Sunday, May 31, 2009

"You been eatin' yo greens?"

Too much fun!!!
I have a great story to share with ya'll.

I've been hanging out with some of my amazing girls from the Eastside a lot over the past few weeks (they are my girls from the after school program, which I wrote about a few weeks ago and ranted about all this past semester). ... I went to pick up a few of the girls one day last week. And as I was standing outside their house, a guy (yep, he was black ... this tid bit will be good to know later) was walking across the street, and all of a sudden, I heard him say something. I turned around and smiled and said, "I'm sorry. Say that again." And he said, "You been eatin' yo greens?" ... I, being the non-ghetto, white girl that I am had no idea what he was talking about. So I gave him a funny look and kind of smiled. He said (again), "You been eatin' yo greens?" Then, when I still didn't get it, he said, "You don't even know what greens are, do ya?" I sheepishly said back, "Nooo." And he smiled and kept walkin' ... probably thinking "that stupid white girl" ... which made me laugh wondering what he must be thinking.

So .... later that night, the girls and I were at the park eating dinner. We got to talking about clothes somehow, and eventually, I mentioned my tough times finding clothes that fit ... I said "because I'm an in-between size," but the girls let me know that it's "because I have big hips." And then they continued to tell me I have a black woman's butt. .... Ha! .... If you haven't noticed, I've been extra blessed in my lower regions. ;) ..... Anyway ... we got to talkin' about the guy who asked me about my "greens" earlier in the night ... and the girls told me that "You been eatin' yo greens?" was this guy telling me that .... well, that I have a big butt. ..... The girls pretty much told me that he was checking me out. .... I asked 'em, "so that's a good thing, right? That's attractive?" And they said, "yeah," and we all laughed pretty hard.

Ha ha! This might've been the best thing that happened to me all week.
This story was just too good! I had to share it! ... And really, I just wanted to have a blog title which says "You been eatin' yo greens?" :D

I guess I need to marry a black guy ... 'cause they appreciate the greens. :D

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

God Glasses

Wow! .......
So I've been up and down the past few days.
Just been thinkin' about all the change that's happening around me and that's coming into my life.
Friends are getting engaged, getting married, having babies ...
Friends have lots going on in their lives, changes coming for them too ...
I'm graduating in 7 months and don't know what the heck I'm gonna do with my life ...
I've got these crazy desires, cool dreams, deep aches ...
Just a lot going on, ya know?

I've been kind of down about it, which is oober frustrating. (But that frustration is another blog post, perhaps.)
But I was reading my Bible today, grabbed Passion and Purity ... and then looked over at my "future husband journal." Yeah, I don't have a better name for it at the moment.
Sorry for you if you think writing to your future husband is cheesy. I think it's pretty much amazing. :)
I've had this journal since I was 14 years old. Shelley gave it to me and encouraged me to write letters to my future husband before I know who he is. :)
Over the years, I've written some pretty funny stuff. If I really do have a future husband out there somewhere, and if I really give him this journal, he'll get a kick out of me, for sure.
But anyways ... the Tangent Queen hasn't lost her touch! :D
I opened it and read the three most recent letters.
The first two were about some regrets I've had over the past couple of years.
But the last one (the most recent) was full of lessons learned ... and hope.

I was really down earlier today. My heart has been aching for quite some time.
But this letter! This letter that I wrote to my future husband!
It helped me see things through God's eyes again.
(I hate how easily I get my eyes off of Jesus ... and how easily my God glasses get fogged up!)
God's perspective is so much better. :)
And I want to share with you all a "snipet" from this letter ... 'cause it's amazing!
I was so blessed today to be reminded of the amazing lessons God has taught me over the past 6 months.
Why do I forget them so easily, daggonit?

Written on February 19, 2009
Wow! I just finished reading the last two letters to you. And holy cow! I'm really messing things up, huh? Ha ha! ;) I hate that I haven't been more careful with my heart over th past two years, but at the same time, I've learned amazing lessons. All the brokenness, all of the mistakes, all of the failed hopes and dreams have brought me back to contentment in Christ alone. It took me a long time! But God was, and still is, patient and faithful. Amazingly so! :) He stuck by me every moment. He taught me so much about surrender, about being content, about waiting. Surrender - I can never be completely whole or completely satisfied until I let go of my own desires and let God fill me with His, until I grab hold of God's purpose (even if I don't know it completely) and allow Him to conform my desires to His. Contentment - I cannot be completely content in anything or anyone but Christ. He is my life, and if I do not desire Him above all else, nothing will mean anything. True and complete fulfillment can only be found in knowing, loving, serving, and glorifying God, and enjoying Him forever. I've never experienced something more true. Waiting - God doesn't always tell us what's going on from the get-go. In fact, He rarely does. Life wouldn't be life. God doesn't always give us the answers that we want. In fact, He always gives us something way better, whether we know it or not. But in waiting, He expects us to trust Him and love Him and serve Him and seek Him and glorify Him with all that we are. We can't throw our hands up and quit just because things didn't go our way. God's way is amazingly better, and He will reveal it in His time, which is hardly ever our time (for good reasons!). Gotta keep trusting! So ... this letter is a lot better than the last two, huh? :) God never fails to take our sin (our selfishness, our impatience, our failures, ect.) and work it out for our good. Wow! I am so thankful for His grace and faithfulness.

Man, oh man. Good stuff! God was really working in my heart when I wrote that! I feel absolutely ridiculous that it's only been 3 months, and I'm already forgetting these lessons in surrender and contentment and waiting. God is so faithful!

And I noticed that I used the word "complete" lots of times throughout this letter. Makes me think of James 1:4 ... "so that you will be mature and COMPLETE, not lacking anything." Yeah! That's what trials ... and the lessons we learn through those trials do for us. They make us complete. God sees it. Why can't I? ...... I think I'll put my God glasses back on now. :)

Lord, make these lessons real to me once again. Help me walk day after day with Your eyes.
Be my all, Lord Jesus.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Favorite Family Ever: Big Brother #2

So it's my friend, Jason's, birthday today ... and he belongs to my "favorite family ever" posts ... so I'm gonna post about him! :D
I posted a long time ago about my big brother, Adam (Jason's cousin), and Jason's fiance, Melissa ... so now, it's Jason's turn. There are still a bunch of people in this family whom I have yet to write about, so stay tuned! I will write about all of them one of these days. :)

Hmm ... where to start with my friend, Jason?
I've known his family since I was a pretty little kid ... but I didn't start to really get to know him until my freshman year of high school. He and Adam were seniors in the youth group and didn't really get involved with youth group until a few months before they graduated. Shortly after Jason graduated from high school, he got involved with YWAM (Youth With A Mission). He went to a country called Azer Byzuan (and yes, wow! I butchered that spelling!). While he was there, I remember I wrote him a letter ... just to encourage him and let him know I was praying for him. He wrote me a couple of e-mails during his trip ... and we started really building a friendship. When he got back, I remember him saying something to the affect of ... "Mical, your letter was really amazing. It was so awesome to get mail I could actually touch and to be reminded that someone was praying for me." His thank you was an incredible gift to me. Since then, Jason and I have become good friends.

There's a running joke that he and the rest of the Cooks/Adamsons gang (my favorite family in the world) are considered the "B" team among my group of friends (Higher Ground folks taking the "A" team spot). In reality (and I think he knows this deep down), they are all the "A" team because they are all amazing friends. He just likes to give me a hard time.
Actually, Jason Michael Adamson giving Mical Lynn Masterson a hard time? That is the foundation of our friendship. And I love it that way. In his own way, it tells me that he cares about me. (Yeah, that's probably backwards ... but not with Jason.) :)

There's another running joke that he's a big jerk. He puts off the jerk vibe as a front sometimes ... but really? He's a genuine, fun-loving, committed, all-around great guy. :)

Actually, Jason is one of my favorite guys ever. :) He's like a second big brother in a lot of ways. He's definitely toward the top of my "godliest guys ever list," and I appreciate him way more than he knows. He's a guy who stands by his convictions and is committed to his walk with the Lord. He's really good at calling people out when they are out of line. And I mean that in a good way. If we're playing football and getting way too competitive (bad attitudes), he's usually the one who brings us back. ... He's part of the problem at times too. (;)) Who isn't? But he's good about calming us down. I remember this one time I got all worked up because Melissa was beating me on every cut (again), and I was getting really frustrated with myself ... letting out some "Mical frustration grunts" and the like .... I was leaned over, and I remember Jason coming over, patting me on the back, grabbing my head and putting his head on mine and saying, "Hey, it's alright. Don't worry about it." ..... It may seem like a small gesture. I'm sure he doesn't remember it a bit. But it was huge to me. I really look up to Jason. I think oober highly of him. And he's like a big brother to me. So for him to remind me to keep my head in that way was huge. Honestly, I don't think I'll ever forget it.

Jason's just a really great guy. I hope he knows how much I love and appreciate him ... on his birthday and everyday. :)

Stewin' about ... Chewin' on

These questions are in no particular order.
I got this post idea from the wonderful Judy Nilsen, and I'm gonna type 'em as I think of 'em. :)

~ Why doesn't God speak audibly?

~ Why does love make you ache sometimes?

~ Why is surrender the hardest lesson to learn when you know that you know that you know that you know ... that God's got it all taken care of?

~ Why can't I read books that I really enjoy? (No, I'm not a reader, but every once in a great while I find a book that I really like - like Passion and Purity, for example - and I can't get myself to read it consistently for my life!)

~ Why can't I sacrifice something as small as TIME for my Lord when He sacrificed His LIFE for me?

~ How do I treat this new girl who's in my brother's life? (Obviously, with kindness ... but I'm not too used to my brother being really stuck on someone ... what is happening?)

~ How can I disciple the girls on the Eastside?
What book of the Bible should we read first?

~ How involved can I get with my youth group, my kids on the Eastside, my church, my small groups, my school work, my .... ?
How do I know when it's time to say "I can't." ? ... "Those are enough commitments for now." ?

~ How do you know when God is saying "go for it!" and when He is saying "no." and when He is saying "wait." ?

~ Where is God calling me when I graduate in 7 months?
How will I know?

~ How do I know if I'm called to the kids of the Eastside?
How do I know when my heart that is seeking Christ is saying "yes!" but my heart has failed me more than once?

~ Why does God put desires in our hearts and then take them away?

~ How is God's grace so big that I have peace in the midst of these chaotic questions about my life? :)

~ How does God do it? --- He keeps putting a smile on my face. :)

PSALM 25:4-5

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Something Better ....

Whoa!  I'm posting a second time this week!  That is huge!!!!  It's been two days since my last post instead of 2 months!  Ha!  Aren't you all proud? ;)

Well, "The Greatest Passion of My Life" post was actually a tangent ... what's new?  I'm the Tangent Queen. :) ... I started writing, and the words kept going and going and going.  What I meant to write about is what I mentioned at the very end of my last post .... "the progress in my surrending/crying fits concerning my love life."  Ha!  Whatever.

I've been reading a book called Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot.  It's a tiny book ... I'm only half way through it.  And I've been reading it for several months now.  Yep, I'm a huge slacker when it comes to reading.  My Bible is the only book I read consistently.  At least I've got that going for me, huh? ;) .... Anyway (tangents - yes!!!) .... this book is amazing!  It's a tough read 'cause it's so full of "jump off the page and smack ya in the head" moments.  I was reading a chapter on Sunday morning while I was waiting for my mom to finish getting ready for church. .... I really remember nothing from the chapter but this small paragraph:

My heart was saying, "Lord, take away this longing, or give me that for which I long."  The Lord was answering, "I must teach you to long for something better."

Oh my gosh!  I lost it.  I was lying on my bed, and I remember saying .... "Really, Lord?  Are you really gonna throw that at me?" .... out loud to myself.  I kind of let out a chuckle.  But it was one of those quiet moments before the storm.  I laughed a little, and then I started sobbing!  I think those two little lines impacted me more than anything I've ever read.  God's word has done that to me a few times ... but other than that, those two lines were more powerful than anything, ever.

They were, and still are, so powerful because these two lines sum up my life over the past 9 months.  I've had huge things happen to me over the past year.  (I'll admit that they mean absolutely nothing in light of eternity ... but hey, they were still huge disappointments that have left scars on my heart.)  They totally turned my life upside down .... totally broke my heart .... and I will be honest and say that I still fight bitterness about them from time to time.  And I'll admit that I get upset with God about them sometimes.  I'm not upset with the people and situations surrounding the events.  But I do throw a bit of a fit at times when I'm talking to God about 'em ... or when they come up in conversation.  Yes, I still need to totally surrender these things ... I'm workin' on it.  But in the meantime, God doesn't mind that we disagree with Him ... I'm convinced of that.  So I have serious talks with Him from time to time, asking Him questions about why He allowed these things to happen ... about why He took away my greatest dreams. ..... And He calmly and quietly says, "My child, I must teach you to dream the dreams I have for you."

Man.  What a blow!  When I get all caught up in my OWN dreams, my OWN desires, my OWN, my OWN, my OWN .... it's bound to fall apart.  There was nothing wrong with the dreams I had ... they were good and godly things ... things I was convinced God put on my heart.  But I'm continuing to learn that I can't get too attached to my dreams.  Dream.  Yes, I should dream!  God wants us to live for Him, make plans to glorify Him (and live 'em out!) ... but He doesn't want us to get so caught up in what we're doing that we forget about Him ... or maybe we're not so much forgetting about Him but rather living in an attitude of "there is no other way but this one that I'm walking in."  God wants us to be ready and willing to do what He asks, the moment He asks it ... whether it's what WE had planned or what we thought HE had planned.  "Follow Me.  And the disciples immediately left their nets and followed Him." .... And I think God wants to teach us some things in the process.  Ha!  Let's take the "I think" out of there, shall we? ... God wants to teach us some things in the process.  He needs to break us of our own wills.  He wants our attitude to be one of "not my will, but yours, Lord."  And He wants us to REALLY MEAN IT! ... He wants our passions to be His passions.  He wants to see what we're gonna do when He allows trials into our lives.  When He says, "No." ... or "Wait."  He wants to grow us.  And ... I know, for me, the only way for God to grow me is for Him to break me.  Because I'm way too stubborn.  I'm way too selfish.

Whew.  Waiting is the toughest thing ever.  Having dreams taken away .... or perhaps put on hold for a while .... is difficult.  And difficult is an understatement.  But the lessons learned.  Oh ... the lessons learned! .... Growing hurts.  But the end result is so worth while.  I'm not even to the end of the growing process yet, and I'm already getting a glimpse of the result.  Our God is faithful.  Keep trusting in Him.  I know I am. :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Greatest Passion of My Life!!!

Ha! Did ya'll think I died again? .... I never post anymore. What a sad story. .... Life is amazingly busy for me right now ... more so than ever before! ... And only getting busier - 'cause I'm just too passionate about some things ... kids! People! ... And since people are everywhere, I overcommit myself like crazy!

I've been working at an after school program on the Eastside of Indianapolis through a church called Shepherd Community Center. My good friend, James, works there, and he asked for volunteers back in January. He said the word, "Kids," and I was doomed. ;) .... I am stinkin' in love with people between the ages of 6 and 16. I am more alive hanging out with them than with anyone! And the kids at this after school program have been the highlight of my life since I started helping out with the program back in January.

They are urban kids. From rough neighborhoods. Many from really messed up homes. Crimes taking place on their streets, on their front porches, in their homes. Drugs. Shootings. Thefts. Sexual abuse. Domestic abuse. Emotional abuse. Neglect. And the list goes on. .... I only know what my friend, James, tells me. I don't see it on a day to day basis like him; he lives on the Eastside. ... All I get to see are the kids - two days a week. And all I know is that I am completely in love with them. I've worked a little in urban kids' ministry over the years. When Wheeler Mission was still doing kids/youth programs, I helped out with a few day/3-day camps for 6 years. I did other, spuradic events through Wheeler as well. And I really enjoyed it! ..... But! But! Working with these kids at after school a couple days a week, on a much more regular basis has helped me love it even more! Heck. Love is not the right word. PASSION. Passionate is a much better word! I am flippin' passionate about these kids! ... I love them so much that I don't know what to do with myself!!! .... This is it! This is what I want to do with my life!

Have you ever found something like this? Have you ever found your passion and had so many ideas, such much desire to DO and to BE and LOVE that you didn't know what to do with yourself? .... Oh, man! I want to be apart of these kids' lives more than I've ever wanted anything! But how? How can I be more apart?

Opportunities are popping up everywhere! I just need to know which doors to run through. Because no, I won't be walking!!! I'm too excited for that! .... If ya'll think about it ... would you pray about this for me? .... I have some great opportunities heading my way ... but I need to know what GOD wants me to do; I need to know which doors to walk through (and at what speed ... maybe I can walk but not run through some ... and maybe I need to shut some doors). I'm continuing to seek the Lord about these things.

Ha! And to think I got on here to write about my progress/crying fits concerning surrendering my love life to Christ. I really am the tangent queen! ;) .... Well, didn't proofread this don't have time 'cause I'm off to be with my after school kids!!!! Ahh!!!! I'm so excited! ... Have a great day all!