My Ginger Twin

 

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As I journaled in our month-to-month, sparsely furnished apartment I pined for my things.  Like Mary Kate Danaher in The Quiet Man I wanted my belongings about me.  I wanted our stuff that had been crated and locked away in storage for a year.  My grandmother’s hope chest, my mother’s paintings, my bridal bouquet and photo albums; our china, the patchwork quilt my mother-in-law made, our four-poster bed, and lawyers bookshelves–all locked up, far away and inaccessible without a hefty digging fee.  The image of John Wayne taming the shrew in Maureen O’Hara is much like God wrestling with me many days during our ‘prison term’ in the apartment.  I thrashed about as God held onto me during my desperate prayers and journalings.  I was dragged across the meadow and through town like the brattish Mary Kate who refused to be satisfied with true love and didn’t want to learn a lesson.  My friends may have said that I handled our no-job tenure with grace, but often times inside I was a fiery red-head with a spitting Irish tongue.  Fortunately for me, God was Sean Thornton.  He would grin at me, wait for my silliness to subside and envelop me in a hug as I whimpered apologies.

My last journal entry posted here leaves us in Job, indicating that no job had been granted as of yet.  It happens obviously, and Greg and I eventually live out ten years in a beautiful home in Lucas, raising our three kids to legal completion.  But unlike the previous sentence, the day-t0-day living of the no-job journey is not as easily expressed.  My ginger twin may make an occasional appearance, but God remains my ‘quiet man,’ taming me through the tough times and loving me all the while.

Friday, March 7, 2003

Dear Jesus~

Radical faith.  Am I there?  Have I truly given all to follow You?  Sometimes I don’t know.  I think that my ideas of security with a home, etc. are keeping me from You.  Help me to give that up.  I’m trying to design Your plan.  Help me to let go & completely trust You.  “Trusting & believing God is the number one priority on God’s agenda for my life.” (Holy Ambition)  Trash everything else.  Just follow & trust.

Teach me not to question.  Jump off.  So what, we’re where we’re at?  So what we don’t know of tomorrow?  I’m excited of YOUR plan.

God, I pray for a vision of Your plan.  I pray to be patient to hear from You.

Amen

Saturday, March 8, 2003

Dear Lord~

Again, I pray for YOUR vision.  Help me to let go of all of my inhibitors.  Let Your plan shine over all else.

Thank You for this wonderful weather.  I pray that You send us somewhere today that we may enjoy the sun & be closer to You.

Lord, I pray for Frank & Maria.  If it be Your will, please bless them with a child.  Help her to become pregnant and to have a healthy baby to term.

Lord, some considerations now are to investigate Greg starting his own business or take over an existing one with the support of venture capitalists.  Please lead us in the right direction with this research or close all doors immediately.

We pray for a swift action.

Lord, I have yet to pray about the Hip Hp group I’m forming with the youth at church.  I apologize.  Please forgive me.  I definitely felt You lay it on my heart that I should have no regrets about not having had formed the group in preparation for the opening of The Family Life Center.  Lord, I sense something good there, but some elements don’t seem right.  Every other group I’ve started has taken off immediately.  Please guide me in the right direction to lead these girls to get them excited about us.  We need a name, possibly a place to practice.  I need original ideas , choreography, and energy!  Please pour Your blessings on us.  Help us to dance for You & to praise You in a way that will reach to others.

Thank You for Liza having a friend over today.

“Our father who are in heaven, hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…”

Amen

Monday March 10, 2003

Dear God in 3 Persons~

I have just finished the book Holy Ambition and I lack only one thing on the list:  a strategic plan.  I have a dislocated heart, about our national and world struggles, about the dance needs in Austin, about wanting & needing to live in Austin.  I have a broken spirit about these things; I definitely have a radical faith & personal commitment & You have given me a courageous soul.  The only thing I’m lacking is a strategic plan.  And I can’t have a strategic plan without Your vision for Your holy plan utilizing me, Greg, our family & our talents.

Lord, I realize that my choreography, staging and design is exactly how I can be successful for You for Your plan.

I must have the final outcome in my mind & then I can work backwards to figure out how to achieve the goal.

I know that when You give me Your vision & plan, that with courage from You, I can strategize a plan with You to accomplish amazing things along the journey to achieve Your divine plan.

I am chompin’ at the bit.  I am fired up!  I am so ready to jump at Your plan–more so than any other opportunities than have come our way yet.

You are an awesome God  And I say ‘WOW!’

Amen

PS–I have been discouraged & weary, but this reminder of Jesus’ struggles feeds me to go on.

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author & perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, & sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary & lose heart.”  Hebrews 12:2-3

Thank you.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Dear Lord Jesus~

I pray in preparation for my time with You today; for focus, intimacy, wisdom and understanding.  Please speak through Your Word to me with clear understanding.

Psalm 26 definitely speaks for me.  Verse 1 says, “Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have led a blameless life.”

My life, in this ‘cave’ has been blameless, aside from the sins You have forgiven me for & I continue to pray for Your power for control.  But the Psalmist says how I feel.  I’ve stayed away from evil, I’ve proclaimed Your name. And as the author, David, writes, “my feet stand on level ground; in the great assembly I will praise the Lord.” (v12)

I praise You now for all that You’re doing & for what You will do for me & our family

Greg & I met with Blair yesterday.  He said & agreed that we’re at that point where all we need is God.  He said that is not a bad place to be.  That is true.  So true.  All we need, can count on & rely on is God.  We know You will provide.  Let us see it coming, O Lord.  Let us be so close to You that we see the answer coming & are not chastised for too little faith.

In 1 Corinthians 15:55-58 You remind me that You have taken care of even my greatest enemy, death (although I actually fear many other things than death itself).  You smacked death by dying on the cross & living again.  I will live again with You!  So it definitely matters what I do on earth.  It is comforting to know I can “…stand firm.  Let nothing move you.  Always give yourselves fully to the world of the Lord, because You know that Your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (v.58)

Amen

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My grandmother’s hope chest that she gave to me and now I have given to Lena. My grandmother had her initials carved onto the right panel; ten years later, my father-in-law carved my initials onto the left panel. I plan to have Lena’s initials carved on the top with room for her daughter’s and future daughters.

Monday, March 24, 2003

To be quite honest, Lord, I really don’t want to be doing this right now.  If it weren’t for Greg, I wouldn’t be.

It’s Monday, the beginning of another week.  We want to go to work.  Lena cried the other day that she has nowhere to go and relax.  We need a home.  We need our things out of storage & around us.  We want & need to celebrate Your victory.

Do You hear me?

I knew You wanted Greg to quit EDS.  You made that very clear & we don’t regret it.  We pray for Your leading and obvious direction for our next move–complete confidence, because we’ll need it in order to be able to ignore the nay-sayers & for us to press forth with Your plan.  Next week will be one year since Greg quit EDS on April 1st.  This can not be an April Fool’s joke.

Hallelujah for the removal of Dick Brown at EDS.  Open doors for Greg, Lord; help him to reinstall the values back in the company.  Let’s go!

Lord, I whole-heartedly pray for Mike & DiAnne.  Their marriage has been strained by their trials.  Why do they have to suffer for so long?  It seems so unfair.  They have been such devout followers for You for so long.  Why punish them?  They need Your intervention immediately.  Please soften their hearts.  They need You so.  I pray that You use me in talking with DiAnne.  She really needs a friend.

This dying moment-to-moment day stuff is very old!  Can’t I just live?!  Yes!  I know there’s a war going on & people overseas & POWs who are yearning for Your attention.  And yes, please hear them all.  Keep them safe.  Save their souls and expand the Christian territory!   Keep the Tabers safe, please.  But help us too.  I am not a life-sufferer; a professional mercenary.  I’m Jodie, a daughter of Christ, trying to do what is right & trying to hang on.

I pray for a miracle today!

Amen

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

I’m here again.  Reading Job.

My Perfect Life in a Red Gift Box

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This is not me, of course. But I daydreamed everyday about how God would save us.

If I were to write the concluding scene depicting my husband being awarded a job, us moving into a house and all that comes with it, it would be dramatic, have sweeping images underlined by grand music, and would bring an audience to tears and amazement.  So many times throughout our 3 years of unemployment, I wrote scenarios in my head of how Greg would get a job after a promising interview.  I imagined the looks on all our faces, the jumping up and down of celebrations, and the heavy sighs of relief.  Then I would quickly make a mental list of all the details that would need to get done–find/buy a house, make arrangements to get stuff out of storage, notify the apartment complex, transfer phone, electric & utilities.  I would even try to figure out how to help the kids adjust to the changes, keeping their schoolwork, dance and karate going without a hitch.  I could doing all that in a quick five minutes of daydreaming after Greg called to say his interview went great.

DO NOT PONTIFICATE.  That was a big lesson for me.  God taught me that we could not pontificate what He would do.  It’s easy to say that God’s plans are always better than our own, but living it day to day is way different.  Especially since God gave me this mind that likes to daydream, organize and loves surprises.  If I were God, I would present long-awaited answers in a big red box with a silk white ribbon; everyone would stand at the gift with hopeful, relieved eyes, inhaling with anticipation, much as a woman does when presented with a Tiffany teal box.  There would be a flash mob of impromptu music and dancing, kids being lifted on shoulders, giddiness, praising, and fireworks.  I had that mental party many, many times.

But God taught Greg and I that He wants everything from us, even our rambling thoughts.  He wants our all of our energies to go to Him, not trying to figure out what we can not figure out.  Pontificating goes both ways, too.  We can not try to figure out how good things will happen, nor can we contemplate all the negatives.  We can not think about where our next meal  will come from, how we will pay for the rent in six months, or what if one of us comes down with an illness without insurance.  Those thoughts are not of God.  God does not instill worry or fear.

Now, of course, we must be wise and plan.  Through daily prayer and study we ask for God’s guidance and He gives it.  And the knowing that you have that a thought is God’s will, and not just a pontification, is very clear.  And if it’s not, pray for confirmation.  If you get confirmation that you should do something, then, by golly, you’d better do it.

Life is easier without pontificating.  Like the birds and flowers, we don’t worry about the necessities of life.  We stick close to God, ask for direction and have courage to follow through with it.

I do dream, however, which is waaaayyyy different than pontificating.  God gives me my dreams–I imagine He puts them in big red boxes with white satin ribbons.  And we act on the dreams together; step by step, verse by verse, prayer by prayer with no uncertainties and a blanket of excited peace.

October 29, 2002

With renewed strength, provided continually by You, I look towards today with great anticipation.  Thank You for the help I’m getting with props for the musical.  Daryla & Becky are great helping out.  I pray for them both.  Please bless their talents You gave them to be used for Your glory & to ignite them inside to in turn do more for You.

Thank You for all of the teacher conferences we’ve had.  I bust with pride how all of their teachers boast how wonderful they are.  It is only through You that they continue to thrive during all of this unknown.

Amen

November 4, 2002

Good morning!  Dear Lord, so may times I could have written incredible scenarios of answers to a job & our future with amazing miracles that would make fabulous stories & testimonies.  Now, after many things not working out, my mind is blank & I believe You want it that way.  You want me to let You do the work.  You have broken this horse & I am submitting.  Whatever Your plans & whenever You enact them (of course, I know it’s in process already) I know it’s the right thing for me, our family & those Christians & non-Christians who are watching.

Thank You for our safe trip to & from Austin.  Thank You for the girls working & learning so hard at the Tremaine dance convention this weekend.  Thank You for the door being opened by Greg to grow the relationship with Jill.  Thank You for finding the karate school for Cody.  He loves it & it’s just what he needs.  You are incredible.

Wednesday, November 6, 2002

Jesus, Holy Spirit, You have lifted my spirit & fed my soul.  I praise You for Your provision in so many ways.  Thank You for the money we put in the bank; overpaid taxes, expense check & EDS paying for our storage through December!

Lord & I pray for Ron Smit & his wife.  Ron has been out of work as long as we have & now his wife just got laid off.  Please comfort them & help them on their journey with You.  Please put them in the minds of others so that they will find work.  Lord, please continue to bless Mimi, John & the kids.  I pray that their talents & passion for You will be used for Your glory & their fulfillment.  I also pray for Wesley as he is making decisions for his future.  Please send him people who will lead him to You & prepare a fruitful future.  Thank You now for what You are doing & will do throughout our church & country with the 40 days campaign.  I pray for memorization of Bible verses, the play, my choreography & Lara’s.

Thank You for the sun today.  The continual rain was adding to any morsel of depression.  It’s off to make props for a show about You!

Amen

Thursday, November 7, 2002

Dear Lord, You have given a realization to me today.  All of these trials & this journey is not for the reward of a job, house & the end & even to be closer to You.  I am to go through this to receive Your rewards in heaven, living eternally with You!  It’s so simple, but difficult for my human heart to absorb.  My pink and beating heart is full for You.  I suffer here to be closer now & in Your arms forever.

Lord, through this journey with You, I pray that I am changing as You want me to change, I am enduring as You want me to endure & I am learning as You want me to learn.

Monday, November 4, 2002

Right now, I feel much too busy & preoccupied to pray.  Busyness for the play, necessities at home are taking me in all directions.  Please calm my ancie needs.  I can’t accomplish any of the many things today without You!  I could run around like a chicken with my head cut off or I could breathe, talk with You & calmly let US handle the day.

Thank You for the woman at Hancock Fabrics for giving us the 40% discount on fabrics.  You arranged it all!

Lord, I pray that the joy I’m having in helping with the play & in serving You is being perceived as such.  I want to keep my focus on You & others.

Thank You so much for all of my friends at church;  May You give me more opportunities to help them.

Lord, please be with Liza today.  She’s feeling a little under the weather.  Please lift her up to You, taking aches from her back & throat.  And lift her spirits from the monotony she feels with our current surroundings.

In Your powerful name I pray.

Amen