Saturday, December 20, 2008

from everlasting to everlasting

A thousand times I've failed
Still your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
Still I'm caught in your grace

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
In my heart, in my soul, Lord I give you control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise become my embrace
To love You from the inside out

Your will above all else, my purpose remains
The art of losing myself in bringing you praise

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
In my heart, in my soul, Lord I give you control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise become my embrace
To love You from the inside out

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart is to bring You praise
From the inside out Lord, my soul cries out

-hillsong, "from the inside out"

download it. listen to it on youtube. this is good stuff.

Friday, December 19, 2008

family matters

I was born to two wonderful, ambitious, loving, women who did everything in their power to give me the best life possible. I never met my father, and spent the first part of my life wondering what it would be like to have a "real" family, which, in my eyes, didn't consist of a struggling mother and a dying grandmother. My nana is the person I spent the most time with as a child, in a world that consisted of tea parties, cabbage patch dolls, and lung cancer. She died when I was seven and my family got even more abnormal. My mom worked several jobs to give me a life in a safe environment, and did her best to raise me on her own. I always wondered what it was like to have brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, multiple sets of grandparents, and many cousins. Apart from my mom and grandma, the only other family member I knew was my cousin, who was nine years older than me and had no interest in hanging out with me, because apparently when youre a seventeen year old boy its not cool to play barbies with your little cousin. I'm bitter. At least I was bitter for a long time. Then the boyfriends entered the picture. The random men that symbolized that my mom had moved on from my dad, the men who drove cool cars and bought me whatever I wanted and some had kids and some liked to cook little mermaid sandwiches and life just got SO GOOD... until my mom mentioned that these men wanted to be her husband, and all hell broke loose in my mind, because ohmygod for the first time EVER I would have to share my beloved mother. Tragedy, tragedy.

Soon Jay was added into the equation. I remember very few things about the day I met the man who would someday legally adopt me, the man I now call Dad. The first thing, is that I hated him. He was a short, bearded, man with a Harley and really good manners, and I wanted nothing to do with him. I did my best leave a lasting impression on him during dinner, and was banned to the kitchen. He won my heart through Monday Night Disney Marathons and taking me to baseball games.

Not long after, The Day I Waited For My Whole Life happened. My infertile, 46 year old mom, sat me down at TGI Friday's and handed me a ducky rattle. WTF? The next words that came out of my mother's mouth I will never forget, "Honey, I'm pregnant." My thoughts were a jumble, and I couldn't even fathom what was happening to my world. It was a mixture of OMG I'm going to have a brother or sister, and OMG I'm going to have a brother or sister. I was eleven, and the thought of this happening was crazy. Like, what was she thinking???

Fortunately, several months later my little Olivia made her debut into a world that will never be ready for her. The sister I waited my whole life for was here and I was SO excited to have her. She has completely changed my life in so many ways. She has tested my patience by "painting her nails" on my carpet, and stolen my heart with her infinite wisdom and many gifts. The girl is good at everything. She is a hilariously funny straight a student with a zeal for life and a desire to follow Jesus. She is, by far, the coolest person I've ever met.

So, this is was my whole entire family, and it was a good one. We put the fun in dysfunctional. From these people I have learned how to be a person, and how not to be. Mostly I have learned resilience, and that it isnt the circumstances that you are given that count, but how you deal with what youve been dealt. My dream has always been to have a big family, but I became satisfied with these three.

Until I met him. I married the love of my life in 2007, and acquired 5 new siblings, countless aunts and uncles, grandparents, and a mother in
law who is totally ridiculous, but whom I absolutely adore. She has become one of my greatest supports, and has been a mom to me more times than I can count. I now have the most adorable little sisters and brothers in the whole world, and a wonderful father in law. I also have a wonderful Tia who is the big sister I never had and one one of my favorite people in the whole world.

I have been blessed, with a huge, loving, passionate, hilarious, gifted, complicated, wonderful family and I wouldnt have it any other way. Love them to the moon and back.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

an epic day

today is a day unlike any other day. a day where time almost stands still, as the world turns in ways it never has before. a day that is much, much, more than a snow day. more than the fact that there are 6 inches of snow in front of my las vegas home, and more than the fact that for the first time in my ENTIRE LIFE school is cancelled due to snow!!! no. today is much more than all of that.

today marks the 23rd anniversary of the day that one of my favorite people in the world inhaled the breath of life for the first time, and exhaled herself to a humanity whose expectations she far exceeded. the truth is, the day i met her, i hated her. which only lasted a year, because i moved to a far off place, and never intended to see her awful shortalls again. she mysteriously reappeared in my life several years later in the form of harriet the spy and best friend notebooks. we terrorized our world for two years, making the worst possible decisions we could have made, and having so much fun doing it. drunken escapades and promiscuous behavior coupled with boyfriends and kmart shopping sprees made for many adventures and memories, but would not compare to the years ahead. we drifted apart as our lives were reshaped by a God who knew EXACTLY WHAT HE WAS DOING. we were reunited once more, and weve never been apart sense.

my best friend, whitney, has brought more joy into my life than i ever thought possible. she has been my shoulder to cry on, the other end of the late night panic phone calls, the only human that has ever been there at every important event and every time my car overheated. she has taught me to discover every moment of life, how not to look at refrigerators like im in love with them, how to make smoothies and get the best deal at jason's deli. she has inspired me to paint, to love fully, to seek God's heart in every situation and to pray until something happens. she has supported me in every decision ive ever made, and has done everything in her power to bring joy to my life (like eating goldfish crackers off of the airplane floor). together we have discovered what is right and wrong, an absolute love for Jesus Christ, the beauty of human beings- especially kids with disabilities, how to treat people, how to be treated, how to get paid to hang out, and how to have a friendship that is fulfilling and completely authentic.

and its not just me. every person that has ever met my best friend has felt honored to be around her. her light is so bright and her heart is so big, that her body cannot contain the love that shares with people. she has changed my life, and will continue to do so for the next 23 years. i cant wait to see her life unfold, and i feel so beyond blessed to have been a part of it.

Happy 23rd Birthday to my best friend in the whole world. I'm sorry for the many, many, times I've stolen your chapstick. I love you.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

i have a dream (for 2033)

i look forward to the day that we can sit down with our children and talk to them about the way the world looked when we were their age. i wonder how much of it will be different, i wonder how much will be the same. i wonder if they will have any idea what proposition 8 is, or what they will think of our stories of civil rights protest marches. i wonder how they will react when we tell them that we watched the first african american president speak at the high school that we graduated from, or that we cried when they announced his presidency. maybe they will laugh at us when we tell them that when we didnt have internet until we were in middle school, or cell phones until we were fifteen.

regardless of what they think, i pray that we will have offered them a world where the love of Jesus is proclaimed openly, a world without wars on terrorism, one that spreads love, not hate. i hope we leave them in a place that they do not have to spend their lives cleaning up after our economic disasters, religious battles, social mishaps, or broken relationships. i pray that we leave them a legacy of love, and of hope, of dreams and of possibility, a place where they have learned from their ancestors mistakes and chosen love over hate, always. i pray that we will have given them the tools to use their lives in the best way possible, to love God with all that they are and pour out His love to the rest of the world. i hope that our children, whoever they are, will know that they are loved beyond comprehension and know that we have prayed for them and for the world they will live in long before they existed.

oh, and i hope they look just like this...which im sure they will: