Friday, May 25, 2012

Unexpected Grace

Today, on my very last day of work in Ft. Myers, I sped by a cop.  Utoh...  Immediately I slowed, but he pulled a U-turn and pulled me over (it's only an 8 minute drive to work, but yes, I was speeding)  48 in a 35 to be exact. 

Mr. Officer asks for my license, registration, and proof of insurance.  I get everything out and then as I look at my wallet realize that my license is in my gym bag, at home.  He thinks I mean it's packed in all my stuff in the back of my car (since I'd loaded up most of my belongings last night), but no, it is back at the condo, in my gym bag with my travel pass.  another utoh.  So now I'm looking at speeding AND driving without a license and I'm an out of stater...  So he takes down my info and is gone a long time.  I finish my smoothie (bananas, KALE, and berries).  So he comes back with my info and a white piece of paper in his hand.  Utoh...

Then he explains, this is a written warning, not a ticket, to buckle up and have a nice day...
That's when I start crying.

Why is it that the 2 times I get pulled over and don't get a ticket when I was speeding I start crying AFTER they tell me I don't get a ticket, but the one time I actually get a ticket for speeding I don't cry at all?

I think it's grace, and how it's something we don't deserve...

Perfect example of how God's grace leads us towards repentence.

"Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?"  Romans 2:4

When I actually did get a ticket, there was a consequence, one that I could meet on my own, pay the fine for what I did wrong, accepting the consequences for a known wrong doing (I think that one was 77 in a 65...or maybe 72 in a 55...I don't remember (thankfully it wasn't reckless driving though!) )

However, when we're talking about life here, there's no way I can repay all of the ways I've missed the mark of perfection, that's a fine I cannot pay in and of myself to get back in the "black" with God.  So I could try to get around paying the consequences, and go to a "jail" of the most awful kind because I just keep ignoring the 2nd, 3rd notice that arrive and tell me I haven't paid the sign.  Thankfully God often gives us even more "notices" than that, but how often do we ignore them?  Somewhere along with way maybe one of the "notices" sink in and we realize we CANNOT pay out the huge fine that now sits with our name on it.  Gazzillions of Euros (since those are worth more than dollars) owed because of these little lawbreaking things I've done.

Then Someone comes along and offers to pay your fine. 
      WHAT?!  How in the world do you have gazzillions of euros?  You look pretty ordinary, nice, but ordinary to me... 
      "Well", He says, "I do own the cattle on 1000 hills, but this takes even more than that.  It'll cost my life, but you're worth it." 
      WHAT?!  You're willing to die for me?  Why? 
      "Because I love you", He says.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."  John 3:16

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Airboat tour! A Florida must!

I would highly recommend an airboat tour if you're in south Florida at some point - it is fun, fast, educational, and quite pretty!  :)   (and it makes a great Mother's Day present!)

You may see alligators:
Lots of birds...
This one is called a 'stilt legged'

A 2 minute movie, including a 'nas' gator at the end!

At the end of your tour, you might even get the chance to hold a real, live alligator!!  :)  They're surprisingly soft, not too wiggly, and will "smile" if you tap on their nose!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Don't Run with Pencils

Ok, so in the past week I have been to 3, count'em 3, Mary Kay things.  Checked out the women's small group at church, where they were doing "facials" as an end of semester thing, which turned out to be the Mary Kay makeovers.  So at the end, they ask you if you'll be willing to help - host a small party, host a big party, listen to the marketing spiel, become a consultant, etc.  Or you can say, NO!  I never want to help you or have anything to do with Mary Kay which just makes you feel like a bad person.  So interesting option, you can be a "face" model at their consultant meeting sessions they hold weekly.  So myself and another girl signed up for that option.  It was kind of the same thing as we did in the mini makeover, and at the end we went in and told the consultants what we liked the most, etc.  Then Thursday went to listen to the marketing for becoming a consultant - was really doing in support of my new church friend (the girl I went with on Tuesday) as she was intrigued by what she heard Tuesday night, plus it helps our lady from church to get to do 2 instead of just 1.  However she had to stay home, so I got to go learn about being a MK consultant all by myself.  It wasn't as scary as I thought.

However, if you know me, you know I'm not really a make up person.

That being said, eyeliner scares me.  Seriously, who decided it was a good idea to put a sharp pencil up next to your eye?!  Didn't your mother teach you not to walk/run/skip with pencils pointing up because you might trip and stab your your eye out?!  So wouldn't that translate into don't put pencils near your eye to begin with?!
So Saturday I had my first encounter of me trying to put eyeliner on myself.  It looked like this...

with the squiggly lines being eyeliner, not my eyelashes
However thankfully on the 2nd time around on Tuesday night, I looked a little better, and managed to not poke out my eye.

So all that to say, I'm glad to be improving, but some how doubt I'll make the jump into eyeliner any time soon.  And as you can see my skills at Paintbrush improved with 2nd time around, too!  (although they really need a smudging tool!)

Mary Kay is definitely a pretty cool company for women, with good values and a great set up for rewarding hard work.  Don't tell my boyfriend, but there's a woman near Daytona who's earned $4 million through it and bought her husband his 2nd airplane. 

I think I'll stick to being a PT for now though...otherwise I'd have to get good with other devices like eyelash curlers.  Those also freak me out - what if you accidently curl your eyelid instead of your eyelashes?!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Interesting Creatures

They basically litter the beaches around here!!
So in my stay here, I've had a lot of interesting creatures to see (stinkrays, snake (ok, only 1 so far...and it was a black snake), cool birds (reminds me of when I used to pretend I was a crane when I was little...lie on my stomach with my legs sticking out and flap my arms and my mom would laugh) but none mesmerize me quite as much as the creatures that live in conch shells...
I'm not quite sure if you call them conch, sea snails, or what, but I get a kick out of how Sponge Bob-esque they are...

God MUST have a sense of humor!

can you see the eyeballs sticking out of the bottom of the shell?

eyeballs sticking out the right side...
You can't really see them, but they are in the surf just about a foot or two in...
Here he is turned over so you can see the eyeballs more and the foot!

My other animal I've been quite intrigued with are these little burrowing owls I discovered on a lunch time walk from one of my clinics...
See all the babies in the "burrow"?  These were just out in someone's front yard!
Sometimes they make little noises, but usually follow you with their head and eyes - doing the 'owl' thing and swiveling their head to unnatural angles.

A few other interesting birds I've happened across...though none that make me laugh quite as much as the conch and burrowing owls.
I saw this crane on my blueberry picking excursion!
Mama and baby (there's a 2nd baby around somewhere)

Again, just something about the eyes crack me up - I think it's how they always look like they're surprised - their eyes are wide open and round just like someone just said "BOO!"

Notice the yellow feet!

And this guy I saw at the "Sand Bash" at Ft. Myers beach.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


So I don't know if any of you remember the old movie "Chariots of Fire".  It's about 2 runners in the 1924 Olympics.  Eric Liddell was an MK in China, but back in Scotland for a time.  My favorite line from the movie is when he says, "I believe that God made me for a purpose. But He also made me fast, and when I run, I feel His pleasure." 

I feel similarly about mountains - when I see mountains, and particularly when I get to hike in them, there's just a great sense of contentment.  I am home somehow, whether I am actually in VA or not.  I am awestruck by the creative genius of God.  A curiosity awakens to want to explore and climb to the top.  I feel like I can best worship our Creator when I am seeing, in, or on top of mountains.

A fun little gift I received in the mail today from Dottie :)

Being in Ft. Myers has been particularly difficult because of the total lack of even a small hill. (highest point in FL is a long way away and only 345 feet high) 
So, what happens with this?  I've been thinking about how this plays into future plans, situations, etc.  For one I know I am much happier when there are mountains around, but should a mere geographical feature have that much impact on my emotional state?  Should it change how or how much I worship God?  Well, I think it changes the how, but hopefully not the how much.  Apparently I need to work on other avenues of really experiencing and celebrating God.  So I reviewed my tendencies on different styles to worship God (here's the "test") and as I figured, ranked highest in 'naturalist' and 'caregiver' and 'intellectual' (HA, ok I hadn't figured on that one!).  However my lowest are 'activist' and 'traditionalist'.  So maybe I need to do a little therapy on my activist and traditionalist muscles...

Since I've known for a long time (perhaps the most memorable example - sitting in Glacier Nat'l Park in 2005 and feeling so close to God and just awed by His work) that I am made this way, and so I try to incorporate some 'nature' into my weeks.  I feel like I keep hitting dead ends here however, or when I do get somewhere it's a bit of a let down from what I'm accustomed to (yes, I have been spoiled by VA, CO, AZ and plenty of trips in the past).  BUT, you say, you're within an hour access of the beach, or even closer with large bodies of water!  Well, I have decided to once and for all prove that the mountains are more awesome than the beach!  ;)  Proof as follows, pick 1 for each pair:
1 or 2 ?
3 or 4?
5 or 6 ?
  7 or 8?
9 or 10?

Ok, now that you've tallied your results, which one wins (more odd #'s = beach, even #'s = mountains)?  Notice I did not put any pictures of mountain/ocean combo, because that would be cheating!  All the mountain pics I took (ok, maybe the one of Half Dome an innocent bystander took...) and all the beach pics are ones off Google because I wanted good pictures...most of my beach pics are not so pretty.  So obviously for me the mountains win!  Thankfully God did make us all different so that some of you like the beaches better (because living arrangements could be a problem if EVERYONE wanted to be in the mountains!)

Side note: I did finally get to go SUP'ing today (Stand Up Paddleboarding) and it was pretty fun...I do admit it would be very hard to do that in the mountains...say 10,000 ft in an alpine lake that you have to hike 4 miles to...  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Honk for Jesus

So I'm sure many of you ladies out there have the distinct privilege of being honked at when you go out for a run or walk.  Ft. Myers seems to be particularly blessed by a multitude of individuals who take it upon themselves to punctuate your workout with mind jarring blast - in hopes of....  what???  Communicating that they think you're hot, ugly, too fat, too skinny?  Hoping you trip and fall?  That you change directions and chase them down and give them your phone number?  That you break down into tears?

I have never really figured out why this happens, so if anyone would like to enlighten me, I would be forever grateful!

So Sunday after 2 such incidents, I thought about what might allow me to think differently about these situations...aka to think about what would keep me from wanting to think such nasty thoughts about these honkers.  (What can I control vs. what is out of my control)

SOOOOO, I was thinking about how to accomplish this.  Last week the pastor made a point about avoiding temptation is always easier than resisting it, and I tried to think about how I could totally avoid thinking so poorly of the honkers.  Thinking about making a Tshirt that said, "Honk if you think you're an idiot"  Hmmm, that would still make me think poorly of the honkers, even if it did make them look a little foolish.  Then BINGO!  I should make a shirt that says, "Honk for Jesus".  I might get a lot more honking, or a lot less, I don't know, but atleast I could smile and be happy about people making noise of Jesus (even if they are still unaware of what my shirt says, atleast I will be happy about the honks and not frustrated). 

Tips for honking in case you have a legitimate reason:
1. If you're about to run over a pedestrian by all means honk and hold down the horn for a long long time.
2. If you know the person you're about to honk at, also roll down the window and shout their name.
3. If you know the person you're thinking about honking at, but don't know their name, do not honk, just wave really hard and smile.
4. If you're about to honk at someone because they are interesting looking (for whatever reason), DON'T.