Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Do You Believe in Miracles?

Have you ever been able to tell a story about how God has done something amazing in your life? Not just a "Yay I found $20" moment (although that is quite amazing, especially if you're kinda low on money) but more along the lines of a "I once was blind, but now I see" experience?

Sometimes I think it's hard for us to see the miracles in the miraculous.

Let me say that again. Sometimes I think it's hard for us to see the miracles in the miraculous.

I don't know about you, but there are sooo many times that I can say "Oh wow, I found $20. God is amazing!" or "My goodness, I just tripped but I must have had angels holding me up because I should have fallen and twisted my ankle."

Don't get me wrong, any time God works in our lives, it's a miracle. Yessirreebob it is. So really, you're surrounded by miracles every moment of every day, because God is right here, right now. (Hi God!)

But do you ever find it hard to say that God has done an amazing miracle in your life? Like, one of those "No one is going to BELIEVE this" miracles?

Then the question is... do you see a lack of miracle in your life because there is a lack... or because you're not seeing it?

Interesting, yes?

I want to invite you to think about something in your life that is an absolute, knock-down, drag-out miracle.

Go ahead. I'll wait.

Got one?


Now... I want you to ask yourself why you aren't talking about it more.

Or... why haven't you thought of anything yet?

I want to share one of mine with you. This is one of those things when in the moment I remember saying "Yay God, that's awesome!" But then I never shared it with anyone. And then at a prayer meeting at church we were asked to share any instances of healing that God has done in our lives. And God nudged me and said, "Hey, you've got one. Tell them about the cataracts."

The cataracts??

So here's my story: About 3 years ago, when I was 27, I went in for my eye appointment. I had an appointment with a different doctor, but the same location--I've got such an aversion to that stupid eye puff test that I over-tense my eyes, and people tend to freak out and think I have glaucoma, so I tend to not want to go explain this to new doctors, even though I have to take a train for 45 minutes to get to my eye place now.

So I'm really liking the new doctor, she's very personable and professional, and everything is going just swimmingly until she says "Oh, and you've got cataracts."

I'm sorry, WHAT?

Yes, cataracts. Apparently people in their 20s can get cataracts. "But don't worry," she said, "Once it gets really bad, you can just have the surgery. It'll be fine."

Um, surgery???

I was not happy. I do not want surgery. Not only am I very much not financially prepared for any sort of surgery but hello, eye surgery is freaking scary! (although I did decide that if they had to do the surgery I'd have them Lasik those suckers while they were in there). But don't get me wrong... losing my vision in my 20s or 30s was NOT something I was prepared for. I mean, I'm a writer and an artist. I'd like to be able to see what I'm doing!!!

So, naturally, I didn't go back to the eye doctor for 3 years. I mean, the best way to avoid any sort of bad news is to, well, avoid it, right? (not right but you know that's what we all do)

But my gas permeable contacts are only supposed to be worn for 1 year, not 3, so I finally went back just a couple of months ago. I ended up with my original doctor, a quirky guy but he's pretty darn good at what he does. So we do the tests, and I read the letters, and tell him that 3 is better than 4, and all that fun stuff. And he tells me that my eyesight has actually gotten better in the last 3 years (thanks, gas-perms!).

So when he asks if I have any questions I clear my throat and gingerly say "Ok, so what about the cataracts?"

He looked at me like I was crazy.

Then he looked back at my file.

Where the last doctor had drawn the cataracts she'd seen.

He looked at my eyes again. And again.

"You don't have any cataracts," he said.


Well, I don't know about you, but I think that's a miracle! I mean, it's not like I also no longer need contacts. But I'm ok with my contacts. We can pray for complete eyesight later. But what absolutely blows my mind is how somehow I squelched my excitement, and didn't run around telling the whole world. Why? Probably because I'm just not used to seeing the big moves of God in my life.

But I'm sharing this with you now, because what other purpose is there for God to do miracles, but to give us more opportunity to praise Him? A wise woman said the other day that when we die we will all be given new bodies. That means that the blind will see, and the lame will walk. So the miracle is just that God blesses us with His power of renewal here and now.

And we should do nothing else but shout it from the mountaintops.

Praise God! I once had cataracts, and now I don't. He is Good.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Oodles and Oodles of Doodles

So I live in a fairly yuppie neighborhood in Chicago (I think Wrigleyville will always be yuppie... I mean, our biggest bar is located right there, even though it's only open from April till September--yes, I said September.)

And one thing about living here is that everyone seems to need to have the current "big thing." You know, like those strollers you can jog with.

And Smart Cars.

And, of course, Labradoodles.

Because seriously, our goals in life should be to have a pet that looks like Chewbacca.

Now I don't really have anything against any of the -oodle mixes per se, as long as they're nice dogs. I just know that poodles, full-size poodles specifically, are not my favorite dog. One of the kids I went to school with had a poodle and it was mean. Like, devious. So whenever I see an -oodle mix I think either of Chewbacca or how badly I hope that the poodle won't win the Thanksgiving Day dog show this year.

But it's just hilarious because in the last week I swear I've seen 3 people walking Labradoodles, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't the same one. I just wonder how people will feel when oodle-mixes go out of style. I mean, unlike the car, you can't just trade it in for a newer model.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

No, Wait... I'm Still Cool!

If I were a meaner person, I'd have a photograph of what I'm going to describe to you.

But since I was not in the mood to grab my camera or cell phone and blatantly take a picture of the gentleman who was walking through the neighborhood with his baby girl in a stroller and cute little "chick" dog, I'm going to just show you a google-image of what he was wearing:

Ok yes, there was a t-shirt too. And flip flops.

But did you hear what else he had with him? A baby girl in one of those strollers like the one I mentioned yesterday in my post about politeness in the Windy City (You know, the kind that look like they could be a new cast member in Transformers 3)

And the dog. Oh, the dog. The kind of cute tiny little thing that makes grown women squeal like little girls and grown men ask how on earth they were now the owners of a rat.

So here he is, walking down the street, listening to his iPod and pushing RoboStroller with baby girl princess resting serenely inside (I really want to say she had a bow on her head) and little Rat-dog scurrying along beside, with his little leash attached to the stroller because this poor guy probably didn't even want to touch it.

And then he was wearing Dark Side of the Moon pajama pants. You know it was his way of saying "yeah ok I've got The Little Princess and Ratatouille here, but I'm still cool. I didn't let the wife take these away from me. This is who I really am."

But the sad thing is the pants looked fairly new and well-cared for. Not college-issue at all, but perhaps a gift from said wife because she knew, she just knew, that if she ever wanted another child she would absolutely have to find something to give him that would keep his man-parts from completely shriveling up in shame.

And so, because I'm generally a nice person, I did not take a picture. And I tried not to stare. I just kept walking.

With every intention of writing this post as soon as I could. :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Politeness Still Exists in the Windy City

I saw multiple occasions of politeness today. On the bus.

Yes, you read that right. On a crowded Chicago Transit Authority bus I saw five separate acts of kindness. And I just needed to share this with you today, because I think it's important to remember that we're all messed up, but we can still be genuinely decent from time to time. :)

The first incident occurred as I got on the bus and watched people automatically moving to the back of the bus. That's one of those things that is always talked about by the announcer voice, but not always done.

The second one actually directly affected me, when a father asked if I would like his seat--next to his daughter. He not only let me sit down but clearly was confident that I was good enough people to sit next to his little girl.

The third happened for the couple who got on the bus after me. They had a stroller, the kind that looks like it should morph into a pup tent if you push the right button, and even on the crowded bus, people willingly got up out of the special seats up front, flipped them up, and made room for the couple to stand over on the side with their child and monster stroller.

The fourth moment occurred when a man in a wheelchair got on the bus, and then people willingly moved out of two separate seats this time, in order to accommodate this gentleman on the other side of the aisle from the stroller.

The fifth act of kindness was the man who got up from his seat so the mother of the baby in the Daewoo--I mean stroller--could sit down.

Seriously people, this is like abnormal. Maybe it happened because I had just gotten out of church so I was still high on Jesus, and a little of it leaked out. Maybe it happens more than I realize and I only noticed today because I was in a good mood... I don't know, but I was quite impressed.

I hope this instills in you a little more faith in the human race. We're really not all that bad... or at least we're all in it together, and that means something, right?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Getting Unapologetically Back Into It.

The dank breeze couldn't help but carry his exotic cologne across the park and into her senses before he even entered her field of vision. He brushed her hair to one side, and whispered lightly against her cheek: "Did you know that it takes 21 days to make a habit, and only about 2 to break it?"


Ten Reasons Why I Didn't Blog For The Last... I Don't Even Know How Long

1. I got a computer virus and was unable to do anything until I got my baby back from the Geek Squad
2. The computer virus killed my modem so I had to order a new one (fortunately I got a free one by threatening to change my service plan)
3. Blogging was cutting into my sleep time
4. By the time my modem showed up I was already waaaay too out of the habit
5. I tried blogging at work and it just didn't feel the same
6. Did I mention the sleep thing? It was nice not having to go from being on the computer all day at work to being on it all day at home. (or getting up an hour early to get on it)
7. I wasn't really happy with the 4-day-a-week MEMEs that I had going on. I mean, they're each individually quite awesome, but I felt like a hack doing nothing but those.
9. I just haven't felt creative in a long time.
10. There was a part of me that just wanted to see if it would be noticed that I wasn't blogging. (And thank you to the person who emailed me, that meant a lot!)

So there you have it. Apparently a few of us have let our blogging lag as the summer began. But since I seem to be having problems sleeping anyway (I'm sure I'll post on that later) I figure I may as well do the getting up early thing again so I can get some writing time in.

Well, see you again soon (hopefully).  :)