Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stop-over and Step-in

I have had some blogging setbacks lately, but here I am again - better late than never. 

My relocation is "complete." Not that I am EVER done moving, but rather, the current step is finished. It entailed somewhat of a nightmarish process. Long story short, I got shorted my hours prior to my final week of resignation with my job. Never have I experienced such unjustified rage directed at me, especially from an employer, but for what it's worth I got out of there that much sooner. Which was a blessing of it's own! It was ironic that as soon as I announced that I was leaving Montana, all my friends and family kept commenting that it didn't seem like I was happy there anyways; in which the full reality of truth did not hit me until I was actually gone. As I stuffed, re-stuffed, and jammed my belongings into a 4x8 trailer by myself, I swore I was never moving again. It was basically awful. I definitely had battle scars for awhile, but now that they're gone, my memory is not serving me well to keep the true horror of the event as vibrant as it should remain. Unfortunately, I know that I will end up doing it again. Somehow the optimist in me tries to tell me that the next time will be better :-).  

Spring is here!!!! My outlook on life cheered 110% when I saw the sunshine and felt the warmth of 75 degrees last week. 

I love weddings. It was my joy and honor to stand up for my best friend Kayla this past week. We had a blast, and I wouldn't have traded anything to have been there! Seeing so many friends that years and time had put a barrier between, and re-captivating those relationships really refreshed my spirit. I'm so thankful for that time and  opportunity. I will now start counting down to the next wedding :-). 

In preparation for my job this summer, I have begun reading Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper. I have been pleasantly surprised by the clear way that Piper relays absolute Truth and practical principle to live a Spirit-filled life of passionate purpose. Definitely a summer book list must-read! 

This is not the first time that I can be quoted to say, "I could never have planned this for my life if I had tried!" And I am ever so glad that God is the One writing my life story. There is a constant promise of hope and excitement on the horizon with that knowledge. 7 months ago if anyone had told me that the turn of events would bring me to the point in life I am at now I would have laughed. Well, perhaps, I am laughing. But it's a good laugh. 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Apartment Tour

Here we are. Home sweet home for 3 MORE WEEKS! My apartment is the 2nd story front portion of this 1905 victorian home.
A view down the street. I live in the "downtown" district
A little local flair
My living room
A little bit of my culturally rounded decor. This is my favorite wall hanging - genuine papyrus from Egypt. The scarf (draped over my awesome radiator) hails from France. My living room also holds all my items from Italy, Turkey, and Japan... many thanks to my amazing friends who help me out with that :-) 

This would be the wallpaper "not to be touched" that I tried to work with... :-/ And to the right would be the one and ONLY closet in the entire apartment. 
The kitchen table nook. Once again, I do not know why the hideous wall paper. It's so unappetizing that I never eat in the kitchen. Clearly also I did not clean up for this photo shoot... 
The rest of the kitchen with the TINY bathroom connecting off to the left. Strange placement if you ask me. 
Welcome. The view upon entering the apartment. The kitchen is the first door on the left. The bedroom is the 2nd door on the left, and the living room is thru the door off to the right. 

Monday, March 23, 2009

On The Move

What else would you expect from me after 5 months of living in one place?
Destination location as of May 22: Watauga, TN
It will just be a short little jaunt of over 2200 miles from where I am currently located. 
I have accepted a position as a lead counselor for Camp Ta-Pa-Win-Go that will go thru August. Plans after that are TBA. However, I do know that I am NOT coming back to Montana!!! Ever. A little bit of what I'll be doing this summer and how it fits into my career goals: the ministry in my particular position is that of being available to serve others.  As a lead counselor, I am a support system to the other counselors. I am there for whatever they need, whether it is a personal emotional struggle or a problem with a camper. I am excited in the aspect that I get to mentor 8 senior staff girl counselors!  My passion is pouring into the lives of women and young people, so it a puzzle piece fit. 

The burning question in everyone's mind right now: WHY?! Besides the obvious that nothing about my job has cracked up to what it was supposed to be (i.e. I was completely lied to about my schedule, what my position entailed, etc.) there are a few more factors. I have been under a heavy spiritual oppression where I am now. Not only because I have been unable to get involved in a church due to my schedule, but also because the association of people I have found to hang out with do not share a lot of my same fundamental beliefs. And thus are not edifying to my spiritual walk. I am also incredibly "homesick" in that the midwest is where my family and friends are. Yeah, I have the strength to stick it out here, but why fight something that doesn't require a battle? I'm not happy here. I figure that you get to live life once - so you might as well not spend it being intentionally miserable. While I do believe that I had a calling to home here initially, for some reason God chose to make it a very short season. I have no regrets about it and don't believe that I was misled in making that choice, but the fruit of this chapter is something that remains to be seen. Until then, off to the next adventure!

Three cheers to packing up boxes, loading a U-haul, and driving HOURS by myself! Yet again :-)

Official resignation date: April 14

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Experiencing Angels

Yes, I believe in angels.

I have had two very personal encounters with angels this week, one from each realm. 

Apparently my time to go has not come yet because heavenly guardians saved my life on Friday. Never have I been so close to a near-death experience, yet so calm. As I accelerated up the icy mountain slope to work, my car tires lost traction while a logging truck was barrelling down the mountain on the opposite side. My car began to turn into a 360, taking up the entire narrow road. The truck wasn't stopping. Just as he was about to hit me head-on, my car completed it's spin in the reversal of natural gravity, throwing me into a snowdrift on the safe side of the road. No damage anywhere, car or me, to show from it. Had he hit me, if I hadn't died from force on impact, I would most likely have fallen down the sheer cliff edge of the mountain. Yes, I believe in angels. Praise the Lord for His protection!!!

Thrust into the throes of evil, darkness infiltrated the hearts of many."Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places," Ephesians 6:10-12. Spiritual warfare was waging this weekend at work. Even though I am always aware of the opposition up against us in fighting the battle for these young women's hearts and lives, Satan has not had to make himself extremely acknowledged lately. But the more the Spirit of God fills the place, the more threatened Satan becomes. I can honestly say that I have never witnessed such a powerful display of demonic possession as one particular girl, M, circled the room, face red, pulling her hair, muttering unintelligible things, falling to the floor, and then rocking herself in a ball. As I prayed, revoking Satan's hold over her, I continued to remind the concerned and freaked out onlooking girls no matter how scared or unsafe they felt, that God's power is always able to overcome anything Satan initiates. "Behold I give you authority...over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you," Luke 10:19. As I prayed for a covering of protection and the prevailing force of God to win this war for her heart, I felt like I was reminding myself of those same promises. From mid-afternoon on, leading up to this situation, emotions were raging and the entire community was in a tizzy over an incident involving razor blades, betrayal, and gossip. 18 girls is a lot to have out of control all at once, and my intuition knew I needed to de-escalate all of them before someone got physically hurt. Unfortunately, I still had to take a trip to the ER for a girl, R, with a broken hand because she punched the wall in her rage, but it could have been so much worse. Following that incident, I sat them down in a circle, and my co-worker began to pray peace over the entire place and the hearts of each of the girls. Through that I had the wonderful privilege of being there when R accepted the Lord as her Savior through it all. HOW EXCITING!!! The community is still in a weird place, and the oppression is still hovering... M is far from being on the other side of the darkness yet, but passed through it with a victory last night. 

If I could put a status on my present state it would be, "Exhausted but aware and still fighting." Because what do we fight for? The hearts and minds of many! May we as Christians be encouraged, "Fight the good  fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called" (1 Tim 6:12)

On my drive home today I was encourage by the words of the song, "Savior, Please"
I try to be so tough
But I'm just not strong enough
I can't do this alone
God, I need you to hold on to me

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Epiphany of Laughing

I hear the compliment, "You have a beautiful smile," a lot. Another phrase that gets coined to me is, "Every time I look at you, you're laughing." 

I had an epiphany tonight- I don't laugh as much as I used to. Not in the same way. There's a lot of things that I still find funny; because life is funny! And it's always better to laugh than cry. Finding the humor in a situation doesn't always make it better, but it sure doesn't make it worse. Life is to hard not to enjoy the laughs in the little things, silly sayings, unfortunate moments, or even embarassing situations. 

Some might attribute my lack of laughter to tough surrounding circumstances lately. But it's not just that. Why do I smile a lot? What is it about me that people label as "bubbly"? I'm convinced it's a trait that I was born with, but it didn't come fully alive until it was fed with Miracle Grow (a.k.a. amazing people who brought it out).  I miss the people that bring out the bubbly, happy-go-lucky, always-laughing SheriLynne. My joy is not dependent on their presence, but they bring out the overall best in me, which makes my spirit bubble constant happiness. 

Happiness is based on circumstances, joy is a state of your heart. Every Christian growth book will tell you that. I don't disagree. But God also gives us the emotion of happiness! Happiness is inappropiate when it's our goal, but not when it's God's momentary gift. In fact, I like to open and enjoy it! 

My girls at work will often tease me, "Is EVERYTHING funny to you?!" or the most frustrating, "You can't even get mad at us without laughing!" So I know that part of me, my joyful spirit, is still there - it just feels suppressed without it's Miracle Grow

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sisters Forever

Before I ever met you,
You were in my heart.
Destined to be sisters,
Yet now torn apart.

If I could give you the world
Or make you understand,
Not a moment would pass
That it wouldn't be worth putting my dreams last.

Every day that you blossom and grow, 
I wish I could be there 
To say "I believe in you."
I love you more than you know.

The key to your beauty
Is what lies inside your heart;
When your spirt gets crushed,
Get back up again to start.

Let God's arms remind you
That you're never alone;
And flying and failing
Is better than never trying.

You'll be my sister forever,
A tie that will never be severed;
My promise stands true,
I'll love you till the end of forever.

Although being far apart 
Is never what I'd choose,
It's impossible to stand
In the decision-maker's shoes.

I will always be here for you 
Come what may,
Even in the change of seasons,
In your life I will stay.

I love you
*dedicated to my sisters

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Little Time and a Long Ways

Why so long? My poor blog has been neglected lately. But I have some very good reasons which I'm most certain you are dying to hear. 

1. Sick hard drive (I am still a devoted Mac girl, but after only a 1 1/2yr life on my MacBook, I was a little less than disappointed). I lost everything. Lesson 1, BACK UP! They all say it, but I guess I just never really did it. 

2. Crazy work life. After all the fluctuating hours and stability to-do with my job, I have finally been put back to full time. Full time+ some with less than full time pay. Am I going to complain? No. I have a job for now. That's the "to be thankful" point. 

3. New entrepreneurial efforts. Having butted heads with some very successful people here in the Flathead valley, I am taking on the task of helping them to expand their businesses, and delve into bettering other's lives. It's exciting, challenging, and hopefully - life changing. 

4. Relationships. That's more complicated than is even worthy of an explanation. 

5. Reading. Which I really love to do. I had made a commitment to read the Twilight series awhile back if you remember. My consensus is that after completing book one, the rest is not really worth my time. Sorry to all you fans out there; I just think you could do a lot better. 

6. "Thinking time" to process life.  A lot has been happening lately. It's a good thing I didn't set expectations for this new year because they'd all be broke by now. There is just no road map for life and the turns it takes. 

Now to story time. Because I am sometimes labeled a blonde, I occasionally find the need to fulfill everyone's expectations associated with that label. Such was the case two weekends ago when I was driving around in the po-dunk town of Whitefish after an ice storm. 20 yards in front of me was a car stopped trying to make a left hand turn. I tapped my brakes to try and get traction to stop. No such luck. My defensive driving decided within inches of rear-ending the guy in front of me that I should veer off into the snowbank on the righthand side. And my quick instincts saved me a ticket and a lot of expense. However, the blonde moment comes when I realize that I am sitting vertical on a 3 foot snow bank sheeted over in ice, completely stuck, and i start LAUGHING! The tow truck had to come and throw me a hook to get me un-stuck while the police directed traffic. It was slightly embarrassing, but I handled it all with good humor, including the tow bill. I just wonder, where is the magnet that attracts these unique pickled situations to me? 

I'm a little homesick this week. Which is encompassing not just my family, but my friends that bear a striking family-like resemblance. Nebraska, Kansas, Alabama, Colorado... why do you all have to be so far away? Here's a thought - come visit me!!!