Saturday, February 28, 2009

On Fear

Boo! Scared ya, didn't I? If only fear was really that easy. Our responses to the spider in the shower, to the word "dentist," to commitment, or to success or failure uncovers our fears. Fear is one of those fundamental realities to life. It's a requirement; as long as your heart is beating, you're fearing something. Several weeks ago I discovered the following poem:

Don't look, you might see.
Don't listen, you might hear.
Don't think, you might learn.
Don't make a decision, you might be wrong.
Don't walk, you might stumble.
Don't run, you might fall.
Don't live, you might die.

I don't know who wrote it, but it's brilliant, and it leaves a little sting. Dealing with fear could be the parallel of living. Notice we don't conquer it, we redirect it. Most of us don't live with extreme fears, but you may discover more than you thought if you look again. I really started thinking about this topic a few weeks ago when I decided to start an organizing business. I am passionate about the idea, love where it could go, and can actually see it working. I'm taking little steps -- itty-bitty steps -- toward accomplishing the first goals. I was confident until I met my first potential client, then it hit me: what if I can't do it? What if I don't have the answers she needs? I've raced to the porch but hesitated at the front step, skeptical about turning the knob on the door. Am I afraid of success? Or am I afraid of failure? What if I'm afraid of both? Let's call the whole thing off.
... On second thought, I'm going to choose to put one foot in front of the other, to walk up those steps, turn the knob and walk through the door. As I've said, everyone is afraid, but not everyone deals with it. I would like to deal with it. I am going to create a plan of action for this next week, including phone calls to make, projects to complete, a business name to register, and the list goes on. The point is that I'm going to do it.

I've boiled this particular fear of failure down to two options. One, I'm afraid of failing in front of other people. Two, I'm afraid of failing in front of myself. It is humiliating and discouraging to put everything you are into something only to have it not work out.

Fear can barricade us from love; we don't want our hearts broken again. It can turn us into Mr. and Ms. Desperate, biting at every lure sparkling with potential interest. It can control our weight, our time, our money, our possessions, and our goals. Every time we give in to it, we add another bar to our cage.

I think about all the opportunities I've missed because I was too afraid to try. Imagine what our lives would look like if we redirected our fears into something that gave us power to do anything in our hearts! The most effective solution I can think of is this: fear God and fear no other. If I feared God more than I feared other people and more than I feared myself, I wouldn't fear failure. I would press on, down whatever path God led me, confident that He would open and close doors as needed.

The opposite of fear is freedom, which is precisely what we have in Jesus, our Redeemer. We are loved and forgiven completely and taken care of down to the last detail. That means we don't have to worry so much about ourselves! We are free to love and forgive in the same way we have been loved and forgiven, for there is an endless supply of it! You can't out-love the love Another has for you. Fear Him. Allow Him to govern the path of your life, and enjoy the view. I often step back and remind myself to chill out. I need to channel my fear to the place it will do good, not harm. I must conclude with Ephesians 3:14-21 because it is so powerful and so freeing:

14For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Now go deliver that speech, or jump out of that plane, or introduce yourself, or kill that spider. You've been given strength and freedom, because of who you fear.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Journeying On

Taken from The Valley of Vision
"Journeying On"

Lord of the Cloud and Fire,

I am a stranger, with a stranger's indifference;
My hands hold a pilgrim's staff,
My march is Zionward,
My eyes are toward the coming of the Lord,
My heart is in thy hands without reserve.
Thou hast created it,
redeemed it,
renewed it,
captured it,
conquered it.
Keep from it every opposing foe,
crush in it every rebel lust,
mortify every treacherous passion,
annihilate every earthborn desire.
All faculties of my being vibrate to thy touch;
I love thee with soul, mind, body, strength,
might, spirit, affection, will,
desire, intellect, understanding.
Thou art the very perfection of all perfections;
All intellect is derived from thee;
My scanty rivulets flow from thy unfathomable fountain.
Compared with thee the sun is darkness,
all beauty deformity,
all wisdom folly,
the best goodness faulty.
Thou art worthy of an adoration greater than
my dull heart can yield;
Invigorate my love that it may rise worthily to thee,
tightly entwine itself round thee,
be allured by thee.
Then shall my walk be endless praise.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Doing my part

As the "going green" fad gains speed, I find it difficult to keep up. I think the planet is a great place, I just don't know how much we can honestly do to stop whatever crisis threatens the horizon. But, I'm all for recycling, carpooling, candles instead of lightbulbs... and growing plants indoors.

One of my new year's resolutions was to buy a plant and watch it grow, which essentially means it remains alive. The resolution was actually to keep it alive, because I have an embarrassing track record. Most living things I take care of end up dying, and far sooner than they're supposed to. Maybe this is why I'm afraid of having children. :) Last year I had a beautiful orchid that died within three weeks. The only plant that's still alive is under the care of my mother. But I'm determined. It's not that I don't take care of them, I really do. I put them in pretty pots, make sure I read the instructions and put them in the right light and water when I'm supposed to. I don't have a green thumb. That's the bottom line. I've decided to give it another try.

This one isn't exactly what I wanted for the space it's in, and it needs a pot, but it will do just fine. All the different colors keep it interesting. Colors: this means it's not brown! Only a few leaves have fallen off so far, but I think that's normal...

I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Spectacular Place

This is one of those nights I wish I lived outside. I ran with the downtown running club tonight and parked far away because it was so nice out. The windows were down on the drive home. The route from downtown to my house is mostly a ridge, with valleys on both sides and the Rocky Mountains to the left. The first stars winked above the mountains, and the breeze was just right: not too warm, not too cold, not too soft, not too hard. Those of you who like variety chose the right planet. No two minutes are the same, and if you're observant, every time you open your eyes you'll see something you never saw before. Bring your travel mindset with you tomorrow on your daily routine. It will turn bland tedium into spicy adventure.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

10 a day

Yo. Been thinking a lot and that last post is what happened. Thankfully all my thoughts have not been that severe. Today I serve a lighter fare.
Life is fantastically good. Every day is filled with a new sense of hope and purpose as a greater piece of me is taken up in adoration. I'm writing this because this is new -- up until a few months ago the opposite was true. Two weeks ago I embarked a new Bible-reading plan. I know, a plan...yikes. But relax, this one is quite different, and has me begging for more. I read ten chapters a day: one chapter from ten different sections. Today I read from Genesis, Joshua, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Isaiah, Matthew, Acts, Romans, and 1 Timothy. My awareness of God in the world has decupled. He has accomplished mind-boggling things, and all because ordinary people had faith. Two blind men asked Jesus to heal them, and He asked them if they really believed He could. They said yes, and Jesus told them it would be done according to the measure of their faith. According to the measure of their faith! What is the measure of my faith when I ask for things? Sometimes I wonder if I were one of those men, maybe only one eye would've opened half-way if part of the bargain was that I have 100% faith in this Healer. He IS capable, wait -- more than capable. I believe supernatural things would happen if we asked for them...and then believed they would. For example, a moral about-face in America (had to say it). That seemingly impossible [fill in the blank] would somehow be possible, and not because of anything you or I did (apart from whole-hearted belief).
Look at the time: time to walk the dogs. Be back later, buenas noches.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

History Repeats Itself

Once upon a time, there was a land where people were made of valor and strength. They fought for noble causes that triumphed for the greater good. Depth of character and a strong sense of morality guided them. Those few that didn't acknowledge God at least understood the concept of authority and morality.
People still fight for causes that are said to be for the greater good, but the very idea of "good" has flipped inside-out. Good is determined by a feeling produced in an isolated moment. If you want to do something and you will get brief or prolonged satisfaction from doing it, it's good! Life has been reduced to whatever we want to do at any given time. It's good to allow children to eat whenever and whatever they want and end up 400 pounds at eight years old. Oops, at least they're happy. It's good to dismiss the majority of misbehavior and irresponsibility as a medical condition that can only be subdued with medication. It's good to abort your baby, especially if it will free you up to research new methods on how to save the planet.
Nonsense is the new common sense. Let me give you a heartbreaking example. A young mother, unable to care for her new baby girl, gave her to a gracious family member who agreed to care for the child. The new parents fell in love with their new little treasure, giving her stability, attention, and a proper home. Almost a year later, her mother came back for the baby and said she'd changed her mind. She'd recently married a former registered sex offender of children and wanted her baby back. The court ruled that the mother was the rightful caretaker of the girl, despite the drastic drop in the quality of the child's daily environment. Not to mention she would now be living with a former child sex offender. Of course the "adopted" parents are devastated, although not for themselves. They love the girl, and are devastated at the thought of her in this new life.
I can't comment much on the political scene, as President Obama still has time to show the world what he's made of, and to bring this Hope and Change that he so boldly prclaimed. There is a growing sense of uneasiness in my mind as I watch things unfold. I've never known more corruption in the government nor in the business world. It's strange. When I watch the news, I feel like I'm back in history class watching old videos of corrupt governments and societies that crumbled on their own or were defeated by countries like America (pre-moral-downturn). But here we are in present-day America, and I'm unsettled by it. Clear thinkers -- and I don't claim to be one of them, although I try -- are a rare find. The standards have been severely lowered on all accounts, and it's frightening. When everything seems backwards, I have to ask myself if I'm the one that's backwards. The reason I don't think so is this: we live in the land of nearly the greatest amount of information and education. We know history, and we know the saying "history repeats itself." My dear America, take note. History repeats itself, and we are no exception.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Love, Sweet Love

Saturday was February 14, Valentine's Day, Love Day, SAD (Singles Awareness Day), or whatever you clever people want to call it. Every year, I break my personal record of consecutive years in a row without a valentine! This year was 23. Beat it. :) Really, I'm not one of those cry-babies about it, especially not this year. There was plenty of love to go around. My older brother got engaged!! I am so ecstatic about it that sometimes a tear sneaks out.

He and his beloved dated in college, split for a couple years, and in April were both in a friend's wedding party where the old flame was rekindled. She lives in Seattle, he lives in Atlanta. I don't know that you could get any farther away from each other, but they made it work, and very well. Weekend trips across the country, skype, and long phone calls made it bearable. Matthew flew up to Seattle last Thursday night to surprise her. He was at her family's home when she arrived there after work on Friday. He called her cell phone as she was walking in the door -- she screened the call -- and went straight to the kitchen (where he was) and yelped when she saw him. They went to dinner and then for a walk on the beach, where he read her a letter he had written her (*sigh*). He got down on his knee and asked her to marry him, and she said yes!

I couldn't hope for anything better for him. She is wonderful, just like her family.

Valentine's Day has even more history with the Forbes family. Grandma and Grandpa Forbes were married on Valentine's Day, and my parents met on a blind date on Valentine's Day. Dad's face was covered with beard, but Mom loved the fact that he had thought-out convictions. She could tell he was strong and had deep-rooted spirit. Dad still remembers what she wore that night.

Aaah, love. We're fools for it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Here I sit, under the covers, hair on top of my head in something resembling a top-knot, glasses on, trying to force ideas. It's not working, so I'll open a small window to my brain (which may explain why I can't write tonight).

I've decided to become a professional organizer. Because I'm still "in the blocks" as it were, I'm devouring as much information as I can possibly swallow. I'm reading books on running a business, and far too many books on organizing. I have a confession: I had a dream about organizing last night (laugh now). It's true. Either that's a really good thing because I love it and I'm on the right track, or I need to get out while there's still hope. I'm sticking with the dream. Every day, all day, I brainstorm. I'm ready to take action!

It may be cramping my writing ideas at the moment, but it will pass. It'll pass once the outlet for purging and sorting comes. And that's all I have tonight. Thanks for reading, bless your heart. I want this blog to be worth your time. Stay tuned...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Quotes on Love

There may be more quotes on here than original content, but I can't help it. Stumbled across these quotes and thought they may lift your soul a bit. They're beautiful. Thanks, Richard. :) Consider these an early valentine.

"A husband ought not to love his wife in word and tongue only, but in deed and truth, that if his heart were opened, her name might be found written there." -Richard Steele

"True love doth more study to better the object beloved, than to advantage the subject that loveth." -Richard Steele

Saturday, February 7, 2009

I Left my Heart in the City

Hot tea is part of my normal routine after work. I sit down on my bed to rest my feet and unwind. Tonight I had a little bowl of ice cream instead, just because. I wanted a few minutes of ice cream to sit and think... about the city. Today I missed it terribly. Not any one city in particular, just the city. Tonight I remembered experiences mostly from Los Angeles, New York, and Rome. Let my try to pinpoint what I find so enchanting.

New friends can be found everywhere you go. In the city you can talk to everyone or you can talk to no one, and get away with either. They have the highest concentration of talent and creativity, making for fantastic variety in music, restaurants and markets, boutiques, specialty shops, museums, and art galleries.

You can walk down the street with hundreds of people you don't know yet sense a bond with all of them, or you could feel completely alone. But when you walk down an empty street, you're just alone.

The city contains tremendous energy. Cars, buses, trains, airplanes, bicycles, people, even dogs are on a mission. Any time of day or night offers something.

So where do you go to get away from it all? That's easy: your rooftop garden. Or, more realistically, your backyard garden. Confession: the backyard in "Return to Me" is just about perfect. Confession: Meg Ryan's townhouse in "You've Got Mail" combined with that garden would be a little paradise.

Some favorite things about aforementioned cities:

Los Angeles
The view of city lights from the Getty Museum.
Aroma Cafe.
Mountains, sea, desert. All in one.
L.A. is the entire world on a micro-scale. Almost every culture is represented.
California architecture.
So many mini-cities to choose from: Pasadena, Burbank, Venice, Santa Monica, Westwood...

New York
I could stand on a corner, jaw dropped, for hours, taking it all in.
The subway.
People on street in winter = dark trench coat, iPod, looking down or straight ahead.
Central Park
Visitors (me) can't blend in, even when they really try.

Chocolate croissants and cappuccino
Early dinner reservations are 8pm. 9 or 10 is normal.
The sweet lady I stayed with and the amazing view of Rome from her window.

I've tried this before, and I can never quite express why I love it. It's like asking me why I like chocolate. It's just wonderful. Hopefully I'll return to the city one day, but until then, it's always in my heart.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

300 Voices

Please click on the link on the right of the blog: 300 Voices. This is a program that speaks for itself. I'll get the statistics for you later, but the group is trying to rally 300 people to commit to supporting the water project in Liberia for 2009. We're currently at 126.

This information is from charity:water, the parent organization ---

Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of all sickness and disease and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. charity: water is a non profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations. 100% of the money goes to direct project costs. With the help of exemplary organizations on the ground and individuals here, we can drill wells and provide people with this basic, essential need.

$20 gives one person clean water for 20 years.

It seems impossible that such an impact could be made with $20. Go to for full details. Look at the pictures of the water, before the well is installed and after. The water they drink before a well is built is water I wouldn't even want to step in. Think about Jesus and his comment to the woman at the well: "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water." What a priceless opportunity we have with these people. Think about it.

Monday, February 2, 2009


Last post today. Promise.

Fantastic quote:

"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all."
-Oscar Wilde

Hope that helps you get out of bed in the watch the sunrise. ;D, no, no

domino is my latest discovery...LOVE. I just subscribed and got my first issue in the mail this month. I go on their website today to browse, get some ideas, you know, the usual. On their home page they have the announcement that they're not going to publish anymore!!! Really? Really?!?! Now I have to search for an equally delightful mag. Finding one? Not likely. Send any recommendations my way.

Anxiety. No, Strength.

By no means am I a social commentator, but I would like to share some thoughts I had this morning about the current state of affairs.

Several days ago I received an email from a friend who lost his home and most of his possessions (including lots of music equipment) in the recent California fires. He suggested I read Matthew 6:19-34 as it had been a daily dose of strength to him since then. The words written there speak so clearly to the economic crisis! We are taken care of. We are sustained by the Almighty Creator. "What shall we eat? What shall we drink? What shall we wear? ...your heavenly Father knows that you need them all."

I'm almost done, but also read 2 Corinthians 5. Chapter 4 ends with this: "So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 5:1 -- For we know that if the tent, which is our earthly home, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."

This puts all (most) of my anxiety to rest. No matter how big the government gets...egh. We have a hope and a promise beyond this.

Fortune Cookie

This is what cookie told me:

Stop waiting! Buy that ticket. Take that special trip!

How did they know my soft spot?! Cruel.