Category Archives: patience

the crying game.

so tonight i had a weeping spell. you know, the kind that starts in the shower and eventually ends up under the covers in your bed? i sniffled and pouted for a few minutes over the things i wish i had control over, the things i tell myself that are nowhere close to what He says about me, and the things i fear most. i’m a girl, y’all. it’s what we do. sometimes the salty tears before bed make us even more thankful for the joy that comes with morning, i think.
and though i rarely do this, i decided to just flop open my bible to whatever passage it may reveal, and pray that i would find calm in however many verses of reading it took. no set plan, no devotion chapter tonight. just whatever. i sometimes scoff at such a strategy, ’cause the psalms are invariably what opens up. i love those songs o’ david, don’t get me wrong – i just want a little variety when throwing open the Word (can i say that?).
even so, i didn’t have to read too far to appreciate the psalms my bible took me to this evening, as i climbed into the bed of my sister’s guest room and hoped for somethin’ hearty to meet my eyes. at the top of page 676, two verses were as far as i advanced.
“those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. they weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.” // psalm 126:5-6
i think i can now stash away the kleenex box for another time.

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Filed under fear, patience, scripture

immediate freedom.

from today’s passage in oswald chambers’ my utmost for His highest:
have I been with you so long, yet you have not known Me, philip? // john 14:9
philip expected the future revelation of a tremendous mystery, but not in Jesus, the person he thought he already knew. the mystery of God is not in what is going to be – it is now, though we look for it to be revealed in the future in some overwhelming, momentous event…
let your heart not be troubled – am i then hurting Jesus by allowing my heart to be troubled? if i believe in Jesus and His attributes, am i living up to my belief? am i allowing anything to disturb my heart, or am i allowing questions to come in which are unsound and unbalanced? i have to get to the point of the absolute and unquestionable relationship that takes everything exactly as it comes from Him. God never guides us at some time in the future, but always here and now. realize that the Lord is here now, and the freedom you receive is immediate.

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o, israel.

how closely our own stories resemble that of israel’s. i pray this chapter from the prophet hosea will challenge and permeate you tonight.
//
“when israel was a child, I loved him, and I called My son out of egypt.
but the more I called to him, the farther he moved from Me,
offering sacrifices to the images of baal and burning incense to idols.
I myself taught israel how to walk, leading him along by the hand.
but he doesn’t know or even care that it was I who took care of him.
I led israel along with my ropes of kindness and love.
I lifted the yoke from his neck,
and I myself stooped to feed him.

but since My people refuse to return to me, they will return to egypt
and will be forced to serve assyria.
war will swirl through their cities;
their enemies will crash through their gates. they will destroy them,
trapping them in their own evil plans.
for My people are determined to desert me.
they call Me the Most High, but they don’t truly honor Me.
oh, how can I give you up, israel?
how can I let you go?
how can I destroy you like admah or demolish you like zeboiim?
My heart is torn within me, and My compassion overflows.
no, I will not unleash my fierce anger.
I will not completely destroy israel,
for I am a God and not a mere mortal.
I am the Holy One among you, and I will not come to destroy.
for someday the people will follow Me. I, the LORD, will roar like a lion.
and when I roar, My people will return trembling from the west.
like a flock of birds, thy will come from egypt. trembling like doves, they will return from assyria.
and I will bring them home again,” says the Lord.
[hosea 11]

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Filed under anger, grief, love, patience, scripture

phone-a-thon adventures.

while taking a fast-paced world religions course this month during j-term, i also have ventured into the world of telephone solicitation. oh yes, friends, i have become one of those. here at oklahoma baptist university, we use our j-term phone-a-thon to raise moolah for the school’s general scholarship/material/random need fund. in my little cubicle, i dial alumni and friends from across the nation, tactfully and cheerfully reciting the same little phrases. this mundane process has proved to be surprisingly eye-opening, and dare i say even a wee bit enjoyable. we win coveted packets of shawnee mills mixes and sonic coupons by playing hangman and trivia games, and the competition for most pledges per evening is quite fierce. there are even cookies and sweet tea provided for us every night, which makes this endeavor oh so worthwhile. :] it never fails, however, that i get a few alumni on the other end of the telephone who choose the following reactions:

#1: the “nobody-can-hear-me-through-the-phone” alumni
“hello?”
“hi! may i speak to joe schmo?”
“who is this?”
“my name is taylor phillips and i’m a student calling from oklahoma baptist university.”
“hold on.” …. a whispered conversation will take place, in which one spouse tells the other obu is on the phone. he/she will then respond with, “they’re just lookin’ for money. hang up.”
….
“he’s not here.”
click.

#2: the former donor who just raises my hopes too high
“hello?”
“hi! may i speak to joe schmo?”
“speaking.”
“hello, my name is taylor phillips and i’m a student calling from oklahoma baptist university. how are you this evening?
“fine.”
“great! if you have just a moment, i’d like to speak with you about the obu fund, which i see you have donated $1,000 to in the past five years. would you consider making another gift this year?”
“nah, i think we’ll pass this year. but thanks!”
click.

#3: the “i’m-too-busy-to-talk…but-i-still-answered-my-phone” alumni
[sigh] “hello?”
“hi! may i speak with blah blah?”
“this is she.”
“hello, my name is blah blah blah. how are you this evening?”
“pretty good. you?”
“great, thank you for asking! i’m calling on behalf of the obu fund. do you have just a minute to talk about that?”
“oh. … actually, i’m putting my kids to bed.”
click.

#4: the “i’m-angry-you’re-interrupting-american-idol” alumni
“yeah?”
“hi! may i speak with blah blah blah.”
“just a sec.”
“hello?”
“hi, my name is blah blah blah. how are you?”
“good.”
“great! i’m calling on behalf of the obu fund. do you have just a minute to speak with me about it?”
“no, thank you. why are you calling on the american idol premier night?!”
click.

#5: the “i-think-obu-sucks-now” alumni
[insert usual introduction here]
“honey, i will never give to obu, and i’d be glad to tell you why.”
“alri-“
“i was a missionary with the southern baptist convention for 33 years, and i was fired after all that time for not signing the baptist faith and message because it’s oppressive to women. as long as obu is supported by the sbc, i cannot give with a clean conscience. are you a missions major?”
“um, yes actually.”
“oh dear. sweetheart, you gotta make some decisions early on.”

friends, these are just some of the many conversations i’ve had in the last two weeks. don’t be fooled, not all of my phone-a-thon nights have been this negative. i have been blessed with many wonderful conversations and lots of coupons and cornbread. :] but these adventures in phone calls have prompted me to ponder my past and future reactions to telemarketers or my gift-seeking alma mater. i now know how frustrating it can be to be hung up on, and to go through scores of alumni and not have one pleasant exchange [bear in mind they all graduated from a christian university…]. i sure hope this lesson in patience has also taught me to remember these very phone-a-thon adventures when i myself am called up by a poor college student who’s just doing their job.
so what about y’all? have you ever taken a job as a phone-caller or been on the receiving end of a telemarketer? how did you react in various situations?

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Filed under college life, patience, work

queen-sized love.

my sister’s beautiful, gargantuan home in edmond allows me to call a queen sized bed my own for breaks and weekends – and boy, was i relishing it last night, y’all. at 10:45, after soundly slumbering for almost one precious hour, i hear my bedroom door softly open.
“peanut?
“yes?”
“i need to go potty. and i need new panties and pajamas. will you take me to the potty and tuck me back in?”
a slight groan from my cozy spot emerges. “okay, babe.”
kaitlyn and i head to her jungle-themed bathroom, take care of business, and retrieve fresh pj’s and dora undies from the dresser.
“can bob sleep in my bed tonight too?”
“sure thing.”
bob, a soft and oversized easter bunny, joins kaitlyn under the flannel covers and gets tucked in as well. kisses and many requests to play duck-duck-goose in the morning ensue – from kaitlyn, of course. not bob. anyway, with a successful retucking under my belt, i return to a warm doze. and at 10:55, i hear my bedroom door softly open once again.
“peanut?”
“yes?”
“i can’t sleep. and bob is making it where i can’t sleep.”
“do you want to snuggle with me tonight?
“yes.”
“climb in, babe.”
my own miniature spooning partner makes herself at home in the small of my back, and throughout the night proceeds to slowly push me out of my once seemingly big bed. as the early morning rolls in and sunlight begins to peak through the wooden blinds, my niece begins to wiggle around and demonstrate her awakenness.
“i love you so much, peanut.”
and that, my friends, makes an evening of hanging off the side of a bed with a three-year-old ensuring your position there all worth it. :]

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on prayer, fear, and love that won’t let go.

i have so much to say and so little ability with which to articulate it all. amidst a busy weekend of studying for what just might be the death of me, a welcomed break came in the form of such a familiar routine today: church. [i know, routine is such an awful word to describe the assembly of His body, but don’t you agree that at times we allow it to get that way? i’ll add that to an ever-growing list of things to erradicate for 2009.] i love my church and have invested alot of time and effort into the goings-on there that i am passionate about. this particular morning evoked such a tidal wave of emotions that i certainly was not expecting, and i fear that if i do not take the time to record it all, it will soon become just another sunday that i pack away into a box. so, here goes.
the worship set was gorgeous-as always-with an unplugged version of some of my favorite christmas songs. i had almost forgotten this was the weekend for child dedications, though, and as the first noel began its first few chords, couples began assembling on the stage with their precious babies and toddlers in tow. the entire concept of dedicating one’s life to raising his or her child in the ways of God and making that commitment publically is so radically wonderful. i couldn’t stop smiling at the sweet baby girl who looked in kelly and i’s direction as her mom bounced her softly, and i almost thought happy tears were going to flow if i didn’t swallow that lump in my throat. but then i felt a twinge of sadness, envy even. i stared at all of the beautiful couples and their perfect gifts and wondered if i would ever get to stand in their shoes. this is a fear which plagues me almost daily, in which i picture myself perpetually unwed and, as surely will follow, alone. my joy for my siblings’ and friends’ families sometimes turns to an embarassing, private jealousy and sorrow for what i fear i may never get to experience.
the message, i then thought, would surely take my mind off of this little fear. we started our second week of a phenomenal series on prayer, and as i began circling the verses we referenced, God peeled back my blinders to new truths i needed to understand. craig told us that our relationships with others have a huge impact on our prayer life. simple, right? but i, presumed to be semi-mature in the realm of spiritual things, never before considered how my grudges effect my communication with God. mark 11:25 says, “but when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” oh brother. so this means i have to let go of the things he did and said that continue to cause my heart so much hurt? will You empower me to release my bitterness for this heartache and forgive him? my mind raced and was, at the same time, filled with peace. the next part of the message led us to proverbs, where He confronted me with a verse that wasn’t even part of our study! proverbs 16:1 spoke directly to the fear i let steal my joy earlier during worship: “we can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer.” my plans of marriage and motherhood may or may not be in His framework for my life, and ultimately it is His answer to that prayer that is right. oh brother againnnnn.
next came fuse, the fifth and sixth grade ministry i and my college friends serve with after our own church experience. what was the message in there about? fear. that’s right. triple whammy. at the conclusion of the video teaching, brian asked if we would allow our fear to keep us from experiencing the adventures of life that are right before us. no, i thought, no they won’t. i still strongly desire to fall in love again and have it last forever, to bring children into a home of faith and love. but i also have to accept that whether or not that falls in line with God’s plan for my life, i will be okay.
so, while i may have a few tears in the shower tonight, i will eventually wipe them away and remember that God did not give me a spirit of fear or timidity. i will try my darndest to play with and love on my nieces without pausing to remind myself that i may never have a daughter of my own. i will go to my friends’ beautiful weddings and not feel heavy-hearted at the possibility i may never wear that dress. i will remember that i have an amazing circle of family and dear friends who give me constant laughter, and a future that will likely bring me more adventure than i can fathom now. and i will realize that the greatest Love of all has been mine all along.

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keeping me alive.

i really want to rip my hair out.

or just rip up my textbooks.
either one.
finals will convene this coming monday, and i am nothing short of terrified and optimistic. nice combo, eh? i do believe western civilization might bring about my before-20th-birthday nervous breakdown, and i still cannot feel anything less than love for the class. it is difficult, it is demanding, and it is passion-evoking at every end. i have learned so much and been challenged more in this course than any other. it is a year-long class which synthesizes history and literature, and is a unique thread of obu, and to pass it by even if i were able would be such a mistake. so, as i cram a semester’s worth of the roman empire, paradise lost, and the enlightenment into my brain – along with a little french, art history, and the synoptic Gospels – i will remember to stop and rejoice in the small, lovely things too. would you like to hear of them? i thought so.
after spending a sleepless night listening to the wind howl like a banshee through my semi-broken window, my roommate and i will tonight be the proud occupants of a silent night, thanks to a campus maintenance guy with some mean sealant. our dorm’s hot water is up and at ’em again too! rejoice! i have renewed hope now. :]
did i mention my siblings are wildly talented and successful in every way? my sister, who was also ranked as one of the top ten mammographers in the nation for two consecutive years, won a prestigious award at her new company, oklahoma breast care center, last night. after only being their director of patient care for the past year, she has already turned the program around. i’m so proud of her. she did the same thing at her former center in seattle, so anything less than greatness is unknown to her. =) my brother, who is on our governor’s security detail, will accompany him to the presidential inaugural ball in january – how amazing is that?! i’m so proud of him as well. here is a photograph of our family, minus dad and my brother-in-law who is behind the camera, at my brother’s first marathon last year. ain’t we cute? knowing i will always be able to come home to these faces, one way or another, keeps me alive.

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