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November, 2009

  1. seeing old friends. making new ones.

    November 30, 2009 by louissa

    i’m away from home right now.  i flew on a plane, sat in airports, breathed in that awfully stale air for six hours to come and see a face i’ve not seen in almost three years.

    this is janel and me (yeah, i know — i look funny):

    some of you complain about my obsession with silly faces.  i won’t blame it all on this friend i’m visiting, but she definitely encourages it:

    i’m spending time with some other cool people too.  the two on the left are some aussie mates and the dark haired beauty is the sister of my friend!

    normal pictures are boring so i said “band shot!”  apparently we’re representing many different styles in this one:

    i’ll grow up.  someday.  i promise.


  2. HIS hands

    November 24, 2009 by louissa

    He’s got the whole world in His hands.

    the whole world.  the world that doesn’t make sense.  the one that doesn’t function the way we think it should.  a world that’s perverse and fallen and broken.  my world — the one that’s not been spinning correctly.  your world and whatever you have that feels off, imbalanced, not quite right.  yup, that one.

    He’s got the wind and the rain in His hands.

    we were told on Sunday that storms can be expected, floods promised to come, and rain sure to fall.  i knew that, but sometimes it’s hard to admit when you’re in the midst of a storm.  it never seems very faith-filled to look around and say, “yup, the rain sure be pourin’ somethin’ mighty out there.”

    but what i’m realizing is that faith is when you can look at the rain, the floods, and the windy storms that come into our lives and somehow see more than just the torrential downpour.  it’s when you’re able to lift your eyes off the doom and gloom of the moment your experiencing and see something Greater.  it’s when you see a Son behind the clouds that have dulled your everything.  that’s faith.

    it’s been pouring in my life.  it’s been windy and flooding and raining in the lives of those in my family.  the end of summer marked a start of heaviness, of whiplash after whiplash, and more and more rain, leaving us wondering if there’s any sign of it ending soon.  our heads are dizzy, our hearts fragile, but it’s taught us the lesson from Job — He gives and takes away, but in it all, blessed be His name.

    He’s got the tiny little baby in His hands.

    they had her for three months.  three whole months to call her their own.  they loved on her, changed their daily schedule for her, decorated a room for her, brought her to doctors appointments, purchased outfits and toys for her, and suddenly, they had to let go.  they were saying goodbye.  her father of three months kissed her neck and she, with her goofy wonderful scrunched up smile, giggled over and over.  her mother of three months held her tightly while feeding her the last time.  “i love you, baby,” they whispered over and over.  it broke their hearts.  it broke our hearts.

    and it was time.  time to pile into vehicles, drive over to an office, and hand her back to the biological mother.  she wanted her baby back and the court ruled that she would get her.  we filed past that beautiful little girl one more time saying our goodbyes and i found it ironic how similar it felt to a wake of a deceased love one.  it felt like she was dead.

    but she’s not.  i’m more and more aware of the blessing of her life as this nightmare continues.  she should be dead.  she should have died months ago due to the atrocities of abortion.  but she didn’t.  she’s living because one person was faithful to share God’s truth.  this child was given to be part of our family these three months because others continued to be faithful to share God’s truth.  and i can only pray that someday, this very child who has seen the protection of God from the very beginning, will one day stand and also declare God’s truth.

    and although right now it feels like our world is out of control, that the storms are trying their best to knock us down, that we just lost a child/niece/grandchild/happiest baby in the world, we can rest in His Hands.

    because really, He’s got it.  the mad world.  the rains that seem unfair.  and the baby girl.  He’s got it all.


  3. law & order real world

    November 24, 2009 by louissa

    i sat in a court room all day yesterday.  there was a real judge in a black robe, a cop who stood near the front the whole time, and even one of those very secretary looking ladies recording every single word said in the room.  no, i didn’t steal, kill, or cheat anyone.  and although i did feel like i was in one of my favorite Law & Order episodes, this wasn’t a tv show.  and it’s not a game.  it was for something so near to my heart that tears were behind my eyes the whole time.

    you see, a few months ago my sister and dear brother[in-law] adopted a beautiful baby girl.  she’s the happiest person in all the world — and i’m not just saying that.  the first night i saw her she smiled and my heart was taken.  i love this child fiercely.

    the biological mom is now in court fighting back for the child.  she wants to prove that she was under duress when she first signed the papers and if that doesn’t work, wants to say that she’s capable of providing a better life for this little one than my sister and her husband.  we aren’t sure if she really does want the child and we’re not confidant she can provide Jesus for this little one — the greatest thing in all of life.

    people i love — a mumsie & a daddy — went up and testified yesterday.  we continue in one hour and a few others that i love will also go and answer questions.  it’s hard not to trust in them, to beg them to give a good performance, to say something — anything — that will make the judge realize what’s best for this little girl.

    but it’s not about man or his ability.  it’s about One who is Greater.

    i’ll be back in the court room in an hour.  my feeble faith only allowed the desperate words, “Lord, do something!” to leave my mouth yesterday.  the rest of the time i whispered a lot of “sha-da-kas” and suddenly really knew why the gift of tongues is so invaluable.  please join me in praying for God’s will to be done… whatever that may be.  after all, He knows best, doesn’t He?

    You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is Greater than the one who is in the world.


  4. lesson in 300+ days

    November 16, 2009 by louissa

    i looked through my glory days tonight in photos.  yeah, i’m only twenty-one, but already i’ve figured out what people find fascinating about me and want to hear all about.  i’ve often wondered if that’s all i’ll ever be asked about — like i haven’t done anything else with my life since then.  will i be the pathetic 30 year old still talking about her 18th year?

    but i can’t really get past the fact that my 300+ days away from my own home opened my eyes and heart to a bigger world and a bigger Creator.

    someone asked about my adventure the other day.  she twirled her similar red hair and said, “i don’t really know anything about that year.”  i could have pulled out my usual answer and told her how wonderful it is to see the world, experience other cultures, meet new people, etc, etc, etc.  and all those things are true, but i told her what came to mind immediately when she asked that.

    “it was hard,” i said.

    and it was.  it was a year far away from everything i knew.  i was young, dependent on everyone and everything, scared, confused about where i was going in life and who i was, and that year — it was difficult.  i’ve never felt so very alone.  i’ve never felt so nervous.  i’ve never cried quite so much.

    but i also know that God met me in a new way there.  i know that i developed my own ability to commune and find my strength in Him.  i know that He used that year to reach in and touch the worry, the confusion, the fear of the future, and show me His hands.  i’ve never known such strong, perfect, and unshakable hands.

    yeah, i liked seeing pretty places and getting to know lovely people.  but mostly, i love the God i found there.  it’s where i realized my importance to Him.

    He’s real.  He knows you.  knows where you are and what you’re going through.  and He wants to meet you right there.

    i traveled and learned culture and experienced other ways of living, but mostly, that’s what i was learning.  that’s what i learned.

    and i wouldn’t trade it for the world.


  5. glad for…

    November 14, 2009 by louissa

    1. living at home.  there are many “pros” to still being under the parents roof — one of them being the ability to save lots and lots of pennies.  buying some groceries and giving rides while filling a gas tank is really the best rent one may ever get.

    2. those saved up pennies buying me a macbook.  yup, i did it.  i bought one.  a refurbished one.  but i bought it.  it’s aluminum and looks oh-so-pretty.  unfortunately, i opened it today and instantly knew something was wrong.  that’s when i handed it over to my brother.

    3. a brother who spends his afternoon running test on said busted laptop, talking to technical support since i would sound like a doofus trying to explain the problems, and gets me a new one.  what do you do without the nerds of the family taking care of your technical needs?

    4. sisters who start playing christmas duets on my piano a month and a half before christmas.  one of them is teaching the other and they slowly are making their way through the books.  some may say it’s too soon, but i don’t mind.  nope, not one bit.

    5. having a family to make dinner for.  i spent my afternoon cutting veggies, cooking chicken and shrimp, making alfredo sauce, baking pumpkin bread, and will now make the pasta.  i really really like being in the kitchen.

    6. a classic movie loved by all in 1942.  we’ll pile on couches and chairs, rearrange the family room, argue over blankets, light candles, and watch While You Were Sleeping.  have i mentioned that i really like relaxing nights at home?

    7. days off.  you don’t know how much i like my saturdays.  they are my sanity.


  6. so strange.

    November 9, 2009 by louissa

    i have more incoming visitors from the most random sites than i ever thought possible.  what search is happening that goes from here to my small, unnoticed, and obscure abode in the internet world?  i know it’s not actually a person, just some random blip in the cyper world, but it is strange.

    speaking of strange, the weather has been nothing but strange recently.  before you roll your eyes and wonder why on earth i’m mentioning the weather — that’s so incredibly dull, louissa — hear me out.  last week big white bits of sky visited us, making the earth a slushy, wet place and leaving us with bodies quite chilled.  today we were removing the extra garments we’re so used to wearing and my feet were itching to be freed from socks & shoes.  global warming, are you real?

    there’s been another strange occurrence in my life lately and that is this: being surrounded by a politically motivated family is finally rubbing off on me.  although i still don’t add much to the lively discussions and debates (the family tells me they don’t know much themselves and i figure if they don’t know much than i can’t possibly know anything at all so it’s much better to keep the mouth shut) i’ve been observing, taking it all in, and coming up with some thoughts of my own about how our government and country are looking.

    okay fine, so i’m not that into politics.  i had to quickly text my brother while standing at the voting booth to ask who i should receive my vote for supreme court justice.  at least, i think i was voting for a supreme court justice…

    i really am trying though.

    hmm.  another strange thing?  my crotchety old yellow gigi was finally caught between two hands after not allowing human touch for three months (the amount of time i’ve had her) and her nails (i know, they’re actually talons, but i can’t stand that word) and beak were trimmed.  she’s now groomed and cared for, but the ordeal almost gave her a heart attack (she just couldn’t understand that we were helping her!) so i quickly cleaned her cage and gave her two treats.  two.  why?  because i could tell she was quite nervous because of what i just put her through and i felt so badly and wanted my baby to know that i love her.  two treats seemed like a fine way to reward her and remind her of my fondness for my yellow goodness.  good golly, what am i turning into?

    it’s absolutely ridiculous how attached i’ve become to a 1 pound bird who i hardly have any interaction with.  it’s all very, very strange.


  7. learning in the silence

    November 5, 2009 by louissa

    it’s quiet in the house tonight.  girls read books & watch movies, a little boy slowly falls asleep, a daddy is already completely asleep, a mumsie catches up on the internet world for the day, and i look at Real Simple, Crate & Barrel, and Pottery Barn.  i learn ways to be a thrifty grocery shopper (quite helpful for my season in life), read about the new 15 minute abs workout (that “really” works!), and admire christmas ornaments, dishes, and stockings.  i’d buy them all for you if i could.

    it’s snowing.  i wasn’t quite ready for it to snow.  my mind hadn’t caught up to the calendar and so i had to take a deep breath before opening the front door to a white damp world.

    i take deep breaths a lot right now.  i wish i had some profound deep revelation behind all the pauses while refilling my lungs, but i don’t.  all i know is that those few seconds of pausing mean the world to me.

    we were all more wound up than usual this morning while we ate pumpkin muffins for breakfast (i destroyed mine while weeding out the walnuts).  jokes about story telling abilities, memories, and personalities were made and i took a deep breath and reveled… there is such joy to be found in family.

    i sat behind a desk and continued some mindless duties.  last name, check; maiden name, check; birthday, check — for person after person.  i glanced out my window, listened to the same line being sung over and over, “i love You more than life, more than life,” and took a deep breath and knew…  although i didn’t think i’d still be here right now, it’s okay.  sometimes God knows better than i do.

    the pink bundle lay in my arms, the serious eyes locked on my face.  i pulled her a little tighter, told her she was beautiful with a little more meaning, and took a deep breath and felt…  my apathetic, unfeeling heart, suddenly feels while embracing a delicate one –  it’s awakened by newness of life.

    some may say that you need to find yourself and who you are, but i say that you need to find God in who you are and where you are.  and that’s what i’ve been doing.  i’ve been looking for Him where i’m at and finding His fingerprints in all these moments.  i know i’ve been quiet recently, but i also know that that’s okay.  all this pausing and refocusing and realizing and experiencing — it’s in these moments that all the good knowledge and fresh truths that my head is full of trickles down to my very being.

    so forgive me if i continue in this art of much silence and more breathing.  i need to understand what can be found in those moments of pausing though.  my soul needs to experience some freshness from God.

    God will not be behind-hand in love to us: for our drop, we shall receive an ocean. - thomas watson