Category Archives: The Past

my 2010 year in review…

As society’s obsession with the new year would dictate I should take this time, at the beginning of 2011, and take stock in what I accomplished in 2010. Ok. So, what did happen in 2010? I’ll make a list:

January

  1. Sang in an opera program at HBU.
  2. Was granted auditions at Eastman School Of Music, Rochester, NY and Indiana University.
  3. Traveled to Rochester, NY for a graduate school audition.
  4. Experienced my first blizzard.
  5. Worked for the United States Postal Service.
  6. Saw someone, for whom I cared deeply, for the last time.
  7. Traveled to Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, for a graduate school audition with my mom.
  8. Detoured to Atlanta, GA to visit some dear friends from Kenya.
  9. Began my last semester at HBU.

February

  1. Traveled to Boston for a graduate school audition.
  2. Said goodbye to an amazing man.
  3. Survived another Valentine’s Day alone.
  4. Ditched a lot of school.
  5. Turned 28.
  6. Stopped exercising.
  7. Quit working at the USPS.

March

  1. Traveled to Indiana University for a graduate school audition, and to see my family in Indiana.
  2. Made a snowman!
  3. Got four rejection letters for all graduate programs to which I applied and auditioned.
  4. Began my five week marathon to learning recital rep.
  5. Applied and almost got into UTSA, but decided to not audition at the last minute.
  6. Ditched some more school (especially wellness).
  7. Ate a lot of junk.
  8. Traveled to Austin to try to regain my sanity.
  9. Saw the Black Eyed Peas in concert with two of my most favorite girls!
  10. Had an really amazing movie night at my best friends’ house!

April

  1. Continued the marathon to learning recital rep.
  2. Sang in another opera scenes program at HBU.
  3. Went on a painful, yet success, search for a recital dress with three amazing women.
  4. Reconciled with an old friend.
  5. Passed my recital hearing by the skin of my teeth.
  6. Sang my recital and suffered through making up my entire French set.
  7. Passed all my finals to complete all requirements for graduation!

May

  1. Saw Iron Man 2
  2. Went on one of the most amazing dates of my life.
  3. Graduated! Graduated! Graduated!
  4. Went on choir tour with an wonderful group of people.
  5. Ate two ‘dirty love burgers’ at the Love Shack.
  6. Almost rode a mechanical bull.
  7. Ate more candy in one week than I ever thought humanly possible.
  8. Went to the Clinton Presidential Library.
  9. Took a solo road trip to South Carolina.
  10. Traveled to Austin, TX.
  11. Began a torturous summer of no work.
  12. Previous reconciliation went sour, again.
  13. Learned how to make tamales from an authentic Mexican grandma.

June

  1. Looked for a job post graduation.
  2. Realized I wasn’t actually skilled to do much of anything.
  3. Almost got a good administrative position at a bible college.
  4. Was asked to move to Kenya.
  5. Began the painful process of “divorcing” my current roommate.
  6. Discovered that someone I thought I could trust I could not.
  7. Began the process of uprooting my life.

July

  1. Decided to move to Kenya.
  2. Said goodbye to my roommate of four and a half years.
  3. Had a birthday party for my dog.
  4. Began to pack up my house to move my life into one room at my parent’s house.
  5. Sorted through my “stuff” to figure out what all to sell or give away.
  6. Went to Austin.
  7. Lost the almost job due to moving to Kenya.
  8. Saw Toy Story 3.
  9. Saw Knight and Day.
  10. Saw Eclipse (twice).
  11. Saw Salt.

August

  1. Was reunited with a dear individual.
  2. Ate a lot of gummi bears.
  3. Geared up for a miserable yard sale process.
  4. Saw Inception.
  5. Said goodbye for the first of many times.
  6. Laid new flooring in my bedroom at my parent’s house.

September

  1. Had an epic yard sale.
  2. Officially moved home.
  3. Began fundraising for my new life as a missionary.
  4. Began to see God’s provision.
  5. Planned for another yard sale in October.
  6. Went on an awesome family reunion!
  7. Got to go tubing on the lake!

October

  1. Had another epic yard sale, but not quite as epic as before.
  2. Was blessed beyond belief by finally getting to meet one of my most favorite individuals ever, T!
  3. Went to Austin one last time.
  4. Bought some cool new photography equipment.
  5. Paid off some debt.
  6. Bought some awesome music gear to leave in Kenya.
  7. Came into possession of my very own guitar! (thank you mom and dad)
  8. Had Thanksgiving/Christmas.
  9. Had the most awesome jam session with T, K, & Pop.
  10. Said goodbye to my family and life in Houston.
  11. Got on a plane after everything that could go wrong went wrong and moved to Kenya.
  12. Struggled with acclimating to my new life.
  13. Almost quite before I actually started.
  14. Experienced the best game drive ever!
  15. Shared Kenya with my dad.
  16. Loved on some orphans.
  17. Got sick.

November

  1. Had to say goodbye to my dad. (probably one the hardest things I have ever done in my life)
  2. Began my music ministry in Sekenani.
  3. Began to learn Swahili.
  4. Got food poisoning from a nasty pizza place. (I still eat pizza, though just not from the aforementioned place)
  5. Experienced my first Thanksgiving away from home.
  6. Began children’s choir rehearsals for the Christmas program.

December

  1. Spent a week in Kijabe helping a dear friend recover from surgery.
  2. Discovered the amazingness that is ‘Chuck’!
  3. Discovered my identity was stolen.
  4. Had my heart broken in dealing with the differences in culture in Kenya.
  5. Went to a Harumbi (sp).
  6. Geared up for my first Christmas and New Year’s away from home.
  7. Recorded some music for Christmas gifts.
  8. Met a lovely Kenyan family who visited for Christmas.
  9. Discovered I needed to come home early.
  10. Going through a painful purification process, and learning what it really means to trust God.
  11. Had the best Christmas ever. (sorry mom and dad)
  12. Went on an epic four wheeler ride through the bush of Africa and was blessed to have a miniature game drive!
  13. Got seriously sunburned!
  14. Watched Goonies for NYE.

In the last year I have been heartbroken, overjoyed, challenged, troubled, confused, content, amazing, and a myriad of other emotions that I can’t think of at the moment. I’ve loved, and I’ve lost. I’ve given, and I’ve received. I’ve been hurt by people, and I’ve hurt people. I’ve fought with people, and I’ve reconciled relationships.

I could say that 2010 was awful to me, and I demand for 2011 to make it up to me, but really….I look back on the last year and I can’t say 2010 was bad to me. Sure, there were times when I would have preferred things to turn out differently, but then I wouldn’t be sitting here in Kenya typing this list. To be here in Kenya has been the most amazing blessing of my life. I’m living the dream. The ULTIMATE dream. I’m living in the will of God! I’m sharing His love with the people here. That’s more than any graduate program or relationship or job that I didn’t get into or lost.

God brought me here, to Kenya, and in doing so has revealed who He is a HUGE way to me. I know Him now like I’ve never known Him. I love Him! I think back and I see that I didn’t really love Him before. I’m learning what it truly means to love God. I’m learning what it truly means to be a Christ follower. I’m learning…

I asked God to help me to trust Him more, and He has been faithful to move in my life so that I would have to trust Him more. Trust Him solely. I love it! I know now what I want to do with my life, and it is to serve Him only. Kenya is where I want to be, despite not having my family here, this is where I long to be. This is where I believe I’m supposed to be. God will make a way. I’m praying and trusting in Him.

I’ve had an awesome year, and all the things I could regret…I won’t. I won’t regret them because after all the good and bad I’ve learned who I was, who I didn’t want to be, who I want to be in Christ, and who I can be in Christ.

I’m praising God for it all. I’m praising God for His abundant mercy. I’m praising God for His incredible goodness! I’m praising God!! Won’t you praise, too!?!

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Filed under Faith, Kenya, Musings, The Past

buckets…

Buckets of rain
Buckets of tears
Got all them buckets coming out of my ears
Buckets of moonbeams in my hand
You got all the love honey baby
I can stand.

I been meek
And hard like and oak
I seen pretty people disappear like smoke
Friends will arrive friends will disappear
If you want me honey baby
I’ll be there.

I like your smile
And your fingertips
I like the way that you move your lips
I like the cool way you look at me
Everything about you is bringing me
Misery.

Little red wagon
Little red bike
I ain’t no monkey but I know what I like
I like the way you love me strong and slow
I’m taking you with me honey baby
When I go.

Life is sad
Life is a bust
All ya can do is do what you must
You do what you must do and ya do it well
I’ll do it for you honey baby
Can’t you tell ?

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Filed under Musings, The Past

a rummage sale and move…

Well, the last week has been pret-tay busy, and I would be fibbing if I said I wasn’t tired. Although, underneath the sore and sleepy body is a great feeling of accomplishment, and it wasn’t by my own strength…only by the grace of God have I been able to do all that I’ve done this week and weekend. I have to send a huge thanks to my daddy; I really put him through a lot this week. More than I should have, I admit. So what happened this week, you ask? Let me tell you…

This past weekend I had planned to have a rummage sale at my home church, Southway Community Church, in Pearland. It is a great location, and I thought it would provide me with lots of buyers! I was right! So, for the last week I’ve been gathering things and cleaning out things and accepting donations for this rummage sale. At first I thought I really didn’t have much to sell, and then we started to price it and pack it up…uhhhh….woah! Two full trailer loads, a full pickup, a full jeep, and a full mini cooper (I know…not much room in there, but I had it full!!!) and we had a nice rummage sale!

I had some help from SBM, my mom, my sister-in-law, N, and my sweet nephews and niece. My V pal was out selling as well, and we both did very well. The Lord truly blessed us in our endeavor. I had a goal, a very hefty goal, that I needed to reach. I have quite a lot that I need to pay for before I leave that is essential to my leaving in the best possible frame of mind. The Lord blessed me greatly and supplied more than half of that goal from one day’s worth of selling. I still have enough “stuff” to have another yard sale in October. I was also told today that a friend from church has some really nice things to donate to my next yard sale. Praise God!!!

The last several months have been filled with doubt and anxiety. These things come from Satan. I’m in a battle with him, but what I wasn’t owning is that the battle is already won! Christ defeated Satan when He died on the cross, and I have been sealed by the Holy Spirit to be a part of the body of Christ. The only way I am defeated in this battle is if I allow Satan to defeat me….but I have been given the power to overcome; I only need to own that every moment of every day.

The struggle for me is that at this moment in my life, and I’m realizing for the rest of my life, I don’t feel any “security”. Working in the ministry I have no guarantees about where my next dollar is coming from, and so I truly have to trust that God will provide all my needs every moment of every day. Gas, food, medical care, toiletries, basic living needs, etc…I have been living on the grace of God, but haven’t I always been there?

I had a conversation many moons ago with a non-believer that has haunted me, I suppose. We discussed our differences in priorities. His priority is to make money, and everything else comes second. He wanted a mate whose main priority was making money, as well. This really hurt me because of how much I cared for them. How much I gave them of myself, and I was rejected because I didn’t fundamentally love money. One of the things he said to me was, and I paraphrase, “Do you think you could live on love alone? No, it doesn’t pay the bills.” Well, he is right… “love” in the worldly sense does not pay the bills, but a Heavenly love sure does. I haven’t worked in three months, but God has supplied my needs, and in His time. Was it always the best timing according to the world’s standards? No, but it is according to God’s standards.

While this man trusts himself and the world to supply his needs, in the end he will be let down.

I will probably never have a “steady” job, if full-time missions is truly where God is leading me, but I don’t have to worry about how the needs will be supplied. Why is this concept blowing my mind!?!? As a Christian it shouldn’t be this mind boggling, but it is. Why? Because I haven’t owned my victory in the Lord. Satan is using my acceptance of mediocrity to his advantage, and deceiving me into believing that Jesus’ blood will fail me.

How absurd!

God took care of me this week and weekend, and He will continue to do so for as long as I breathe.

As for the “move” part  in the title of this post, well, I am “officially” living back with my parents awaiting my departure for Kenya. Finally got most of my furniture to the rent’s place, and I’m sitting in my lovely room/mini apartment. It feels strange, and there are moments when I feel extreme sadness at the loss of having to move out of my little grandma house. It’s the end of so much, and I am finding more peace every day in the change.

This “life” that we are given…it’s not easy. Why should it be? Did not Jesus have trials and tribulations? So why wouldn’t we?

I can’t express how thankful I am at having gotten through the week and weekend. Now to recover for a day and then to tackle getting things in order. Still much to do, but I guess that’s why God hasn’t provided a job for me until I leave.

How to pray for me this week:

  1. Pray for continued physical and emotional endurance.
  2. Pray for enough support to come in this week so that I could purchase plane tickets ASAP!
  3. Pray for that God would continue to supply my financial needs while I’m in the States.
  4. Pray for individuals who would be moved to support me monthly while I am in Kenya.
  5. Continue to pray for reconciliation according to God’s will.

So, to sum it all up….good week and weekend, and it feels so good to have accomplished much according to the grace of God!

Amen?!?!

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Filed under Faith, Kenya, The Past

farewell…

Dear Reader,

This will be the last entry that I reference and speak of the past in relation to ME.

This past week, as I was on choir tour, I was reminded of a few things.

  1. I love to sing. It’s really what I want to do – sing, and through it minister and love people.
  2. I am loved. I don’t deserve the love that is bestowed upon me, none of us do, but yet I am loved just the same.
  3. I have, for far too long, allowed an individual’s treatment of me dictate my life and how I feel about myself.

I could list all the things he did. All the hurts I bore at his hands, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter. I said farewell. The whole week was a great time of healing, and a wonderful opportunity to say farewell. I have a great excitement about life that I haven’t felt in so long. This isn’t the end of something, it’s the beginning of something. The next chapter in my life is completely unknown. I have no idea what to expect, and yet I’m thrilled at the unknown. God is SOVEREIGN! Is He not? Let me answer that for you…He is!

I struggled, and still do to a certain extent, with great bitterness towards ME. I am very angry at him for what he did. I am very angry at me for allowing him to treat me with such low regard. I’m sometimes catching myself feeling as Jonah must have, that He will recieve grace just as the Ninevites surely did, and wanting to scream out at God, “why won’t you punish him…he hurt me!” That’s not God’s way…seventy times seven, right? He seems to have everything he wants in life. He has his fancy car. His fancy job. His fancy toys. His much sought after relationship. I was jealous…not that he had “things” but that he had the “things” that he wanted at the expense of my heart and feelings. That he could walk all over someone, use them, and at the end of the day find happiness despite what he did. “Lori, I never wanted your love.” Well…then you shouldn’t have accepted it for so long. “Lori, you don’t want lots of money. You just want to support a husband. I want money. What’s wrong with that?” Nothing.

But then I realized….he may be wealthy according the world’s standards, but without the assurance of the love of Christ…he’s a poor man. I pray that he finds truth in the love of Christ. In the death of Christ. I pray earnestly for his soul. I pray for mine…for it is wretched, indeed. The bitterness doesn’t hurt him; it only hurts me. He doesn’t care. He never cared, and so why would he care now?

The most beautiful part…my heart, my broken heart…the Lord is healing it. Weaving together the very fibers that were ripped apart with ease by someone who never could care about anyone except himself.

I don’t love him anymore. I don’t even miss him…not even the “good” times. There were never any “good” times…only an illusion that I had created for myself as I allowed him to use me for his own selfish gain.

The problem with lies is that eventually the truth comes out. Now or in ten or twenty years…it comes out. Your “true self” will be revealed. You can only maintain an “image” for so long. Here I am. I am flawed. I love hard. I hurt just as hard. I struggle with being bitter just as hard! I am an ugly, awful individual. Yet I was bought with the most valuable thing ever to be on earth…the blood of Christ. Only through His gracious nature can I be found worthy of anything at all. I pray for ME. I pray that he finds the same grace, that cleanses me, for his own. I want nothing but joy and prosperity for him. True joy. True prosperity.  

ME…farewell. I’m ready for what’s next, and it doesn’t include you. I thought that would make me sad, but, actually, it doesn’t.

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Filed under Loss, The Past

i can spit in one and wish in the other; which one is full…

Which would you rather have – unconditional love or money?

For the second time in my life the person I loved most decided there was a choice. They chose money.

At this point I have two choices. I probably have more if I lived in a very “gray” world, but I think things are a bit more black and white. I can either:

  1. allow the hurt to keep me from ever loving and giving my heart away again, or…
  2. allow the hurt to help me to love again.

The heart is a special gift, and one you shouldn’t be afraid to share. Just allow the Creator to do the picking. I’m worth more than any amount of money or earthly possession. I am worth my God’s life. Perhaps I should keep that in mind when my heart wants to hurt. No greater price could have been paid. Nothing compares to the love of my Lord.

They chose money…and yet I’m the wealthy one.

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Filed under Faith, Loss, The Past

regret is a six letter word…

Started out the week regretting a decision, but today I was reaffirmed of what a good decision I made.

Can’t move forward until you stop looking back.

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Filed under Loss, The Past

i opened my hand…

and let go of the banana…I got my hand out of the jar.

Thought I really needed that banana, but I don’t. I’m not a monkey. Why would I settle for the life of a monkey?

I deserved more. I stood my ground. Not my loss.

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Filed under Loss, Musings, The Past