Stream of Unconscious

Often I wake in the middle of the night with thoughts and visions that must be written. A lot of it may seem like mere rambling, but I am a born writer; I need to see what happens to my words once they stare back at me from the pages of my computer screen. Since I am ususally more than half-asleep when this happens, I jokingly entitled the original document: "Stream of Unconscious." Now that I am finally starting to publish in a blog (as so many people have suggested I should do!), I thought the title remained appropriate.

Monday, November 26, 2007

New Job

So I started the new job today, or at least the training for it, and... I'm not sure what I think. I'm still processing. No pun intended there, as my official title is "Claims Processor." Hmm.

Anyway, it looks like it could be horribly boring, but the paychecks and benefits will be very nice. So that may make up for it. And I can bring music in, which is a good thing, so I'll need an iPod.

It's just that that's a lot of time to spend indoors, sitting in front of a computer. No worries, though, I'm not backing out of it or anything. I'm just... trying to be real with myself about the ups and downs of it all. On the upside, I've been wanting to try a job like this for a long, long time, and it got me out of retail for the holidays, which is not to be overlooked.

The downside is that I'm very creative, and it just might kill me to have to sit inside all day, in a boring office environment, doing something repetitive and perhaps not very world-changing.

We'll see how it all goes, though. At least I am blessed with a good job for now!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Blessings of a Season

I have three words for you: Vanilla Spiced Rum. It's my new favorite coffee creamer by International Delight. It has a polar bear on the bottle. You should get off your computer, go get in your car, drive to Wal-mart, and get some right now. It's that good. And then you should come back and finish reading my blog.

Today I am thoroughly happy. I finally got to sleep in and just enjoy a morning alone. And I tried the new creamer, which made me realize that I am happy and blessed, and moving towards a life of contentment. All that, combined with the promise of a new job... well, lets just say I'm excited about living today! Which always makes me want to write. Thank God for mornings off to blog!

I was thinking today about prayer, and how I didn't really believe in it for so long, and then suddenly started believing again, and how that's changed everything for me. Pretty much everything I've prayed for in the past couple of years has been answered... and much of it within the last three months of my life.

When I graduated from college, the big thing was that I didn't have a car and a cell phone, and I prayed about it, and eventually got that nanny job, and ended up leaving with an awesome car and my very own cell phone plan. I also got this laptop for my birthday, thanks to my amazing brother. Those three things were on the top of my list of things I "needed" to be a complete person. When I left Atlanta and moved back to Tennessee, to a small town outside of Chattanooga, I hit a dry spell. Things got tougher financially, relationally, etc., and it was just more than I could handle. I stopped believing in anything, and did my best to kill my desires, because I just didn't believe I'd ever get to have them.

That's all changed now. God (I really do believe it is Him!) is reviving all of the dead places in me. I'm actually beginning to believe that my wildest dreams may come true, and I'm no longer trying to crush them for fear of hope deferred. Is this what contentment is? Perhaps I have finally made it.

But here's the thing... in my most desperate hours, I have prayed for friends, for a community, for a mentor, for a place that felt like home, for a better paying job, for healing from my past. And honestly... every single one of those prayers either has been answered or is in the process of being answered, even as I write this. What am I supposed to do with that? I think I am a little afraid of the responsibility of having my prayers answered. Maybe something is required of me now that I am on the receiving end of blessing. I wonder what it is, though?

There are still a few dreams that haven't been touched yet; deeper dreams, that no one, or only a very select group of people know about. I'm learning to trust, but I'm not to the point of trusting anyone - including God - with those just yet. I don't think it's time for those yet anyway. But my pastor recently challenged us to go ahead and dream the big dreams, and to start praying about them and see what happens.

I have been, though I must admit that I'm skeptical. Am I ready for them? I don't know. If I desire something so deeply, it must be part of who I am, or who I'm supposed to be, in such a way that I could easily adapt if it were actually an option. Do you think God loves me that much, though? I've got some pretty big dreams. If I am loved that deeply, I never even suspected it until now.

All that to say, I think I'm being prepared for something big. I think that all of this isn't just coincidence, and that I'm being blessed right now to strengthen my faith for whatever lies ahead. Is that too Christianized? Am I being preachy? It is not my intention to be. I just know who I used to be, and there are only traces of that now. I just know that I've been changing, that my whole life has been changing and becoming better, and it all started with prayer and a step of faith into a baptismal pool.

I just know that I am excited about my life now, that I am recognizing the blessings of this season, and that I'm looking forward to what lies ahead...

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Winds of Change

It finally happened.

The knowledge is in my head but hasn't quite sunk down into those mysterious places where I believe in things, so I feel strangely suspended... somewhere between the inevitable and the now.

When I first moved to Chattanooga, in August, there were many lonely, sleepless nights where I knew I couldn't go on much longer with the way things were, where I was bent to the breaking point, and stretched beyond my limit financially, emotionally, and mentally. I was at a loss for what to do, and in my anguish threw a prayer out from my soul, begging whatever God there was to end my life or change it so completely that I couldn't even recognize it.

Little by little, over the past few months, things have been changing, and I, in my stubbornness, admit that I still remain skeptical about “God's” hand in it all. Maybe it was coincidence. Maybe it would have happened even if I hadn't prayed at all. Maybe, maybe, maybe...

Maybe I'm just afraid to believe, to really believe, in a God who knows me intimately and has heard everything I've said for all those years...

What a scary thought that is. He knows you. He knows me. He heard me, every time.

So I had an interview last Friday with a health insurance company, and I was offered the job by Sunday afternoon. I start shortly after Thanksgiving. The pay is great, compared to what I have been making, and there's a lot of opportunity to move up in the company if my productivity is good. It's a desk job, related to medical billing. It sounds interesting to me, and the thought of a real paycheck... well, let's just say this is long overdue. But to me it feels like one of the last pieces of a puzzle I thought could never be completed.

I'm going to use my first paycheck to get the CV joints and possibly the break pads replaced in my car, pay off half my credit card, and buy a funky pair of glasses. How I've lived this long on $700 a month I don't know, but it's finally, finally over and I couldn't be happier.

Consequently, the tree outside my window has turned a radiant color of red, seemingly overnight, and I am reminded that it is good to be alive. The leaves took their time in changing this year, probably because it has been so dry, but now they seem to have realized that it really is Fall, and they're well on their way to turning the mountainside into that patchwork of yellow, orange, red, brown, and a myriad of colors that have no name.

Is it silly of me to think that they waited on me all that time, and brought out their colors to celebrate with me the joy of living? More likely that I was so wrapped up in my problems, however legitimate, that I forgot to look outside the window every now and again to see all that lies beyond my little world. Whatever the case, I'm beginning to believe again, and maybe that's the reason for Autumn anyway.

I'm looking forward more than ever now to cubicle humor!

Curse the TV writer's strike... not that I really blame them, though.