Diary? Nothing that I wouldn't tell a client. Not everything that is written pertains to me or my life.
The things I see, hear...the people I talk to, all influence or impact my thoughts. Just saying!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Мороз и Cолнце

...Под голубыми небесами
Великолепными коврами,
Блестя на солнце, снег лежит...
-А.С. Пушкин







He says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth'... Job 37:6
Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail?
-Job 38:22
(there are storehouses. hehe)




Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Melancholy

The same day can be so different for many people. For some, it may be the happiest day of their life. Their wedding day. When that journey just begins. A day they chose to get married on. Snowflakes falling, adding to the festive Christmas wedding feel. For others it may be a day when the world stops. When they put their child to rest for an eternity. And the snowflakes falling just add a more melancholy feel. Christmas parties, birthdays, celebrations, moments of a lifetime. Sadness, heartbreaking moments, sorrow. It is easier to spot the joys. The sparkle in the eye, the skip in the step. It is harder to notice the pain, the sadness in the heart. And I walk around sometimes passing people, hardly realizing that these people around me might have turmoil or deep pain in their life, until I hear something and realize, 'wow, I didn't even know!' They get passed without a second glance. And if it's not my own personal pain, life just keeps going, and things get forgotten. Makes me think, how hard it is for a human sometimes to deal with, juggle the emotions, thoughts, feelings all at once. And here is God, who sees the depths of the heart and mind. The people of the past, the present, and the future! Just one person, myself for instance, is hard enough. But multiplied over and over?! All those emotions and feelings of each human being. Weather the joy, peace, happiness. Or the sorrow, pain, and struggle. How crazy it is for me as a mere human to comprehend it. He sees and feels all at once. And He knows how to deal with it and what to do for each individual personally. And I tell myself, that is why He is God!
***
I realize that as easy as English is for me, the simpler language, that when it comes down to the end of a hard day, a long day, or maybe I am lacking sleep and am tired, my tongue won't turn, my speech becomes hard, and I feel like I am speaking a foreign language. Which in fact, I am. I can hear my faint accent become heavier, and I hear those common mistakes you would hear foreigners speak. "It is a pretty." Rather than, "It is pretty." The "whats" become "Vats" Why? I have no clue. It's a strange thing! So even though I speak and use English more than Russian, Russian will prevail.
***
This time of year is especially busy! Maybe it is for most people. But for me, it is not because I need to run around shopping like a mad woman, finding last minute presents, that maybe no one really wants. Or decorating the house and making it look like Christmas. In fact, we don't even have a tree in the house. I guess no one wanted to take on the task of getting one and setting it up. And so the christmas toys (ornaments) are still sitting in their box.
It is busy just because a lot of events happen, and things have to be crammed in. I love it. I also love days like today, when I have nothing planned and not a single place to go.
But it makes me feel like I step into doors, one by one, of such completely different worlds. Such contrasting atmospheres, settings, people.
From a three day retreat where everything slows down and is calm, into a super early rushed morning, at work. Feeling like I was blown in by a storm without a moment to pause. Our fun, but very loud Christmas work party, where I felt like I was yelling the whole time, just to speak to the person next to me. And then Sunday. Where everything in church is spoken in Russian. And I sit, listen, and think. Afterwards, easing my way through the congregation in the crammed hallways. Each place and time, surrounded by such different people!
And my favorite.
I went to my younger brother's open house recital. I realized how many years have passed, and I've never met his teacher. Or been to a single recital of his. I felt like I stepped back into time. The elegance and classiness of the sound and feel in the air. Nicely dressed people mingling, students playing in the background. So, I met the piano teacher. And looked into the world of yet another piano instructor. I believe their environment, and they as people are very unique and interesting. (Maybe because I have taken many years of piano lessons and have always remembered my teacher as a genius.) I also scanned her bookshelf and made a discovery I hadn't know about her, and decided I really like her. We heard one of her past students, a gifted young lady who is now in a music school in New York, play a piece (Chesnuts Roasting on an Open Fire). just in case you wanted to know. There is something very amazing about live performances. And of course, heard my younger brother play, who didn't want to follow her, in playing, and waited until a younger child had finished. I've felt like that way too many times!
But what I liked about the open house has nothing to do with music, or the atmosphere that reminded me of my years of piano lessons.
In the room of strangers, one gentleman introduced himself and seemed to really want to talk. I could say, I met a 'soul friend'. A lady used that phrase and I really liked it. He was a stranger, and I might never see him again, but I know we understood each other, or maybe he understood me, without knowing me at all! I said one word and we smiled, in our mutual understanding, knowing we were talking about the same thing. What he was leading to, I knew. I say gentleman, because not just his physical appearance, but his manner and speech spoke, 'gentleman'. I also say, "really wanted to talk," because he did pursue a conversation, from room to room, even when one could have left after an awkward moment or a shift in happenings. Later he introduced his wife and pretty daughter. I chatted with her a little, and before we left, I came up one more time to say goodbye and make sure I had their names right. And as I was putting on my boots, he came up and tapped me on my shoulder saying, "I wanted to finish my story..." as if it was a necessity to say what he said before I disappeared. He said what he did, in his gentle manner, and we shook hands goodbye. And what struck me was, how in a short span, a thirty minute time frame, one single person could make such a huge impact. What we talked about and what he said, deeply moved me. It left an imprint on my heart. Such strong encouragement, on such a personal note, from a total stranger, who I will remember as a fellow christian 'soul friend'! I know he might never know how much his words affected me, but I feel as though it was a necessity for him to say what he did. I left pondering what had happened, kind of in awe...
I'm glad I was the only one available that day to drive my younger brother to his recital.
***
Never before has the meaning of Christmas been closer to my heart than this year.
So,
it's Happy Birthday Jesus
and
Merry Christmas to All!
_
Love and Peace

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Few Days Without

So. I think, if you want the truth, the real story, you gotta go to the source. The real source. Not the gossip line, not the retold version where everything has either been distorted, exaggerated, or maybe depleted. 'Cause I believe once something is retold by someone, then retold again by someone else, the feelings and emotions and ideas or visualization of those people have been added and have already changed the whole perspective. The actual happenings, the true story is no longer that which it was originally. Maybe how it's portrayed, or how it's heard, gives a complete wrong impression. Maybe it's retold in the version of how one wants it to be seen. And then when you find out, that's how it's all going down, and it's all twisted, you wonder how it got to that in the first place.
I like to ask for myself. And it's amazing how much you can get from asking. I know that if I was asked certain questions people would know a lot more. They just don't ask. Maybe they're afraid to ask, to actually hear an answer.
I'm looking forward to this week. Turning off the phone. No texting or messaging. No facebook checking. A few days of old fashioned living. It should be relaxing to get away from the city. Even if it's not really a vacation.
Yey!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Old Soul

A lady I greatly admire, who's past her 70's, told me, "You would appreciate this, you have a heart like mine," as she told me a few things and showed me something that was dear to her. Hearing that, I took it as one of the greater compliments. From the talks I've had with her over the last four years, I would have to say, I understand how she would see that, and I agree. I've always believed I have an old soul. In fact my mom told me I was born an old lady. (I'm pretty sure her opinion has partly changed, at least about me being 'a lady') Maybe that is why I can relate and get along so well with much older people? But I wonder, what happens to this 'old soul' when I actually will be old. If that ever happens. Meaning, I think I will be an old soul with an never-ending youthful spirit. Hopefully. Always. That should work!



You hear people talk about 'looks', the accessories, the clothes, the pretty eyeshadow. And all that has a place in it's own. Especially for me, being surrounded in a setting where sometimes that's commented on too frequently. But how many people notice or comment on the more important qualities like character or matters of the mind and heart. I know I've been surprised, and I say surprised because I rarely hear it spoken about others, when someone says something they noticed that has nothing to do with the physical appearances or beauty. I guess I've been thinking about this because I feel like too many times, the face and physical structure of the human body is focused on way too much. Weather the 'face' is attractive and receives lots of compliments or not so much and gets overlooked much more.



So I decided that if I ever die, I mean, when I die, I want this song played at my funeral:


Weak and wounded sinner
Lost and left to die
O, raise your head for Love is passing by
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus and live!
Now your burden's lifted,
And carried far away,
And precious blood has washed away the stain...so
Sing to Jesus,
Sing to Jesus,
Sing to Jesus and live!
And like a newborn baby,
don't be afraid to crawl
And remember when you walk, sometimes we fall...so
Fall on Jesus,
Fall on Jesus,
Fall on Jesus and live!
Sometimes the way is lonely
And steep and filled with pain,
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain...then
Cry to Jesus,
Cry to Jesus,
Cry to Jesus and live!
O, and when the love spills over
And music fills the night
And when you can't contain your joy inside...then
Dance for Jesus,
Dance for Jesus,
Dance for Jesus and live!
And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye,
Go in peace and laugh on Glory's side...and
Fly to Jesus,
Fly to Jesus,
Fly to Jesus and live!
-Chris Rice


The simplicity of the tune and melody was very much catchy! It's been years since I first heard it. I like to think and ponder as I read those lyrics and think of the moments that fit those times. So simple yet so deep. It covers it all. So I picked up part of the melody and play it often for myself. It's just so soothing. Don't get me wrong. I know this is the season for rejoicing and giddy feelings and I'm there for sure. But. When I hear too many people telling me about loved ones dying, when I read a beautifully descriptive passage in a book about priorites in life and death, how can I not think about it? (Plus, Death probably doesn't choose the right, or certain season.) Anyway, I laugh and tell people I never keep my journals too long, just in case something happens to me. I find that to be ridiculous about myself, that I should care what someone sees after I'm gone! When one of my clients said, "I brushed her hair and she took her last breath in my arms," I took a phrase I liked from that book and told her "...it is an enormous privilage to be in the room when someone passes into the next life...it is a deeply spiritual moment..." (I did tell her I read that...) And I think, it's actually the living that's hard. Maybe the struggle for life, the ailments, the disease and pain. Being a burden maybe. Leaving someone behind. The actual passing is probably not so bad for one who knows where he's headed.
And with your final heartbeat, kiss the world goodbye, go in peace and laugh on Glory's side. Fly to Jesus and live...When the time comes, that's what I'll be doing! It's touching and Beautiful.




In studying Isaiah, I am just reminded at the reality of God's judgement when it comes for each person. (What gives me peace is that it will be so just, without favoritism. He sees the heart and mind. Not like us humans who see so little yet manage to do so nevertheless.) No matter how much love, how much patience, how many chances He gives, the stark reality that the one who does not believe will perish. I look constantly at the people around me and these words come to mind:


"...So we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to get there..." -Hebrews 4:1. And, "...You must warn each other every day, as long as it is called "today," so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God." -Hebrews 3:13.


To think, the person right next to me, that I care for, laugh with, a friend even, but someone who has not received Jesus personally may not make it?!! It touches my heart and I just think, ah, if only they would know what I know and have. If only they would accept. I ask myself, what can I do each day? How can I make the slightest difference today? And then I meet others, who are ministering in their own way and I smile to myself, realizing this person I'm talking to is already at work, is trying. Then we talk about it and it's like, 'awesome! you too huh?' There are so many, working, doing what God has called them to do. Next to me. Across the world. It is so beautiful. Because they care and know how important of a matter it is.

I am so excited. All the Christmas festivities! The work party, our 'cousins' get together, Christmas Eve service, and all the relatives coming over to our house on Christmas Day! It is time to celebrate and rejoice!! Food, Laughter, Family and Friends! Even a few gifts and Food. I know I already said that, but food's really important.

One child can change the world

Christmas Morn'

The King of all kings was born

He reigns forevermore

Let us worship and adore

Christ the Lord

(i really got into the songs today. hehe)

Peace

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Whoohoo!!

The last two weeks have been so great! Pretty much how I feel about it would be how I felt yesterday morning. I was driving on the empty streets in the morning with a grin on my face as the snow was falling and everything was so pretty and covered in white. I pulled into the parking lot next to our building at work, got out, and seeing a coworker walking in as well, yelled out "whooohooo!" I literally heard an echo and thought the whole of downtown must have heard. Ah!
***
I've switched my schedule and last week, just the thought of working a day less, I felt lighter and more free. Less stress already! So this week has been amazing!! My first part time week. I've had two jobs at once before, and I've worked after nine hour school days, and I've worked 12 hours shifts. So now, I'm cutting back. While I can.
***
I guess it just feels good that a lot of the things I think about get confirmed or reassured by something I read, or hear in a sermon or lecture. It comforts me that God is working and through those reasurances I have peace that maybe some things I've been doing are on the right track. It feels likes it's been happening a lot. I think or talk about something and it comes up in something else or in another conversation right after...
***
Last Sunday, a couple friends and I ended up rehearsing after morning service. The church was empty and our pianist's husband turned on the microphones for us and later recorded and played it back. And even though all we did was practice it felt good to sing. I am amazed at how many talented people I know. Singers, musicians, and everything else...I feel blessed to be able to sing myself once in awhile. So. I didn't even notice that an hour later, I hadn't even felt the usual hunger I feel around that time after church. (And normally that's the first thing I want to do, eat.)
***
This last Monday when we got the first big snowfall, I drove across town to the north side early in the morning for an appointment. I loved how everybody drove so slow. Under 25 miles per hour! I never drive the speed limit so I just enjoyed how I couldn't rush, I couldn't speed. Maybe I'm the only weird driver who is still happy and smiling when the driving conditions are so bad. I know it's strange. I drove back downtown to our teacher training at work. It's pretty cool. I was in elementary education, in college, when I left to become a hairdresser. So I thought I was going to be a teacher. Now, I can still "teach" without officially being a teacher. And on a subject I actually enjoy. And a lot more freedom than a classroom setting. I actually like telling tricks of the trade or techniques I think are awesome, to those that maybe haven't used them before or haven't put into practice yet. It's just a different side to the hairdressing business. I'm getting all excited and I haven't even done too much with that yet. We even had to do an impromptu ten minute presentation! A little bit of everything...The same night, at bible study, only about a hundred ladies showed up. It was a smaller group but I played the songs that they sing and it felt giddy, maybe just on my part, but everything was shortened up and we made it out before it hit 8:30. Driving back, it was amazing how everybody cleared out of the streets. Literally, at that time of night, I was the only driver for a big stretch of my drive. Anyway, for a first snowfall day, that was a lot of driving all over town!
***
Thanksgiving day was Great! First of all, the kitchen we have is way too small and way too cluttered. I don't know about anyone else, but when the work space is a mess, I get distracted and it becomes hard to do anything. Thank goodness we have a door to the kitchen. My sister had her french music playing and I made french toast. By the way, I'm hooked on homemade french toast lately! Just think what perfect food it is. We cooked (mostly my sister) and got everything ready. I guess we make what we like and I made a layered salad. It takes a while to make only because you have to boil, cool, dice, layer. My sister is an amazing cook. I always tell people she can create something out of nothing.
So, I've never been out of the house on thanksgiving day. But. My favorite salad needs beets and somehow we overlooked the fact that we didn't have any. So I drove out in search of beets. The first three closest stores were too small to carry whole canned beets. One of the clerks really tried helping me from the counter. "Yes we have beans. Third shelf over. Down, down, over right," in her accent. I stare at the space and there are no beets. She runs over. "Here, here are beans." I wanted to laugh but she was trying to be so helpful. I ended up going farther to Safeway which thankfully, the stores were open in the morning. I was actually happy to be out. There were so many last minute shoppers. I've never been in a busier grocery store before! People also stared. I wondered if it was my haircolor or the grin on my face. Why do I have to smile so much?! Happy with my beets and my caramel apple spice.
***
I am always amazed at how great I can be feeling until someone does or says something that takes me aback and kind of shocks me. And I try to act normal. I try to pretend it doesn't affect me. But it does. It's that first reaction that I can't hide. It's just that things people say or do sometimes throw me off and what I feel I can't help but feel the first few moments. I've already decided that I can only take charge of myself. What I allow to settle in my heart or mind. What I allow to shape or change me. But sometimes it's just hurt, and until I realize people don't always intend what they do or don't realize how it affects others, those first initial feelings can be breaking. I guess I have to be a big girl and brush it off. Just enjoy life and not let negativity, what other's think or do affect me.
***
I am always surrounded by a lot of people. A lot of talking, conversations, just background noise or sound. Everywhere I go. Even at home. And after a long week of so many different things, so so many different people and activities, I love to sit down and not hear anything. So I truly love when the house is empty and it's super quiet. It's as if everything melts away and there is no chaos for a couple of hours. No need to do anything for anybody, to talk or listen. Today I curled up in the couch and read a whole book. In fact a book on balance, which I think and talk on that subject a lot. Since it wasn't my book, I just jotted down things in a little notebook that I relate to or do, or work on, in myself. Reflected and thought for some time. For some reason, it also made me think of certain people I know. Anyway, I thought it was a good read and a perfect ending to the week.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Chop Chop

I'm a hairdresser so I might as well write about hairdressing. Right? One of my pet peeves is when people think, 'oh, she's a hairdresser, so I'll talk about hair with her. Oh, she's a christian, I will talk about religion and christianity with her'. But really? Do I really want to talk about hair apart from work? No. And I can talk about faith a lot, in fact I'm passionate about that, but if that's the means of 'talking to her' then it becomes annoying. (If that makes sense).
But this is about hair nevertheless...
I'm pretty sure every hairdresser has a favorite client. Or clients. Well, my favorite client doesn't even pay, so I don't know if I can even call him a client. He's my little sixteen year old brother. Since I cut his hair in my bathroom, and he can't really schedule an official appointment, his asking for a haircut starts weeks ahead of time. He shows up in obscure times, and asks at the end of random conversations. And I mean constantly, everyday. I know not to promise because I've done it before, came home late, and here he is standing at my door. So coming midnight, I plug in my ipod and cut away. By the way, he is very particular and knows terms like, "what is thinning out" or "texturizing". Makes me laugh. Anyway, I like cutting his hair because we joke and laugh more than I actually cut hair. He jumps up to check if I'm doing it right and looks in the mirror in the middle of cutting. And he doesn't know this, but I practice using my left hand with the trimmers, and all my other nifty ninja cutting skills on him. If I make a mistake, it was a free haircut and in the odd hours of the day (or night) anyway! Eeeeh.

***
Anyway. We hairdressers have a bunch of different combs of different lengths and sizes. But I love using my one, long board cutting comb. If it's out of place I have to hunt it down. Also, lately, I've discovered how amazing seven inch shears are. I bought them so long ago and haven't used them until now! I tried them and thought for sure I'd chop my nuckle off! Or cut out too much hair, or nip the actual client. And when you've got the speedy thing going already, it's hard to slow down in those areas and fumble with new tools. I just had to start using them, slowly, and get used to the difference in depth perception than the one I'm used to. They cut deep. So. I like how I can cut into the length of the hair and soften the edges in a very clean way. The weight and length of the blades feel good in the hand and are interesting to work with. I love the swoosh of it as the blade comes down. It's a completely different feel than that of the shears I use day in and out. I can be a bit nerdy about tools of the trade. But even combs and scissors are interesting if you're a hairdresser.
***
The good times are when I'm in the zone. Funny sounding but it's true. There are moments you don't feel eyes watching, or hear other's conversations, or get distracted by every person that comes through the door. Have you ever had where you are waiting for someone to come and every person that walks throught the door you think is the one you're waiting for? Oh, it can be very distracting! And I am very aware of everything that goes around me at all times yet can still be very involved with the hair and client. It works for me. Being in the zone though is even better, because then nothing's affecting me in any way. So I just do the little dance, my motions. I love when everything is fluid. Of course there are days when I feel like if I catch that cord with my foot one more time, I will fall flat on my face. And product wants to fall out, and foils won't seperate, etc...I've always thought no matter what you're doing, you do it like someone's watching. Because really at one angle or another, someone is watching. And everyperson does have their 'trademark'. Weather it's their motions, their stance, their work style...That's how it sets each hairdresser apart.
I do have super ninja skills though. I give credit to my profession. Just a couple Sundays ago at a wedding, I asked my older younger brother to pass me a dessert that is in the shape of a walnut filled with caramelized condensed milk. Well this is my family, and how he passed it to me was by tossing it to me across the table. I of course caught it with my left hand in between the first and middle fingers! Cool, huh?! I thought so.
(once again, i thought i was going to write about one thing and it ended up going off my topic. the usual)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Big Fat Snowflakes

The days get dark so fast. I like it though, when the dark settles in, the downtown trees light up and sparkle. And store windows and restaurants shine bright, and people's homes glow from within. It makes me want to take a walk and peer in.
***
I should probably stop telling people that I want lots of snow though, 'cause some of them start looking at me like I'm the bad one for wishing it so! I want it just to snow like two years ago in winter of 2008/2009. So that the snowflakes would be big, fat and heavy, and when they hit your eyeball straight on as you walk against the snowfall, you could actually feel it. Soft and fluffy. I am looking forward to bundling up. Hats, scarfs, warm boots! And I know lots of snow can cause problems. People get stuck, car accidents happen, electricity shuts down, people fall on ice.
But the nice thing is, when that happens, nice things happen too. The nice, helpful side of people comes out.
I remember how I was stuck on the corner of my block and my car wouldn't budge forward or back, and a neighbor from half a block away came to my rescue. I hadn't even asked! I watched him push my car out, fall flat on his face, clear out the snow, and free my car so I could go to work. I appreciated him so much and probably said thank you way too many times not knowing how to really show my gratitude and feeling so sorry for him for struggling so hard to help me!
I've also had to walk to work. It took me an hour. The buses weren't running. My car couldn't be driven out of the street. So I walked. I wouldn't have minded that so much, except that by the time I made it to work, I thought my legs above my knee were frozen and would fall off. It hurt so bad. I just didn't realize it would be so cold or such a long walk!
To tell you the truth, I don't mind if businesses shut down for a day, or electricity doesn't work. It will all come back the next day anyway. I think it just forces people slow down, light some candles and a fireplace if there is one, and maybe pause for a little.(Others, sadly, to panic.)


I just like winter to be the real thing! Yes, I'm not a fan of slush, and icy roads, or when it all gets black and ugly. I know how it feels to have bad roads. I've had bad driving conditions cause accidents. I know how it feels to have no traction, no stopping power, and no control of the car. Just last year, the night we had a thick sheet of ice for a road, I slammed head on, full force into a curb because there was nothing else I could do. Thankfully not into people, or other cars! So no, I don't want accidents or people getting hurt or anything else of that sort...
But for the most part it's magically beautiful. I remember standing at work looking out of our big windows. The sunlight was super bright, the air outside so cold, and all of a sudden it looked like magic dust, ice particles glistening like crystals in the air. I could stand and stare for a long time.
I know, I know. All the leaves havn't fallen yet. It's just, waiting for the first snowfall is so fun! The first time everything gets covered in a sheet of white...
***
I'm a dreamer. (It's those things that are instilled in me, who I am. Not things others want for me. Not because everyone else is doing those things. And what I do know, is that my dreams do come to reality, only in a timing I don't understand quite yet.) I know my imagination most of the time is way too big. But I can't help it. The thing I have done about it, is learned to not expect things how I would imagine them or how I would have done them. I've managed to expect less and be pleasantly surprised when it exceeds my expectations. Perfectionism isn't actually a positive characteristic. I think. I've had to learn not to be hard on myself. I've had to accept differences. Isn't that where the beauty lies? Where everyone does things differently. Thinks and sees differently. I've learned to take those other qualities of people who are laid back, easy going, into appreciation and to utilize it in my life! So when I can let things go, not care so much, and accept failures, it feels good. In myself, and others.
I've always thought that moderation and balance in everything, in life, is a key factor. Being too uptight, or being way careless would be far off. Working all the time or never just wouldn't work. Finding a middle ground is the ideal I will strive for in my life.
Why I am saying this? Kind of like a thank you to some people in my life that have shown me and influenced me. How amazing how we can learn and grow from each other in human relationships. You never know where life will go...People will come and go in my life, but a little of each person stays.
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17
I appreciate this verse a lot more now.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ugly

No, not you. I am talking about my own personal self here.

Sometimes I get caught up in thinking, 'Oh, I never think that way!' 'I never react or feel that way!'
Maybe not in certain situations, but come a different circumstance of some sort and then it truly shows who I am. I am shown, that there is ugliness that needs to be worked on. I am no better than the person next to me at any given point. So even if I see someone and tell myself, "I don't do that," I can think that and believe it, but God will show me, there is always something to work on, even if only in a different situation. I've just learned, that looking into someone else's darkness with judgemental eyes, I will sooner or later find myself in that same position with maybe that same darkness. I might think that person did that and that, only to realize I did too, to someone else. Even if it was unknowingly or unwillingly. Selfrightousness is just not a way to go. And I realize I can only look at myself and only change myself. 'Pointing fingers' is easy. Spotting other's faults is way too easy. Looking at oneself. Seeing my own dirt, admitting I have the same faults, and fixing it. That is actually hard.

"...Cause we're all guilty of the same things. We think the thoughts whether or not we see them through...." from the song, Forgiven.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Little About Hairdressing

First of all, I like how certain books have the funniest chapter titles. Of course, recently, I was a bit astonished upon coming onto the next chaper and seeing a Russian vulgar curse word. A single word, the title of the chapter. I guess if you don't know Russian you wouldn't think much of it or you would be curious enough to google it. Anyway, the book was pretty cool nevertheless. Books are like that.
***
Upon starting the blog a while back, I was researching about it, and one of the meanings included the blogger to be self-absorbed. It makes sense in a way. Writing, posting, linking, etc...now who cares, right? So it means I'm self-absorbed. I am also in the 'beauty business' and stand in front of a mirror all day long. That would make me vain and conceited as well. Wow. What a combination.
***

Each heart know its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.
Proverbs 14:10
Nothing facinates me more than human beings. And what better way to learn about them, than hands on, one on one, for about an hour or more with each. I might see a client one time and never again, or month after month, year after year, but in each time someone sits in my chair there is something to take out of it! From the moment I greet them with a smile and a handshake. As much as I like the artistic, creative side of it, I believe I get caught up in the relational part of it way more. But to have both is just grand. Be in an awesome setting, work with people of that same interest, dress in attire of own choosing, listen to music all day long...and have conversations, meaningful or not at all, all day long. With people from all spectrums of this city; from the five year old, to the 70+. Male and female. Whatever orientation, whatever culture. Students, McDonald workers (used to be one) professors, physicians, you name it...And having to listen. That means I can't tell you right or wrong, my personal opinion, my views, or "oh my i so don't agree!" It all falls back to the fact that my client is a paying client who's in my chair for a service. (Don't forget that, I tell myself.) It's like a window into these peoples lives, the whys whats wheres of their life...Hearing the happy and the sad. The open or the closed in (sometimes I have no clue what to say.) Or the ones that want to just relax and close their eyes...and I absorb it. To hear, I trust you (with my sharp shears near your eyes or your ears- ah, scary!)...or That's exactly what I wanted! To be able to see what they're envisioning...Sometimes quite a challenge, sometimes just a breeze. I enjoy it all! Of course, on those days I feel a failure, is when my life is affecting my work. Or when I'd rather cut or color and not say a word. Then, in my opinion I am not following my own personal job description. Who likes it when the listener goes, 'aha, yeah, aha'? Even a fool knows when he's not being listened to. Or I'm behind and have to rush. Who likes to be rushed on? Would you rush through in open heart surgery? Or when I cut someones bangs too short...Believe me, it can't be too perfect all the time. Wink wink...Someone might have talked me up and I was nothing you expected. I fail, I make mistakes, and not everyone will like me or what I do. It's one of those businesses where, yes, you could be coming because you like your hairdresser, or you like what the hairdresser does. I always think, I hope your not coming out of obligation for goodness sakes. It won't hurt my feelings.
Maybe you have something that you are so excited about, that you love doing, that keeps you refreshed and challenged and eager. Something you know you were made to do. Mine is my job. Simple.
You hear the word hairdresser and you have that stereotype jump out in your head. Oh, she's a hairdresser. Ok.
Well, I chose to be one. And for anyone who chooses to use my 'profession' as a form of degredation will not succeed. I might not have a fancy title, or make a lot of money today, but for a single girl, loving the job is worthwhile. Anyway, most people need some sort of hairdresser, right?



"Indulge in the best form of therapy: a haircut...they are psychotherapists."
-Amanda Harlech
So, I won't pretend to be something I'm not. I am just a hairdresser. But. I did like that phrase when I read it in a magazine I was browsing through at Aunties, back in November of 2009, and typed it into my notes on my cell. And I have to say, I do agree. Cutting my hair in February was the best thing I did for my self. It's a dream haircut but the timing had to be right, and it would have to be where I wouldn't miss my long hair and regret chopping it off. Otherwise the joy of having short hair would be lost. Alongside that, having done such a drastic cut, it is totally such a great distraction. And yes, some would say, oh my she's gone mad, poor girl, etc...must be because of a breakup...Well, it's undeniably true that the timing was exactly so. After a breakup. That's all. I've noticed when clients mention drastic change, it has to do with something big. A male client who's worn his beard and mustache for years, asked me my opinion about shaving it off all of a sudden. I of course, usually try to find out what made them decide to do such or such. The next time I saw him, it pained my heart to hear him say in our conversaton that he thinks he was depressed lately and if he talks about it, he will cry. I froze in my mind, my hands still doing the motions, but my mind scrambling for the right words. Not the first time things like that played out. It's interesting.

I love change. Three snips and you look different. Bangs? For sure! Blonde to Black in one day? Awesome! Having cut my hair was a precursor for some of my own clients to ease into change of their own. That was pretty cool to experience. As soon as I see an inclination of some sort, that they want to but are afraid, we do it gradually and in steps...for some it's been three years, but they now tell me, 'oh i don't care where you part it, do what you like.' Coming from someone who is older and very set in her ways. A lady that if she didn't see me cut into her bangs, I have to 'do it over' so that she sees it and has peace of mind. I never would have been able to do anything different when I first started cutting her hair, at the beginning. Now that's cool.

Lately though, my job has been emotional touching...Sometimes I get a chill up my spine, the hair on my hands stand straight up, and I get goosebumps!
When people ask questions that you can't answer light heartedly, when they tell you things you wonder if you should know, and when people's live show that my life is just a breeze so far, it makes me think...
"I've been thinking about this alot, what really happens when you die?"
"It just seems like life is so unfair. The good ones die, and the cruel live on. Why?"
My mind stops, my hands keep moving...
When clients talk of loss, of hardships, when they cry...I just want to do something, help. I guess I do in a way. They can tell me anything they want or nothing at all. I'm there to listen with no obligation of any sort. You don't have to see me again in a lifetime. Well, Spokane's not that big...
And I have to say, the best day recently was, to see a client that I wrote a message to, return after a whole year. Surgery, intense treatments, short tiny hair, but back on her bike and alive!
She touched my heart like many times my clients do...Last year she had told me out of the blue, "I quit my job." Just like that. Later she returned, we chopped her hair and she's been gone for a year. So this month, in asking about the outcome of the job thing, she said, "It's interesting that you ask." She had quit her job so that not a single person would know she got diagnosed with cancer. Back then, I had no idea...Yet she came and told me. A stranger. Her hairdresser.
***
The other day, a client who sat in the chair next to me had a very long appointment. In that time I had three clients. I don't know if she thought this, but she could have described me as bipolar. But hey, I have to do whatever it is to please my client...so I change personalities. It's not because I actually change. It's more of 'speaking their language'. It's fun!!

In the end, weather I have to entertain, or be serious my job really is making sure to get that hair in it's best lookin' form.
***
By the way, did I say, a little about Hairdressing?





Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Emotional

So we women can get pretty worked up. Be very emotional. I see a movie that's touching in any way -bawl my eyes out. When it comes to movies, I'm a cryer. Same with great reads. Someone tells me, "I've never seen a boy cry that hard." and I could start tearing up myself. I take people's problems to heart. If I start talking about a hurtful topic, tears...Now what can I blame? Hormones? Imbalanced and oh my... I'm not a morning person, so that? Maybe I haven't gotten to eat on time and it's late? Truthfully at one point or another probably all those and more. From reading the above it would sound like I cry nonstop. But I'm a woman so it's totally cool to cry, right? I don't really. But the fact is, if you see me crying, there's a really good reason to it. You would have to know personal details or be involved to see me truly crying out of pain. If you have, I must have been very embarrassed at the moment, but cannot hold back that which bursts from within.
The tears I could never hide are those of joy, comfort, relief, and pure worship. Of feeling that Pure Love. When no one on earth could understand why, or feel that what is inside my heart. Not out of emotion or feeling. Not because of PMS or lack of sugar. But, when a man of God, a stranger to me, in a church I've rarely been to, who does not know me by name, might have only noticed me from a far, knows nothing of my life, but can speak and say the exact thoughts of my mind, as if he knows everything and all the happenings of my life, and altogether reassuring, reminding, and convicting to a point where I cannot deny that the Holy Spirit has done something amazing. At a very critical moment, the right time. Somehow exactly when I so need it...Those tears I let stream down my face.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Rouge

Nature has it's own way of putting some 'rouge' on it's landscape.

Very striking against today's grey backdrop.

Stood out being the only tree with a beautiful bright vine encircling it.

***

I went to the Cross of Inspiration. On the Inspiration Lawn lies my grandma's grave.

One look and I'm flooded with memories. Certain words, phrases, smells, the way she looked at people, the way she cooked. Her caring ways. I think of things I didn't do, could have done, things I could have said...

The memories are either somehow kept alive or they slowly fade away, easily forgotten...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Single

A lot of times I like to refer to movie scenes that have stood out or meant something to me...I like to use sound effects and animation. But I also have to pretend to be a lady most of the time...If I could, I would explain myself, describe a very intense feeling I have had just weeks ago, and just show it with a scene that depicts it exactly, word for word, action, and sound. It's easier. But. I would be judged, so I do not share those 'moments' which portray that which I so feel. Others I can, without a smidge of reluctance, and laugh at myself because the movie from which I get my 'scene' can be a bit outlandish...Take for example, Kung Fu Hussle. I like that movie. I also overuse and quote Pride and Prejudice way too often...I can't help it.

***
I've learned the best way to say anything, the best way to write about anything, the best way to make a decision, is when I am no longer 'in the moment'. Sleep on it...sleep many nights on it...Think it over extra hard and it's no longer so bad. Took me awhile. I guess you I can't know everything all at once. Hehe...I know, that's the obvious.
***
I can fall to one knee, be bent on both, collapse on all fours, but I will not be beat, until I taste the dirt.
Maybe being that low helps me see that which I might have never seen when I was so High above. When I am Low, there is Hope that I can Rise. And when I Rise, I hope I will not forget what I have seen Below...
-
The enemy tries with whatever, in whichever way, with whomever, even my very own self, and the thing is, most of the time it's one thing. No success there? On to the next. But sometimes it's too many things all at once. Now that gets very hard. Thoughts, emotions, feelings, people, relationships, misunderstandings, work, desires, failures, inconsistency, lack of strength, broken trust, wishes, fall throughs in everything, broken plans, on and on...Physically, Emotionally, Mentally, Spiritually...Is that all of them? Fine, Financially too...Everything is wrong, everyone is wrong. It gets very ugly. And I feel like one person against an army. Spiritual warfare. All hidden away behind a face and a body. That's all it is to me.
Thank goodness, I have a strong Warrior on my side. Whew. Alone? No, I could never do it myself!
(I might sound depressed. I am not. My personal disclaimer.)
_
My fish gets settled in, water's a good temperature, and it get's comfy. Then when I change the water in the tank, the water starts to swirl, and my fish has to fight the 'current', trying not to get caught in the whirl. It might not be happy. The water is now different and it has to get comfortable again. It calms down and gets used to it, until next time I decide to change the water again...Get settled in, only to be uprooted again. Don't get too comfy.
***
Finally, onto my favorite topic. My state of being single. Today, like many days before, I was asked if I am dating anyone. I said, "No."
"And you are happy?!" as in "You are single yet so happy!"
"Yes," by which I'm already laughing.
Maybe it is a confusion to some. How can it be so, to have both?
Some assume I'm dating. Some are surprised I'm single.
I believe at many times, others worry about my so called 'dating life' more than I. My clients, my friends, my sister (wink, wink).
They tell me of such nice boys, coworkers, sons, or cousins. It amuses me greatly. In fact, it's entertainment.
I will not lie. It's not like there are no hard times. When I see something, or hear a certain song, or someone talks of a special moment. I will also say this one on purpose; culturally I'm an old maid. (We get a laugh at this one!) There are more reasons. And of course, I am such a hopeless, sentimental, romantic, ( silly girl, duh!) that there are times when I go, "oh." A moment of wishing.
I can not look at others or compare my life to theirs. My path has it's own specific time.
The way I see things, I enjoy the time I am in now! I look at things in positive ways and see the good in whatever situation or whichever place I'm in. Not wishing for the past. Not wishing for the future. It's like being a kid and wishing to grow up. Then being an adult and wishing to be a kid again...Obvious again...Anyway, Philippians 4:11-13 comes to mind. Content. What a pleasant state of being. That is where my happiness and joy come from!
Cheerio

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

Learning

I might be the biggest nerd.
Some people might already know about how annoying I can be about wanting to share what I've learned...
I feel like I'm back to school and I am totally ready! It's that time of year. There is only one subject and it's my favorite too. The word of God. There is never too much to know about that one...I always start out saying, "How can they possibly fit all that in, in a year?!" 66. Not the books of the Bible, the chapters of Isaiah. That's what I will be studying this year. The greatest thing about it for me is, that in the study, I come out with not just the knowledge of history, dates and times, who's who and what, how things all tie in, but I get a personal application to my daily life. Now that's what's so cool about it. I can't help but be excited about it. I might have read the Bible. But I do know, I don't know half as much as I should or need to.
I love learning. Life is the biggest lesson in it's own for sure, but I've always wanted to be learning something new, as in knowledge for the mind. This falls in that category. And the nice thing about 'my so called school' is, it's only once a week and the 'homework' is barely a few questions per day!
That's all.
*Grin*

Sunday, September 12, 2010

26

I had so much on my mind about turning 26 and about the past year, but now at this hour, it's the last thing I want to do. Funny I thought I'd do it bright and early. So much for that. Well, I thanked God, I thanked a few people, cooked and had fun, and just feel blessed because no matter what, it's a grand end to the day! The phone had a few overloads today. But it's a good thing. I saw some good people. Not everyone I would have liked to see, but hey, September's a busy month...and everything else I had on my mind will have to wait for another time. (I say that to myself quite often, so I have a growing list of ideas...lists, lists, atleast they're written down. Even that is better than a floating thought)...So on to a fresh start. I'm excited for this year!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Panic Plunge

Why is it that everytime I say, "I will never.." I end up doing it sometime later anyway?



This ride is not appealing to me and I've always said I'd never go on it. I mean, I can handle the roller coasters, the other sick rides, but in general, I like 'teacup' kind of rides. Well, I decided it won't kill me. I told the girls I'm afraid I'll 'pee' my pants and laughed. The older man next to me asked what language we were speaking and then asked, "How do you say 'Ahhhhhhhhh'(he literally screamed it)in Russian?" I gave a very nervous giggle in reply.

I guess I didn't die but then again, my eyes were closed. I might have if I looked out into the park from the very top. After the plunge, the only words that came out of my mouth were, "Oh my gosh!!" and "ужас!!" I did think I would burst into tears and my body did shake for a while after. Silly nerves! Why give away my feelings? The people in line watched my reaction and laughed, probably in their own nervous aniticipation. I don't know. I like to see people's reactions too, so I don't blame them for staring. Anyway, the ride after was way worse. So afterall, it wasn't so bad.


"Never Say Never"


***


We picked my two nephews up and were driving back to their place. I sat between the two carseats enjoying their precious giggles. One nephew had his tiny hand wrapped around my finger, and the other one was holding onto my hand. I was just feeling so loved and special until I felt the sharp pain of little teeth biting into my middle finger. My older nephew bit me! Truthfully, anything he does that's bad is actually funny, but I'm not going to let him think that biting my finger is fun. In fact, it still hurts. But the shock and suprise of it, and his little face and teeth and sounds were pretty hilarious!




Sunday, August 29, 2010

Cake

It's been an amazing morning. I don't have to go anywhere for a few hours, and the house is empty and quiet. I'm sitting by the window breathing in the fresh breeze as it flows in and picks up the curtains, creating a calm and soothing affect. I've always loved the look of billowy curtains!
This morning my friend and I decided to have breakfast before going to her church. We've both done hair for the pastry chef that is now working at Cake and were interested in checking it out. (Really, because we, or at least I, love sweet things!) It was the most cutest, perfect place ever.
My kind of place.
I didn't even mind standing in the winding line, (and oh, what a Sunday morning crowd!) absorbing the setting and decorations while waiting. Such a charming feel.
I love to just sit and talk. Not rushing anywhere. And today, enjoying a latte and blueberry pancakes. We sat outside and took a moment to laugh with the old man that stopped by to tell us that they make big pancakes. He was right.
***
We sit down in one of the rows in back of church. And I can't help it but the first thing I see is a perfect white head of hair with an unmistakenly familiar face. The pastor of the first church we ever went to when we first moved to Spokane. 'I have to come up and say hi!' I loved that guy! Apparently, his son is going to be one the the men who's going to work at one of the new church plants. And then I see another man and tell my friend, "That looks like my science teacher from high school!" And of course, he is her small group leader. After church I laughed and told him I remember him for giving me a B for a grade. All my other grades were A's. But it doesn't matter because I am a hairdresser now. (I hope that wasn't a mean thing to remark on). I also see the guy that works at the coffee shop I frequent, and a few other faces I know. People that I've gotten to know through other people...I'm pretty sure they don't know who I am. I find it very interesting to see so many familiar faces in a place I've only come to once before...
***


"One man's junk is another man's treasure"
We were talking about colors and decorations for a bathroom with my client as I shampooed her hair, and she told me she has something in her trunk that didn't fit in her bathroom that I should check out. I did and we threw it into my car before she left. Nice! Another great perk to my job. Clean it, change it's nobs later, and it's perfect for the empty spot in the bathroom.




Saturday, August 28, 2010

Friday Night Tea

It's a perfect ending to the last friday of August. Rolling hills as far as the eye can see in the dark. Crickets chirping. A huge moon rising in the starlit sky. Miniture Chinese lanterns and lights. An occasional startle by the sheep's loud Baaaaaa! Hot herbal tea. And the warmth of a bonfire.

Thank you to my friend for inviting me over for 'tea'. It was quite a charming setting for a very pleasant evening.

Talking and laughing, sitting wrapped in a blanket, around this fire.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Crisp and Fresh

I went for a final visit to the lake for this summer. It was all of a sudden, very different. The air is now cool. The sun no longer burns. It takes longer to warm up and dry after a swim. And the stretch of sandy beach is no longer packed. It's actually deserted. All I could see was a packed college campus and an empty beach. I've enjoyed the drives over to the lake. To soak in the sun, read books, watch people, and listen to kids playing at the edge of the lake. To float on the amazing, undeflatable mattress, and go out for swims. It is just one of those incredible feelings, being in the water!

The change in air is very exciting! I can sense it in the atmosphere, can smell the difference. It is crisp and fresh. I've already turned on the heat in my car late at night. Put on my amazing wool, handmade socks, early in the morning. This means Fall is near, September's around the corner. And oh, how I love September! Leaves slowly turn color and days become shorter so fast. Seems like everything changes, a lot happens, and the beginning of a new year starts for me! It's been a laid back summer and I am so ready for Fall!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Жариная Картошка

A few nights ago, I lay in bed trying to fall asleep. My window is usually open and quite often in the middle of the night I can hear a car pass by at a frightful speed through the quiet neighborhood streets. Police chases, speeders, roaring motors -pretty much anything. So this night was no different and I didn't even think twice as I heard a swoosh and noise of yet another speeder. The only difference tonight was that a few moments later, I heard the doorbell ring and at this hour it would have to be a stranger to be ringing the doorbell, so I looked out one of the windows where I could hear the voices. My brother was standing at my car looking into it. I figured my car got vandalized. The driver's window smashed or shot into tiny glass fragments.


A little of what was left of my car window.

***

What I love about the warmer days of the year is that in circumstances like these, I can take out my bike and living in proximity to downtown, I can ride to work. It's a very peaceful and happy ride. I can easily go through the park, pass the beautiful waterfalls and head right up to my salon.

Right outside my corner station of where I work.

***

But really, what I was thinking of was, how much I love жариная картошка, or fried potatoes, on the skillet. With onions, dill or parsley, and made with real butter. It is certainly not the healthiest way of eating potatoes but I could pass on a gourmet meal at a fancy restaurant, to a simple meal of fried potatoes with sauerkraut or garlic pickles, any day.

It is just one of my favorites!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Work Within

As a christian who fears the Lord, I am constantly aware that I am not in control. It is a kind of knowledge that is always somewhere in the back of my mind. Just something I believe.
Yet knowing does me no good, when over time I realize that the I in me has risen once again and is trying to produce results, overturn things, solve things, and make something happen, pushing it to the limit. All on it's own. And when the Realization strikes and I stand helpless, as my futile attempts seem pathetic and desperate in my very own eyes, I look up and say, "I know, I'm trying to do it myself." I have to humble myself and let go, and give way to God to do the work that he has planned for me, within me, around me. I have given way to the fact that I am very much stubborn sometimes and think I can somehow know more or know what's best, when really, He is the one that sees the unseen to me, knows why and what, and has the time for everything. I have to remind myself of the trust in Him, that everything will show itself in it's good time and just ask for strength and patience.
It is not a pleasant thing to stand feeling almost foolish in seeing the truth about myself, (which I've been pushing aside or making possible excuses), knowing exactly what I am actually to do, what I'm called to do, and even sometimes wanting to pout and stamp my foot like a child and say, "But why not?!" in protest...And when I know, I have no choice but to give it up to God for I cannot pretend to not know...The nice thing about it is that the results later down the road are always gratifying.

It's actually a big relief to let go -very freeing. Makes me feel carefree and puts a smile on my face, knowing I don't really have to do anything except 'the good'. Everything else will be taken care of...

I have a massive headache, so now I will go find relief for that!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Long Time Ago

There is a modern way of doing this -scan the old 35mm photo slides and create new digital prints -but I figured I'll do it my way.At one point in time, my dad used to make a living traveling and taking photos of people. Put a child on a swing and make her happy
My two older siblings and myself
True vintage bike
My younger brother and I
Reading my alphabet book
Visits to Ukraine
Said goodbye to grandma 20 years ago and never saw her again.
Dad's friend. He could play a character in a Jane Austen story.

Fancy Ride
Mom
Wild ones
Train travel
The roads they traveled
Somewhere In Russia

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

You Mean Something

I wonder how it happens that those around me, that I once thought were so unapproachable, those I thought I could never talk to or even dare to look in their direction, become friends? Now people, who I've shared my life with, talked and laughed, carefree, as if we we've been friends forever.
And how I just find it awesome, that some of those people I am still in contact with and I love to talk to, were those that once teased me, laughed at me for some reason or another, and didn't think much of me. Funny that I once cared.
Maybe that is why I am always drawn to that one single person that sticks out, just looks out of place. Looks in need, helpless, lonely, lost...The one that gets overlooked. It makes me want to give a big smile that says, 'I notice you and you mean something.'

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Barely A Whisper

They lost their touch, their strength to affect, their power and control, becoming shallow with no sign of understanding, lost, like wind between the trees...
What's left is just a whisper...
***

" ...and do not throw your pearls before swine..."
Some things are better left unsaid...




Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ночь

Ночь пролетала над миром,
Сны на людей навевая;
С темно-лазуревой ризы
Сыпались звезды, сверкая.
Старые мощные дубы,
Вечнозеленые ели,
Грустные ивы листвою
Ночи навстречу шумели.
Радостно волны журчали,
Образ ее отражая;
Рожь наклонялась, сильнее
Пахла трава луговая.
Крики кузнечиков резвых
И соловьиные трели,
В хоре хвалебном сливаясь,
В воздухе тихо звенели,
И улыбалася кротко
Ночь, над землей пролетая...
С темно-лазуревой ризы
Сыпались звезды, сверкая...

Алексей Николаевич Плещеев Июль 1862


***
Век живи -- век учись.

Поживём -- увидим.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Getting There

I punch in the address, put my phone on my dashboard, and set out...

The GPS on my phone has, on numerous occasions, made my life easier. No need to google maps, get phone directions from people who don't really know themselves or can't pronounce or spell streets, cruise down streets looking for the 'yellow house', and guess from 'when I was there last time'. In fact, I have not had a single problem yet, since the GPS doesn't lie and is totally reliable. You can just trust this piece of technology without second-guessing.

So I do just that. Punch in the address, put my phone on the dashboard, and set out. I was told, "It's pretty close to where you live." Should be a breeze. I follow the voice, driving where I'm told, only to come upon a detour that has been setup just the other day. My GPS doesn't know this. So I follow the detour only to find out it leads me completly the opposite way of where I need to go, and my GPS lady keeps saying, "Recalculating Route" over and over as I make a U-turn and take a street I think will get me to the original path. I thought there was construction across town, but apparently it's all over town and I am blocked again by a few bright yellow CAT machines. "Recalculating Route, Recalculating Route." I make too many turns, circles, going around the dead ends, listening to the annoying thing tell me I need to turn left, turn right, which I'm not following anymore, but don't take a pause to turn it off. In the end, I find my way to the main street I knew I should have taken, repunch the address and in two turns get to where I need to be. Should have been pretty simple.


***

I feel this way about my life. My life verse, or my motto as I call it, is about paths. It's even written as a banner on the inside of my cell phone... I always get where I need to be. It's the getting there that's tricky. I take one way, make some turns, make some U-turns, some stops, and finally get back on track on another way. How am I supposed to know that some of the turns I will take will lead to dead ends? How am I supposed to know that the path I choose is taking me the opposite way? They are all connected, but in taking one or another road, it just takes a little longer to go around. Why not just trust myself and follow what I'm told? Because it's not up to me, and those detours and dead ends that get setup last minute, I cannot account for or know about before I head out. My thought on it is to turn off my GPS, and follow the One that Leads. He will get me off the wrong track and onto the right one. Getting there might not be all perfect turns, but I will be there, and once I get there, I can look back and say, "That was an Interesting Road!"


***


this is from a year ago posted on Myspace: (funny, how similar it is...) Oh, the many choices I've had to make! From pure simple ones to harder ones where I really can't make up my mind...should I eat that pastry or not? (usually I do) coffee or tea? Take that early morning job or refer someone else? Go to church or sleep in? Should I buy a house or wait, move out or keep living the easy life? Become an astrophysicist and study cosmology or become a hairdresser and study cosmetology? Should I go out with him or not? Speak my mind or keep quiet? And on top of my own decisions, some ask me to make choices for them. "Tell me who should I become?" They say, "You decide, do it how you would, how should we do this or that?" and I say, "why do I have to decide?" so it makes it all more harder...Maybe I make it more complicated that it really is, but I want it to be right -to be perfect! Wouldn't it be easy if God could just write it out on the wall for me and I'd obey and know it was Right? And then there's that word -obey. It's been coming at me from all directions. Someone says, "all we have to do is obey." all these months of bible study lectures; obedience this, obedience that...it brings blessings, etc...and I wonder, what is it, God, you want me to obey? --Recently in a lecture, there was a good principle; a reminder that Life is a series of choices and God's word will help you make the Right ones! And that just spoke to me that what I have to obey is God's commands and his word...I will know what when I need it...and sometimes when I do clearly know, it's not always easy or pleasing to obey. I might not understand, why or how it all works, but it will all come together in it's own right time. "Oh, what a wonderful God we have! How great are his riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his methods! For who can know what the Lord is thinking?...Romans 11:33,34
I will make choices and if I mess up, He will correct and fix it for me, and in the end it will be Right-His way and for the better.
"Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, and that you and your descendents might live! Choose to love the Lord your God and to obey him and commit yourself to him, for he is your life..." Deut. 30:19
I think that is one choice I can make and be sure that I did right...the rest is a piece of cake...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Putting It Off

I remember my college days when I would procrastinate writing a paper. Anything would sound more appealing and all of a sudden very important; social obligations, laundry, 'more pressing school work' ...and I would jump at the chance, as long as I could prolong the time until I would have no other choice but to write it or not do it at all. In the end, I would write my paper the morning of, and get a pretty decent grade too. The thing is, here I am writing, only because I am putting off a detestable thing I got myself into, very unwillingly...
Grandpa said he would come at 6 am. He didn't. Since he's cancelled before and is an aging man, I wasn't going to bother calling. I just thought he was too tired anyway. He came, just before I rode off on my bike, at 6:30. We drove to Bear Lake for my first ever fishing trip.
There is something amazing and relaxing about the sound and the feel of casting a fishing line; as it flies through the air and the weight plops into the water, making circular ripples from where it sinks. I practiced a bit, throwing it out and reeling it back in...

While we waited for the visible tug of the line, as the rod sat on a cone or on some brush, grandpa and I talked. I would ask him fishing questions and he would explain and point things out about all the surrounding lakes, fish, bait, and tools. We would talk about his life. Things I never knew. There would be extended historical introductions and long pauses in his conversation and I would have to be very patient knowing that is how he talks. This is actually my first year of knowing my grandpa on a personal level. I had no clue to the extent of this trip thinking it was just good to go out, do something I've never done before. But closer towards the end of our time together, he told me that he had put himself in a dark dungeon (his small apartment) this last year (after his wife's death), and I have brought him out. He said thank you and that it brought feeling of nostalgia for him. He even got excited about other lakes we could go to in the near future. It was very touching and eye opening for me.

I am not one to fish or hunt or do anything else that includes killing or causing pain to anything. If I ever go fishing again, it will be catch and release. I don't like the look of a desperate fish trying to free itself from the hook in it's mouth.
And the thing is, I brought the fish home, and am stuck with having to be the one to clean them and gut them and prepare them. I have no history or knowledge or desire of doing such things. It may be a passion, a hobby in whole -catching, cleaning, cooking, but it's no passion of mine! I've already tried to give one away, but I know it falls to me, and I am stalling, putting it off, knowing perfectly well I have to do it. Soon, weather I like it or not... I think I will puke.