Sunday, December 28, 2008

Afraid of the Dark

I've just realized that I've been fighting the doldrums all week. Why should I be bummed this week? Our sweet family from North Carolina has been here and we've had such a nice time visiting. Christmas is so fun! It is so nice just to be together. I took some of the kiddos sledding and had a GREAT time watching them zooming down the hill together.
So WHAT is the deal? Today I realized that I've been dreading post-holiday depression. How crazy is it to allow my fear of depression that sometimes follows the best days of the year ruin the best days of the year???
I pretty consistently have some struggles during January, February, and sometimes part of March. Nebraska has many cloudy days during that time. It tends to be more cold and dark. I wonder if my Southern California upbringing spoiled me? I DO love the sun!
I'm reminded of a time when David and I were dating long-distance. He came to California to visit me and we were having a grand time soon after his arrival...and I got to thinking that the jolliness was so temporary and started to dread his leaving, even though his visit had just begun. I told him about it and was crying and stuff...and Dave referred to Mark 2:19 where it says that while the party is happening, it is not appropriate to be sad! I have never forgotten that.
So I choose for this next week of family-time and New Year's revelry to choose to enjoy every minute and not waste a moment in fearing the future. So there.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Holiday Happenings...

We have had such a fun time this week, seeing family, eating yummy food...continuously amazed that Jesus REALLY DID come for us! If we did not know better, we'd think He was too good to be true.

The Reno/Cahill Cousins...

Da tree.

My brother, Lee & niece, Jess.

Christmas Eve table

Guitar Hero World Tour with Brandon on drums, Dylan on guitar, Dan on vocals and in the audience: Kristin, Elly, Morgan and in the back on the couch, Uncle David.

Jeff and Payton setting up the Hot Wheels track!

Ell, Kristin, Bree, Morgan

Clockwise from top: Anjali, Morgan, Alison, Kristin.

Grandpa Reno playing Wii Golf.

Michael & Lisa

Dad and Mom Reno

Jeff & Diane

Deb & David

Kristi cutie.

Strike a pose, Bree!

The birthday girl. Happy 18th, Ells!!

Rock Star: Dan

Saturday, December 13, 2008

"You Promised Never to Grow Old"

This past year, through Facebook, I have 'reunited' with many friends from the past: from high school, from Bible school, from my high school/college youth group, from the early days of our married life. It has been so good. So healing. I am amazed at the Lord's timing in all of this. Last year we 'lost' many friends through some troubles at our church and it was so very painful. I am seeing this reconnection as His kindness to me. (Thank You, Lord!)

During some of these reunions, I've been reminded of this scene from "Hook" (one of the Reno family favorite movies...)
I've grown up - surprise, surprise. I guess no one can be more surprised than me about that. And sometimes I wonder if, when people find me on Facebook, they see my pics and wonder if it can really be me. I've wondered myself a couple times when finding a friend...thinking, "Do I have the wrong Joe Schmoe?...This Joe Schmoe doesn't look like the Joe Schmoe I remember!" When looking through someone's pictures this week - I did not recognize him - I had an "oh, there you are, peter" moment! For all of you who wonder the same about me, I want to put out a bulletin: I'm still in is still me! I'm tempted to elaborate on that point, but I won't.
It's weird, when you 'leave' someone, it's like they are not allowed to grow up or grow old. Logically, it is a no-brainer: OF COURSE people grow-up and change and grow older. In our memories they don't do that, though. OF COURSE our only frame of reference is what we knew. Still, it seems I never expect people to look any different. Maybe it's because I have not had the great privilege of reuniting with many from my past and I'm not used to it.
So, I just so you know: My earthsuit is showing some wear and tear, but I'm still me.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Happy Landing?

Until lately I never realized the universality of 'thought war'. I thought it was just me battling every day to try to stay put down freaky thoughts. Thoughts that are critical of what I say or do (or don't say or don't do) seem to pop in there so readily. Not too often anymore, but I used to have a lot of destructive 'suggestions' pop into my mind. Seems there is always a battle of some sort going on up there. (I probably never admitted it in the past for fear of being locked up.)
Reminds me of the 'renewing your mind' verse in Romans 12 and the 'taking thoughts captive' verse in 2 Corinthians 10. Reminds me too of the illustration that compares my mind to an airport. I am the air traffic controller. I cannot control who flies over, but I do control who lands. Or the bird analogy...I have no say as to who flies over my head, but I DO have a say in who builds a nest in my hair!
I definitely believe that there is a real devil and that he is my enemy and that his mission is to steal, kill and destroy. So much of the destruction we see in our world begins in people's minds. James 1:13-15 talks about the progression of rotten thoughts leading finally to death. Recognizing his evil whispers is sometimes so difficult for me. At times I find myself caught in a web of untruth or partial truth...and I think, "How long have I been fooled by this?"
I want the Truth. I want the Truth in all areas of my mind and my heart. I'm looking around at my life and wanting Truth in every part...I'm assuming that the bits of my life that are messed up or dissatisfying are areas where I am embracing untruth. This seems like a good time for a closet I'm asking God through this job-loss-craziness to help me to take stock and to show me where I am believing lies and to replace the lies with Himself. He is my Way, my Truth and my Life and my only real reason for continuing on.
I am daily doing battle with worry about David losing his job...about our security. Even though I am well acquainted with God's promises, I choose worry quite often. I don't choose it purposely. My intent is not to worry. But sometimes I find myself all in an uproar...all stressed...and then I realize that I have not taken my thoughts captive, that I am letting God-knows-what-kind of nasty birds make nests in my hair! YIKES! I am racking my brain for the verses in the Bible that talk about the progression of truthful thoughts.....just as the above-mentioned portion from James illustrates the natural path of evil thoughts, I know that somewhere is a passage that states the opposite evolution. Can anyone give me an assist?