorable, and sweet smelling puppies turn into one ginormous group of stanky, sticky, ball of puppy poo???? Go ahead... laugh... it's not funny anymore. As a matter of fact, those puppies that were bundles of joy just this past weekend have morphed into the biggest burden of continuous crap cleaning that I've ever encountered.

Five weeks ago Liberty gave birth to 10 puppies that couldn't see, couldn't walk, and that had to crawl their way to their mother's belly just to nurse. Who ever imagined that within a matter of 5 weeks those same helpless puppies would grow into a group of clueless creatures that don't seem to care that they sleep in pools of puppy pee and roll around in piles of puppy poo. UGH!

Just this past Monday, a mere 4 days ago, we removed the whelping box they were sleeping in and expanded their living territory to a big chunk of the kitchen floor. We also started the process of paper training. I can't even begin to describe the nightmare that has unfolded since that fateful day! Have you ever tried to housebreak a new puppy? It requires a lot of time and attention, doesn't it? NOW multiply that by 10!!!!! It is NON-STOP peeing, pooping, cleaning, scrubbing, peeing, pooping, cleaning, scrubbing... get my point? And that's not even the worst part...

I've had two kids. I've changed so many diapers that I could do it with my eyes closed, and the dirtiest diaper wouldn't even faze me. Well, I've found something that just makes me want to vomit. Are you just the slight bit curious? Let me share...

Picking up warm, soft, freshly eliminated puppy poo and doing it in record time so that the other 9 puppies won't traipse right through it and leave puppy poo paw prints (say that 5 times fast) all over the floor as a secondary form of necessary clean up. It's just so nasty and so wrong -- on so many different levels!!!

Last week I never thought I'd say this, but here goes...