Saturday, July 31, 2010

My Movie Trailer

I started following Donald Miller on Twitter yesterday. I think he is really funny and says some pretty profound stuff. And I'll admit, I have a small crush on him. Now of course this crush is the distant, "I'm intrigued by you" kind. I don't really know him, so have no clue if it would stick once I got to know him. I actually met him once and had a very short conversation with him. I wish I could report that it was love at first sight, and he has been searching for me ever since. But... the truth... it was completely awkward and I left either no impression on him or one that I hope he forgets :)
I have not read his latest book about writing the story of our lives. It is now in my shopping cart on Amazon. But I stumbled across his contest to win to tickets to come to his conference. You are suppose to write a blog entry "telling us about the story you want to live." At first I got a little excited...
1) I love the idea that we all have a story and that God is the author of it.
2) I do love learning and think any conference I attend will stretch and grown me.
3) I do like the Northwest and it would be beautiful in September. AND I need a real vacation at some point this fall.
4) One of my college roommates lives there and I would love to meet her son.
5) Maybe, just maybe I could actually talk to him again and leave a different impression.
6) AND I love the idea of the little box... creative and suspicious!
But then I read the "tip" section and I know that I would not win. He talks about a movie, and the main character, and the conflict. And it sorta goes over my head. But it did get me to thinking...
What do I want my story to be the rest of this year? Mostly the bottom line... I don't plan to far in advance. I try to take my life one day at a time, asking the Lord what He wants. Where does He want me to go, to do? Who does He want me spending time with? I try to be sold out to His purposes.
And then the movie thing crept back into my head. Donald, which sounds weird, so Mr. Miller talks about the main character, which of course in my story would be me.
And then there is what the character wants. And what do I want? I want to love God with all my heart. I want to live each day doing what brings Him the most glory. I want to give Him my first fruits. I want to know His word better. I want to know Him better.
And then I want to love others well. I want to be compassionate. I want to love them in a way that helps them know how much God loves them. I want to get past my fears and share truth with all those I come in contact with.
I want to live my life authentically, passionately, and courageously. I want to make a difference.
The next part he talks about is the conflict. What is keeping the main character of from getting to what they want. And the answer is the main character. Seems kinda like a funny movie. My flesh too often takes over. I get in the way of what God wants. I let fear and insecurity rule instead of trusting God to move through me. I get prideful, thinking I can do this and run off on my own. I'm the one that gets in the way. I'm in conflict with myself.
And the bottom line... this is remedied by surrender. Surrendering my time and my "wants" over to the Lord. By giving the Spirit room to work in me. By making Him my number one priority. And so...
The story continues. I will get up earlier and spend time with Him. I will get back in gear on my scripture memory. I will commit again to make Him first.
Unfortunately... these last lines will be like a never ending rerun of an old movie. I won't ever get it perfectly here. BUT... I will keep putting one foot in front of the other and "being confident of this, that He who began a good work in (me) will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus"
Here is a link to the conference site...
And the video explaining the conference...

Living a Better Story Seminar from All Things Converge Podcast on Vimeo.

Photo found on google images.

Friday, July 30, 2010

My Grandma Schmidt

Grandma passed away in the midst of so much craziness already that I didn't write a post for her. I also wanted to make sure that I had all the pics I wanted to accurately give a picture of her life and her impact on me. So I took a bunch on this trip too.
It's been weird because I have felt like I missed Grandpa more than her and that his death has been harder than hers. I processed this some on the trip and realized that she really had been gone for a while since the Alzheimer's had taken over.
This trip really reminded me of who she was and truly how much I had taken from her. Below are pictures that I hope tell a small part of a story of her life!

Most importantly... Grandma loved to read God's Word. There were many many Sundays that she taught our Sunday school class when we visited them in the summers. She also took us to VBS.
This is Grandma picking berries. We picked a bunch of gooseberries. And she was an INCREDIBLE jelly and pie maker!
And she was a collector. Her most famous collections is her pitchers. She has small ones, medium ones, big ones, and oh yes... tiny ones.
Grandma was a big journaler. It was fun to go back and read about when we were there. I definitely take after her here... as I can fill up a journal!
Country breakfast! Almost every morning we had eggs, bacon and toast. AND she made some amazing biscuits. Collector once again... she picked up pretty rocks everywhere she went. And I won't hide... I am a collector too!
Cookies, cookies, cookies.... she made amazing cookies. She sent us a bunch every Christmas. (I do not take after her here!!!)
Cards & letters. Grandma remembered every holiday and birthday. She would send us letters all the time. And we found out on this trip that she kept every letter or card we had ever written her.
Her closet... she ironed and was just precious. She was proper and just cute :)
Another thing she collected... tins! These actually represent to me the support that she gave us. Everyone remember those fundraisers for school?? She always bought... a lot from us!

Flowers! She could make those things grow. Her Christmas cactus' are legendary! (That's the first picture.)

And birds! She loved birds. She would keep their bird feeders full of seed and the birdbath full of water. Her favorite bird was the hummingbird. Not so easy to get a pic of. But this is her bird feeder.

And this is one of her bedspreads. She always had perfect beds and she was always ready for us to come and stay with her. Grandma was a great host, teacher, and baker. And was a wonderful Grandma. She spoiled us and took time with us and always made us feel special.
I miss you Grandma!

Isaiah 6:3

I really do feel closer to the Lord as I get to experience His creativity in His creation. And I LOVE taking pictures of it and bottom line... I had a hard time choosing which ones to pick to put in here... so here are some of my favs!
"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven's Armies!
The whole earth is filled with His glory!"
Isaiah 6:3

Monday, July 26, 2010

It Takes Practice

Yesterday the statement was made, " You need to practice saying good-bye." I'll be honest... It's hard for me! As we sit going through all of my grandparents' stuff there are 2 struggles that I have.
One: that's really old and it's been in the family a long time, shouldn't someone keep it?
And the second one, and the harder one... that reminds me of them, how do I just throw it away or give it away? It feels really hard, I guess that one makes it hit home harder that it's
over. And because of those feelings, I'm keeping a lot of their stuff. I'm keeping things that I probably should be letting go. I'm taking more pictures of "things" than normal. I'm trying to not take everything I think I want. I'm trying to say good-bye, but it's true... It takes practice.

Sent from "no tellin' where!" -Suz

Friday, July 23, 2010

I'll Not Be Flooded

I won't have great access to internet this week so blogging will come from my phone... So maybe a little shorter :)
We arrived last night to my grandparents house and of course, they aren't here. And aren't ever coming back. Tears came pretty quickly as I remembered being here in March saying goodbye to Grandpa. I saw things hanging right where Grandpa had left them, or Grandma's house shoes by the dresser. Then I noticed the calenders... Some stuck on April when Grandpa passed and the others stuck on May when Grandma passed. I truly could not stop crying from the grief I felt.
Then my mom said to come out and look at the amazing sunset. By the time we got out there a brilliant rainbow had crossed the sky. And it was like God just painting His promise to me across the sky. "I'm here with you and this is my promise!" I know the rainbow is His promise not to flood the earth again. But I also take it today that my tears will not over take me. Yes they are going to fall a lot, probably more torrential downpours, but I will not be flooded! He will take care of me!
Thanks you God for that brilliant reminder!
(I'll post pics when I get back and sorry for any misspellings!)

Sent from "no tellin' where!" -Suz

Saturday, July 17, 2010


I suppose as a kid I never really stopped and thought about “why” my teachers had decided to become a teacher. I guess I just assumed that’s what they decided to do with their lives. Of course it wasn’t that clear in my head, but I just supposed it’s because they WANTED to be one.
When I look back on my teaching career, and I mean the one in the most literal sense, as I truly believe I have always been and will always be one who loves to share what I know with others. But as I think back on my decision to become a school teacher it not exactly a glamorous story. I wish I could say from the moment I stepped into Kindergarten I knew that I WANTED to become a teacher, but I didn’t. I had always loved kids. I had thought I would become a day care owner. Then when I got to college I started on the road to wanting to be a counselor. I WANTED to make a difference in the lives of people. I WANTED to help them. Well, that WANT didn’t carry me so well through my first psychology class. Which I failed and I was politely told I was not allowed to be in the psychology department ever again. So this started my quest to get my education degree. At first it was kind of an “I guess I’ll do this, I have no other choice.” But the longer I was taking courses and the longer I was in the school system getting my degree, the more I really felt like this was what I not only WANTED to do, it was what I was made to do.
Now I look back and know that my students probably walked into my class not having a clue “why” I had become a teacher. But I sure hope they left knowing “why”, even if they didn’t think about it. Every student in my class was special to me. I WANTED all of them to know that they were unique, that they were created for a purpose. I absolutely believed that they could do whatever I asked of them. Yes, for some it was easier than others, but I WANTED them to succeed. I WANTED them to believe in themselves. I WANTED them to have confidence.
I also WANTED them to know they were not alone in this world. Obviously most kids in my classes had parents. And for the most part, I remember my student’s parents being pretty present in their lives. I remember them helping their kids and being around. But not all kids had that support. And even when you have your parents’ support, you need to know that at least one other adult believes in you. And I WANTED each one to know that I WANTED to be that person for them.
Now at the end of the day I knew I couldn’t change, fix, keep, protect, or even probably keep up with every one of them. But the most important thing I WANTED them to know was that they are loved. They were created for a purpose. They have a Heavenly Father who loves them and WANTS nothing more than to be everything for them. He’s why I cared, He’s why I taught, He’s why I did everything I did in my classroom. He loves me unconditionally and truly has shown me that I’m WANTED. And so I hope that they know they are WANTED too!
And you might be asking “why” I am thinking about this all right now. And it’s because I found out that one of the students in my first class died last month. And I learned more about the struggles he was having and I think he wasn’t sure how to get to what he WANTED and ultimately wasn’t sure that he was WANTED. And yet, he was… by a lot of us. And it breaks my heart that he lost his battle to believe the he was WANTED and to believe that he could have what he WANTED… peace and unconditional love.
I know as teachers we aren’t supposed to have favorites. And I truly loved all of my students equally. But, just like in life, I connected with them all differently and some of them let me in more than others. Taylor was one of those kids. He let me in. He let me challenge his way of thinking. He let me call him out when he was headed in a bad direction. He allowed me to speak into his life.
He was a smart kid. Now everything did not come easy to him. He struggled to make his mind and his emotions work together for his good. But man he had the sweetest heart. He was always so helpful and wanted to please.
I’m sad that I lost touch with him. I’m sad that I couldn’t get in his face one more time and challenge the way he was thinking. I’m sad that I didn’t follow through earlier on keeping in touch with him. I'm MAD that the enemy succeeded in making him believe lies. He will always hold a special place in my heart. And it’s hard to not feel guilty, to feel like I should have done something different. But I know at the end of the day, I couldn’t change him, just like I can’t change anyone. And so I grieve and hope that deep inside he did know that he was WANTED!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Old Army Friends

This weekend was our 12th annual SRE weekend. (SRE stands for Sista Revival Extravaganza) There are 14 of us that met at Texas A&M and were in ASC (Aggie Sisters for Christ) together. After college we had all been keeping in touch and decided we needed to have a weekend every year to hang out together. Our biggest goals... relaxing, sharpening, and fun. Through the years we have experienced A LOT of things together. And this weekend I was reminded once again what a blessing it is to get together with girls who already know me! The last couple of weeks I have been struggling with depression. Even to type that makes me sad. I have talked with a lot of my friends and at this point we all think I am in the natural stages of grief. None of us are really surprised that I am here... but I'll be honest... I'm not fired up about it. For a couple of reasons. One... I want to be myself. I want to be excited about life. I want to be joyful. I want to be all in with my friends... in struggles and celebration. I want to be fired up for staff lunch or a fun game around the office. But right now, I'm just not totally there.
Second... I have fears. You see, I've been really depressed before. The kind where tears come at the drop of a hat. Where I am not fired up about anything at all. The kind were I don't want to get out of bed and I don't want to be around people. Where NOTHING seems ok. And I don't want to go there again.
Thirdly... I don't want to be a burden to my friends or coworkers. I don't want to need more time from them. I don't want to be working at less than 100%. I don't want anyone to have to take up slack for me.
But... it's where I am. It's what my heart and mind are experiencing. I have to let grief take it's course. I have to take time to process the losses and the changes that those losses bring. I have to let myself feel and let myself be sad. It's not easy... but it is what has to happen.
And so this weekend was a sweet gift in the road. These girls walked with me through my depression the first time. And to be able to sit with them and to say I am struggling again and to be met with love, acceptance, and understanding was a gift. I am so thankful that the Lord brought us together 18 years ago and has allowed us to walk through this life together and I think it's appropriate to call us... Old Army Friends!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Problem To Be Fixed!

This past week has been tough. (That seems like a funny statement given the last 3 months of my life!) But it has been tough on my weaknesses. I have been battling the way I am made. I know and believe that every person is made uniquely. That no person out there is the same. And I also know that terminal uniqueness doesn't exist either. None of us are more different than anyone else.
That said... I think I am weird. Now others may fall into the weird category with me, and if you do, I'm sorry that I just labeled you weird! But I have some strange combinations... I am creative and detailed. I am an introvert, but have a blast with people. I don't like the be the center of attention but do want to be noticed. I am compassionate but also critical. I feel things very deeply, I'm highly emotional, and cry often. I'm confident in who I am, but struggle with insecurity. Now don't hear me say that no one in the world is wired like me. I'm not writing this to get into a debate on whether I am the only one wired like me out there.
For most of my life I have wrestled with how I am wired. I have felt like I was such a needy, emotional mess. That I was too high maintenance. Feeling these things has caused me to isolate. To try and manage my emotions and needs so that I wouldn't be those things. And the thorn has NOT gone away.
I feel like I have grown in a lot of areas in relation to these thoughts and feelings. I am much better at being alone. I trust the Lord more with who He made me to be. I am more confident in who I am and more ok with how I am wired. And at times even thankful for it. I am more able to let people in and be myself. I am more open with ME!
But I still have times where I want to run and hide. Where I want to be different than I am. And this past week I was struggling greatly with that. I talked with my community group about my struggle to be ok with my weirdness and being different. My thinking and how I see myself was challenged. I spent a lot of time journaling this week and thinking about how I am wired, my disposition.
Then there were 2 things that were said that really stuck out to me.
1) I am not a problem to be fixed.
I had not realized that I was thinking that way. But I really believed that I needed to figure out how to be different than I am. That I need to figure out how to not need deep conversations with my friends. How I should not need to process externally and just figure out how to do it on my own. How can I become less emotional?! That perfectionist part of me thought maybe I could fix it. I could learn to not be "needy" or "high maintenance", but in the end... it would mean, how could I not be me?
And then...
2) A big part of who I am is a choice I have made.
Now this frustrated me at first because it sounded like I should be able to make another choice and it would be better. See how good I am at believing it needs to be different. But what it really means is that I know that God created me uniquely. That I am to be obedient to what He calls me to. And what He calls me to is living authentically. To allow Him to move through me and be glorified. And if He wired me this way, He wants to use me. He wants me to live life deeply, to love deeply, to engage in friendships in a real and open way. He wants me to be open with my weaknesses and to allow others into the battle with me.
And when I step back and look at my life.... He has provided me with friends who understand me. Whether they are wired like me or not. They accept me. They let me process and they love me for who I am. And they challenge me when I am believing lies. Or when I am trying to be different than who He created me to be.
See... I tend to try to manage and control. My flesh wants to not be a burden or not have to say that I need more. I want to be an "easy" friend. But I realize that laid back is not really in my vocabulary! :) And so... once again I am being challenged to trust the Lord with how He made me. To run to Him to make the choices that bring Him the most glory. To allow Him to move so that in my weakness He is strong. It's not easy... this is for sure an ongoing battle. But I think this week I took another giant step towards believing...
Romans 8:1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
Psalm 139:13-14 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
So instead of trying to "solve the problem", I am going to continue to "choose" to live honestly and authentically with who I am!
And on a little bit of a side note! I would say in the last 10 years it had gotten to the point where I can not maintain the control or isolation for long. When I try to not process or talk about how I feel. Internal combustion usual takes place or it all comes out very awkward and crazy! If you have seen the movie "Liar, Liar", it kinda feels like that. When I try to not be me... it gets UGLY!