Living Sacrifice

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Just wanted to say I got to see Spider Man 2 tonight at the theater at about 1:20AM after Doug finished building it. Review: pretty good. More fighting it seems in this one, more romancey kind of stuff, but about what you would expect I think when going to see a Spider Man movie. I liked it, but generally, that doesn't say much. haha I'm a horrid movie critique. So....for the average schmoe like me, it's a good flick. Not my fav, but well-made I think, and I am still blown away when Spider Man flies through the city by using his web stuff. I love those parts......can you imagine? What a rush that would be!! :)

Well, I have to be at the theater tomorrow at 9:30am to let the carpet cleaner in, and it's 4am now, so I'm heading to Mark and Kristy's to try to catch a few zzzzz's before the big day's the Spider Man 2 debus!! That = craziness at the Princess, and I be openin tomorrow. Bring on the Spidy freaks!

Friday, June 25, 2004

From Hope When You're Hurting by Crabb and Allender:

"So what is our hope? Simply this: That nothing, no problem in our circumstances or in our souls, can keep us from living out God's purpose for our lives if we are abandoned to him. If cancer blocks that purpose, it will be removed. If depression gets in the way, it will lift. If fatigue from poor sleep keeps us from fulfilling God's agenda, we'll snore with the best of them. If wealth is part of the plan, we'll close the big deal.

But, when illness, discouragement, prodigal children, insomnia, and money struggles are useful to God in advancing his purposes, they will be a part of our lives. We are not wrong to take whatever honorable measures we can to alleviate our suffering, and we are not wrong to thank God if things improve. But, because we cannot always understand what God is up to, we are wrong to demand less suffering, to make it our top priority to change things to be the way we would like."

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

What a night! Took TJ to a jazz club in Cinci tonight for his 21st birthday. Excellent company, music, and water to drink. haha I had water, but TJ had his first experience with al-kee-haul at the ripe old age of 21 (now now, not like he got drunk or anything), and the whole experience was just hilarious. We came in and sat down, and realized we had no idea what to order because we knew absolutely nothing about alcohol!! It was so funny. We had to ask the waitress about alcoholic drinks and stuff. TJ ended up having ammoretto (sp?) with orange juice. I sipped on my water, and we talked and laughed as the jazz music played in the background. They even had a couple special guest jazz musicians come in, one being Ira Sullivan, who according to MSN entertainment is "one of the great talents in jazz." Our waitress told us a little about him, and she also said he was one of the greatest jazz musicians in the world. Wow, rock on! :)

We also had a run in on our way out with a guy asking for change. I gave him what I had (a measly 20 cents), but then TJ and I ended up walking him to Donatos to get some pizza. Well, unfortunately, it had been closed for 2 hours already....and I started to get a little spooked at all the people sitting on the street corners. I mean, here I am, a female with a blind guy, my wallet in hand, walking on East 8th Street in downtown Cinci at 12am. We ended up just walking back to my car, leaving the guy behind with my 20 cents. I think I did the wrong thing. I should have offered him a ride to the nearest open food place and bought him some food. But sometimes, it's hard to make judgments on whether someone is being honest with you or not, and making judgments on whether they are safe or not. I want to help and love, but I don't want to be naive. Regardless, I learned that there are a lot of hurting, hungry people in Cincinnati, and that I've got it made in my little red "Kimmy 22" car driving back to a decent apartment where I have everything I will ever need.

When I got back to O-town, I made a trip to Kroger and ran into my buddy John West, who I thought was in jail for 6 months, but evidently it turned into about 3 weeks instead or something, because there he was. He's an old guy who makes ALL kinds of inappropriate comments to women (including myself), but he needs love (not sex, which I think he equates with love) just like anyone else. I spent some time talking with him, and when it got inappropraite, I would try to say "John, that's enough." Sometimes he would respect my wishes and stop, and sometimes he wouldn't. Regardless, I wanted him to know that I care about him but wanted him to respect me by not making degrading comments. I was scared of what he might do to me the first time he came into the theater, but now I know he wouldn't hurt me......just mostly talk coming from him, and I can handle that. Of course, I would never want to be in a non-public place when he was around, but that's another story. tonight I grapple with boundaries and how to deal with people whom I want to show love but don't really know how because 1.) I am a female and don't want them to get any wrong ideas about the love I want to show them, 2.) sometimes I am naive and 3.) showing love to someone doesn't always mean doing what they say or doing what they think is best for them.

So, that was my night. A good night, an interesting night, and a thoughtful night. But now, time to sleep.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Over the past few days, I have experienced some really beautiful things. So, I wanted to take a few minutes to blog about them. So, this is my list of beauty. *smile*

-Thursday night, I went uptown by myself to the music festival. The music was decent, but what intrigued me was the dancing children in the front. They were beautiful, so free to be whoever they wanted to be, with no restrictions, dancing in whatever fashion suited them best. I just clung to a light post and watched them in delight and amazement. I found myself laughing and smiling, even at the few slightly older “children” who were brave enough to get up and let their spirits fly to the music. Hehe

-Earlier this week, I read a book by Rebecca St. James called “Wait For Me,” and I found comfort and beauty in her words of wisdom, and I was reminded of the beautiful love God has created for us, from him and from a significant other (if we are not called to singleness), and that God has a specific person in mind for me in His own timing. And so I don’t have to worry about it. Maybe I’ve already met my future spouse and don’t know it, or maybe I don’t even know he exists yet, but there is beauty in the way God has planned things and created us to be and love, and I was greatly encouraged by Rebecca’s words and have more strength now to just be patient, and in the process, dwell even more deeply with my Father.

-This week, I saw two men cry, and I find such beauty in that…..when men find the freedom to show how they are really feeling, because I know a lot of times that is difficult when we live in a culture that shouts to men “suck it up!” One man cried because he was overcome with love and joy, the other cried out of heartache and brokenness. They were both just as beautiful….both tears that can be shared with God.

-I saw two people get married last night, two absolutely beautiful people in love with one another, yet more importantly, in love with God. There is something about the bonding of two authentic Christ-followers that is like nothing else. Their love seeped from them for each other and God, and it was beautiful. The symbolism God has created through marriage is beautiful as well. The bride, probably more than any other day, takes special care to make herself spotless and radiant, wearing white and symbolizing the Church, which is made white, spotless, and pure through Christ’s blood so that we become worthy to be presented to the Father. The groom, also radiant….humble, accepting, honorable, handsome….is representative of Christ, who is perfect and accepts the Church and the people within the Church, inviting them to become one with Him, united in Spirit and Truth. Wow. Awesome. And beautiful. God is so cool like that….all of that wrapped into a ceremony of matrimony.

-I saw old people dancing at the reception, and I could see the love they still had for each other after so many years. It burned in their eyes as they laughed and danced with one another. That was beautiful.

-I saw the bride dance with her father…..I saw the groom dance with his mother…..and then I saw the bride and the groom dance together. All was beautiful.

-I saw people letting loose, just being themselves on the dance floor at the reception. I saw TJ learn some new dance moves, I saw Kevin (the groom) doing Michael Jackson moves (and he was good!), I saw Michelle (the bride) dancing around as if she didn’t have a wedding dress and high heels on, and I saw more little kids dancing in freedom, purity, and innocence. Beauty everywhere.

I love it!! I thank God for all of this. I can’t explain how I am feeling, but it’s really cool, and I feel filled with hope.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Had a troubling night tonight, so I took my bad self, grabbed my latest music movement (which is a "trance" CD graciously lended to me by Joe), and headed into the excitement of M-town. Because everything is CLOSED after 10pm in Marion, even on a Saturday night, I had to settle for Tim Horton's drive thru. I don't drink alk-ee-hall, so the next best thing for me without breaking my "no coffee, no pop" streak was a hot chocolate. So, my face tear-stained and tired, I took my hot chocolate to the Harding Memorial to sit outside, sipping, crying, thinking, and writing in my journal. It actually ended up being a nice spot, and a nice night to be out. So, overall, even though I was upset, I had a nice outting and some good time to contemplate. And I also had a chance to talk with my little bro when I came's nice to have someone with which I can just kind of "think out loud." Someone to stimulate my brain a little bit, make me eager to learn more and dig into my faith. Looking forward to having him in O-town with me....which starts tomorrow!
So, life is still hard for me right now. Still trying to get out of my self-focused frame of mind and come to terms with some issues I need to face. But I have a wonderful support system in community of faith, and my family and friends, and I am beginning to have hope for my life and what God has planned for me.

"Kept the right ones out
And let the wrong ones in
Had an angel of mercy
To see me through all my sins
There were times in my life
When I was goin' insane
Tryin' to walk through the pain

And when I lost my grip
And I hit the floor
Yeah, I tought I could leave
But couldn't get out the door
I was so sick n' tired
Of livin' a lie
I was wishing that I would die

It's amazing
With the blink of an eye
You finally see the light
It's amazing
That when the moment arrives
You know you'll be alright
It's amazing
And I'm saying a prayer
To the desperate hearts tonight


Thursday, June 10, 2004

Had to go into the theater tonight so that my boss, Doug, could show me some new stuff (for anyone who knows anything about movie theater life, Thursday nights are the big night, when everything happens). He's going to be going on vacation sometime soon, and so he needed someone to know how to do Thursday nights. Well....guess that's me. Yep, I guess that kind of means I'll be in charge.......WHOA......scary.

I also got to experience my boss eating a live cicada. He just popped the head off, took the wings off, and then crunched away. And yes, it certainly crunched. haha He said it tasted like scrambled eggs. MMMMMMMMMM!

I also went to visit a pregnancy center in Harrison today. That was pretty cool....for an update, I've kind of been put in charge of putting together a committee to decide how the new women's center in Hamilton is going to operate when it opens in October. It's all pretty exciting, to think that I get to share my ideas with other Godly women, and then actually see them put into action to help other women who are in need. But....I don't know much about any of this at all, so right now I'm just trying to educate myself so that I can do the best job I can at organizing this stuff. I hope to visit several other places sometime soon, and get to meeting with these other amazing ladies. I must tell you, it was cool talking to the lady today at the crisis pregnancy center. Her name was Jamie, and she just really had a compassion for what she is doing, and she had a lot of good advice to give me. A very very wise, faithful woman. I'm sure there are many more out there that I will get to meet very soon. :)

Other than those things going on, I've also had a lot on my mind as far as relationships go. I really have a distorted view, and I can never seem to do anything right. Just been struggling with finding who I am in God so I can stop seeking out fulfillment in other people, because it's not fair to them, and it's not fair to God, nor what He desires from me. I've found myself spending a lot of time the past couple days just sitting around staring at walls and computer screens, crying and thinking about things. It's been really hard. I guess the question that follows is: what am I going to do with all of this? These feelings? There's a lot of hurt and sadness....

Opp. Just got a phone call. Doug needs a ride to Colerain tonight because his contacts are messed up and he doesn't want to drive. Looks like it'll be a late one.....It'll be good for me, anyway. I need a drive. :)

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

By request, I am resuming my blog. But this is why I didn't want to blog for a while....I'm not in the best condition. But I'm going to use this to be real. So, here goes.

I hate my life right now. I hate who I have become, I hate who I have made myself to be, I hate how I question myself, my God, my faith, I hate my selfish nature.

I am bulimic. I have been ever since I was anorexic in high school. I hate that I can't seem to overcome it. It comes and goes....gets worse, gets better. I lose and gain pounds all the time. I hate the battle. I hate that I always give in. I wish I could let God heal me....allow Him in to overcome. But I can't seem to break the pattern because I'm too selfish and controlling. I hate that I think about it all the time. I hate that I can't accept myself. I hate that I compare myself now to who I was in high school.

I hate how I see Satan working within the churches today. I hate him. I hate how he's sneaky and steals hearts and takes lives. I've been so disappointed lately with many people.....I have "Christian" friends who get plastered and think about living with their boyfriends. I see satan slowly sucking the life out of so many people.

You know, people just don't want to face their pasts. They run and run in any way they can.....hide themselves in materialism, try to find hobbies, things to fill their lives with, when the one true thing that will fill is waiting for them all the time. Why do I run to things? To people? To stuff that will never satisfy?

I thought about how I wanted to die yesterday. In a split second, I thought I could turn the wheel of my car in the middle of the highway and I'd go tumbling and tumbling into the median. I think about things like that here and there. Sometimes, it almost seems real...and I scare myself, because I know that's not what I want.

I want a loving, living God to be real to pull me up out of all this crap that I live in, to help me turn from self-pity to compassion for others. I want to live my life as a servant for His Kingdom, to live in truth and righteousness...for Him to be my entire life, my entire being. I want to be a walking example of how God changes lives.....of his miraculous power and mighty love and compassion for us. I desire purity and righteousness. I desire love.

God knows every thread of my being. He created me. He knows me. He loves me. How long before I realize I owe my entire life to Him? I am nothing, but He makes me something. I am not ignorant....I know the ways of the world. I have felt them and searched them, and I only find meaning in Him. Nothing else matters.

This is me. This is real. This is where I am and who I am right now. This is despiration, lost hopes, painful pasts....all wound together to make me. And God will take this crap and mold it into something beautiful. I do have a glimmer of hope for it. And I will be everything He made me to be. And I will stand on His rock, His solid foundation, and scream to the world of the love and compassion and freedom He has to offer. Someday.........I will dance freely before my Lord.

But for now, I wallow in my sorrow and drown in the tears I cry for my life and the ones before me that I see dwindling away into a world of meaninglessness.

God, show me how to lay all this before You.

I hope that my next blog can be better than this. But I can't lie and be someone I'm not.

Monday, June 07, 2004

I'm done bloggin for a while. If you want something else to read, check out the links to other blogs on the side. Cool stuff.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

I'm really excited about this weekend.....I have Saturday off, and I am visiting my friend Ian for his graduation party in Middletown. Here's a pic I took of Ian one day at Hueston Woods:

I met him in my Philosophy class in Middletown this past semester, and he was my Wednesday night buddy. Hehe He's not a Christian, but we happened to share interest in the same music group (Switchfoot), which is awesome.....that's how he really stood out to me. At the very beginning of the class, we had to pick a song to play for our PHL class that meant something to us...and Ian's song was We Were Meant to Live by Switchfoot. :) He’s a great guy….lots of fun….and only a senior in high school! When he enters college next year, he will already be a sophomore. Way to go, Ian! So anyway, looking forward to his party on Saturday, and then heading home from Middletown to see my family! And we’ll have some extra guests Saturday nite: Glenn and Cathy will finally be experiencing the “Do,” and quite possibly Eric, Christi, and maybe even Vir if things work out. We’ll see. Might be a little mini-vacation at the Birch’s for all of us this weekend! Yay! I can’t wait. Ryan will also be joining us on Sunday for the big ’04 PHS graduation.

I’d just like to say that I am so proud to be the sister of Neal Spencer Birchfield. I couldn’t have asked God for a better little bro……if you know him, you know what I’m talking about…..and if you don’t know him, well….you need to get to know him, because he’s an amazing dude. And I’m really looking forward to having him here in O-town….WOOOO… 4 more days or something!! Hehe

By the way, anyone else who would like to take a mini-vacation to the “Do” is more than welcome. Our house is for everyone. *grin*