There are many principles that I live by. Some make sense, like looking both ways before crossing the street or that personal hygiene is important. Others don't make as much sense - i.e. refusing to sing "Happy Birthday" or kissing the steering wheel when going through a yellow light ( ;) ).
Not Celebrating Christmas Until the Day After Thanksgiving (or NCCUtDAT, if you will) is one I follow to the inth degree. Christmas lights, holiday songs, fake Christmas smiles from the Wal-Mart employees, eating gingerbread men... if I am within the vacinity of these things before the day after Thanksgiving, I am not a pleasant person.
With that being said, it is now the day after Thanksgiving.
This means I will listen to Steven Curtis Chapman's "The Music of Christmas", Avalon's "Joy" and Harry Connick Jr's "When My Heart Finds Christmas" albums for the next 5 weeks. I have downloaded my annual Christmas ringtone ("ChristmasEve Sarajevo 224/Carol of the Bells" by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, for those of you that care). I will string up Christmas lights around my bedroom window and I can begin buying Christmas gifts online while effectively avoiding all contact with shopping malls.
Maybe I'm a dork. And maybe I should really love doing Christmas-y things all year long because Jesus is cool.
I doubt that God loves me the way He says He does.
I doubt that life will one day be ok.
I doubt that God's love is never-ceasing.
I don't want to doubt. Doubt Him, doubt others, doubt myself. But I do. And some days I feel helpless to stop it.
Does this make me less of a Christian? Does it mean that God is pissed because of me and my distrust? Often that feels true. But in spite of my doubt and my questions and my antagonism, God still remains true and I just need to hold onto that.
So this morning I was getting ready for my day, I had just stepped out of the shower, and there, on my ceiling, was a spider. Now, I don't know about ya'll, but I can't STAND spiders. If I see one, or hear a story about one, I can feel them crawling on me. Then I see myself incapacitated by their venom and wrapped up in a web of nasty, about to be some spider-creepo's tasty treat.
At any rate, I decided to be brave (for once) and rather than let Mr. Spider continue on his path across my room, I would take action. I steeled myself for the deed and clambered up onto a chair with my piece of tissue held high. Unbeknownst to me, spiders are highly intuitive (possibly clairvoyant) and just as I was reaching to kill the vile little demon creature, he jumped away! I have no idea where he landed. For all I know he could be in my purse or on my bed, or on my bathrobe. Since I have no way of knowing, I will be paranoid until he is dead. ("D-E-D dead" name that quote!)
I share this story with you this morning to let you in on one of my little fears - spiders, and really all bugs/insects/things that crawl (yes, including babies).
So the question today: what's your fear? Are you arachnophobic, hydrophobic, germaphobic, chaetophobic, homophobic, lygophobic? (Thanks Phobia List!)
Me: arachophobic (as already stated), eremophobic (fear of being alone or of lonliness), Logizomechanophobia (fear of computers, but in my case, we'll just say robots).
If you know me, you know I'm scared to death of making decisions. Even the smallest of decisions are fraught with worry and dismay - where to eat for dinner, what to wear to church, what to do for the next five minutes. It's ridiculous, I tell ya.
But I've made a big decision. And God has been so good to continue guarding my heart and mind in this.
(If you're able, imagine a jumping up and down/dancing like a fool Sarah right about now...cause that's how I feel.)
Seminary has been a long process, but I'm so excited to start something new, to be working for something, to have a goal, a purpose. And I get to do it close to home.
Thanks God. For keeping my spirit in tune with Yours. For guarding my heart and mind in Christ. For opening new doors. For closing doors that didn't line up with what You wanted for me. For putting people in my life to support and encourage. For opportunities. For growth. For Your unfailing faithfulness. Thanks.
It's true. I know that hymns don't jive with being relevant in our postmodern world, but I just can't help myself. Bulwarks and Ebenezers and being washed in the blood of the Lamb...it moves me. My world could live in the Southern Baptist Hymnal (from 1994). And I won't even begin to discuss how I feel about Maranatha music! ;)
The second part to my little confession is that I don't really care for much of the new praise and worship music coming out right now (except for Chris Tomlin's new song "Jesus Messiah" - I LOVE that!). The problem is that I compare them lyrically and melodically and theologically. I'm trying to be better, but sometimes I just get "whelmed" in the music.
So here's the question:
Are you old-school or new-school? Do you love the "golden oldies" caught in that musty smell of the hand-held hymnal? Or are you excited to read your words on PowerPoint, slammin' with Chris Tomlin and Crowder and Darlene Zscheck and the Hillsong gang? If you love hymns, what's your favorite?
Well, kids, we're at the half-way mark for the football season. And I've been more than slightly disappointed in some of my teams and more than gloriously delirious in others.
So without further ado, here are Sarah's Top Teams' Rankings:
* Mizzou Tigers: Currently #12th in the BCS and the AP, with a 8-2 record. Yeah, that's right. And in two weeks: going against the KU Jayhawks. I forsee good things. =)
* Seattle Seahawks: This has been a DISGRACEFUL season for us. I don't even want to say what their record is. But I will. 2-7. Poor Mike Holmgren; it's his last year and his team is sucking up football. Sadly, though, because of our standings in our division, we're STILL not in last place, even with such a pitiful season trailing us. Pansy football players.... this is worse than high school. And yet, I still hope....
* Luckily, my back-up team, the TENNESSEE TITANS! are rockin' the NFL right now. Currently in 1st place with a 9-0 record, I think this is the Titans year, baby. And just so you all know, I'm not a "fairweather" Seattle fan, I'm just keepin' the love in the family. (Cause we're from TN.)
Oh you oddly-shaped piece of stuffed pigskin; how you make my heart happy.
Apparently, it's a requirement to talk about the elections.
I'm a rebel.
So I'm going to talk about my new idea for a bed.
Since I've moved home, I've been in a twin. And it's miserable. Sure, I'm grateful to have a bed and I know I shouldn't complain, but when you had a bigger bed before, it's hard to revert. But, I've found something interesting on this here interweb: hammocks.
Yes, I think hammocks are my new sleeping future. Apparently, they are good for chronic back pain (which I have) and they are super comfy (which I love) AND they can hold more than me (which isn't an issue now, but M'Shallah, it will be one day).
Therefore I give you what I think the future of Sarah's slumber will be:
Oh yes - it's a Mayan sleeping hammock. Colorful, apparently comfy and not an altogether bad price.
Am I crazy? It's possible. But I'm all about new ideas and fun times. =)
As promised here are the pictures from Halloween, plus some. =)
Me and my mazzah. She was a pumpkin that was still attached to the ground.
When I was in college, I decided that I wanted to marry someone whose last name was "Yode" so I could be "Sarah Yode", which is funny because a sereyodh in Hebrew is a vowel pattern (long e, y) signifying a genitive construct, usually in form of a possession.
Well, I can be that cool without getting married. =)
Yeah, that's right.
Some good times from a HS soccer game and the corn maze. Woot.