What The Blog?!?

Hey, y'all!

So we can say, with great authority, that the world does go on without my bloggin' little self at the keyboard. That's the good news!

The other news is that I still don't really have time to do justice to blogging. For that, I repent in sackcloth and ashes. Or I would, if that wasn't a really complicated thing to do. ;o)

In the last week, I've driven over twenty-three hours (from Ohio to Texas, if you're stalker-curious) alone, stayed in a creepy hotel alone, started two psychology courses, finished one, gotten two fillings (my dentist probably hates me - I hardly ever get to this part of the country to see him!), sent roughly two billion text messages, consumed about ten gallons of coffee, loved on three precious nephews, and learned to play tennis - and I've won approximately zero times, if you're following the counting binge.

And among all of that, I really thought I was going to be able to throw out a blog post or two..

[okay, okay - I couldn't help it, though!]

But clearly, that was a false assumption on my part, and for that, I'm sorry, y'all - I've got all these rambling things to share, but not enough time to stop and share it!

As a peace offering, though, I want to share one of the highlights of my week:

Hanging out with these three little guys was a BLAST! I had a lot of stored-up cuddles [I haven't seen these kids in TOO LONG] so there was a lot of that going on.

I'm going to try to throw out a tweet here and there on twitter, so do keep an eye out for me zooming through, and I promise, I'll be back soon, okay?

Lots of blog loves, y'all! ;o)



It's Unfathomable!


Laughing. My. Toes. Off.

[slight exaggeration, but only slight!]


Am I There Yet?

"Come to me with your ears wide open.
Listen, and you will find life.

I will make an everlasting covenant with you.
I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David.

See how I used him to display my power among the peoples?
I made him a leader among the nations.

You also will command nations you do not know,
and peoples unknown to you will come running to obey,

because I, the L
ord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, have made you glorious.”
Isaiah 55:3-5

I'm not going to lie - I've been questioning God lately. A lot. I know, I know - I'm a mature, rooted Christian, and I should be faith-filled and positive about the unknown, but I've been pestering Him almost constantly with the 'whys' and 'whats' and 'hows' voiced by thousands of toddlers on a daily basis.

[Why yes - yes I do sometimes revert. 'Cause He's my Father, so I know He won't strike me down with lightning bolts. Which is more than I can say if I had His job.]

I've always, always had an intense burden to reach. I've had the incredible opportunity to work in various ministry capacities for more than half my life - I've been able to sing, teach, knock on doors, write, design, speak, organize, walk, fundraise, cook, and reach out with some incredibly anointed, devoted ministers of Jesus' love. It's humbling to think that God would entrust so many things to me.

With each new ministry comes a fresh desire for more, though. Just because I may have done something different than another isn't a valid reason to be called an expert.

[Although, if I'm offering my advice to you, feel free to consider me an expert opinion on everything, ok? Ok, not really..]

Ministry doesn't work that way. No one earns a gold belt emblazoned with awards like Ultimate Super Fantabulous Most Favored Of Jesus or even 'Ultimate Ministry Champion'. Levels aren't how it goes in servanthood. Ministry works in forward motion, not upward motion. We grow through our experiences and continue on the journey.

So I'm standing at the edge of another leap into the unknown, not sure where and how I'll be able to minister next. And I'm questioning Jesus. I'm tugging on His sleeve, asking why and how.

My heart's cry is to move people towards Him; by reaching, by giving, by living as an example of how He can take a broken vessel and fill it with His glory.

But my logical [heh!] brain sees my future shrouded in a thick fog, leaving only uncertainty about where my foot will land with the next steps I take.

So tonight, I revisited this scripture. I'd jotted it down recently and written 'calling/ministry/anointing' above it in block letters, but it wasn't an answer to a specific prayer then, it was just a beautiful promise in the waiting.

But today, it's my word from Him. When I cried out today, He responded with His promise.

I love that He brings David into the story, too. David. Really? The guy who committed adultery, killed his lover's husband, incited a war that involved thousands of people to cover his sin, and lied to the prophet.

Yep, that one.

But He was unfailing in His love to David. He used David to display His own glory throughout the land.

And He promises to pour out that same grace and purpose into us, His children. The kids who don't drive Him crazy, even when we ask [for the eleventy-hundredth time] 'are we there yet?!?'

'Just wait and see', He's saying. 'You'll understand it soon.'

So the questions? Yep, my little brain still has questions. But the trusting? I can't think of anyone better than Jesus to direct my steps, even if I can't see where they'll land.



Cash, Credit, Or Brain?

True story.

I saw this little gem at the Post Office near my job; it was taped to the back of the credit card pinpad so that it loomed over the screen with it's encouraging little note for the world.

Who loves funny vandalism? *raising hand*


If You Knew What Was New...

...You'd understand why I've been staring at this for a large portion of the evening.

I'm packing. And packing means that my shoes [aka my treasures, just so you know what we're dealing with here] are being folded into their little fabric shoe bags, complete with neatly scrawled labels.

'Cause I'm a label freak, y'all, and that's how label freaks roll.

So the packing thing, though? It actually has a purpose - after 9 months in Columbus, I'm heading back to Texas to finish my BA in Psychology. It's an incredibly bittersweet time, because there are many, many things here to treasure. I've made so many great friends, I have a pastor and pastor's wife that I trust and respect, a church that connects with Jesus every service on a higher level, and a great eyebrow lady.

As tough as it is to leave that, I'm excited, too. I'm thrilled that I'm going to be able to see my family and friends again. I'm going to meet Raiden [aka Sweet Baby Ray] for the first time, I'm going to be able to hug everyone I've missed seeing over the past 2 years, and I'm going to be able to complete a 6-year journey at my university that should have been completed in 4.

It wasn't an easy decision to make, and clearly, it won't be an easy decision to follow through with. But it was the decision I made after much, much prayer and thought and planning and trying and attempting.

So wish me luck with the packing, because those shoe bags you see are just the beginning... of the shoes! That doesn't include everything else I'll need to pack and shoehorn into my Honda.

Let the good times roll.



Hey, World!

...Looking for me?

No? Oh. Too bad, 'cause I missed you, anyway. ;o)

It looks like I've been a really bad blogger lately, but really, truly, I'm trying to not be bad at keeping up. I do have a few things I've been working on, and I JustCan'tWait to upload them.

But because that involves additional effort [y'know, typing and editing and clicking buttons and all] I'm somehow finding the energy [or lack thereof] to put it off.

I know. It's awful.

Here's what's been keeping me busy this weekend:

- I changed the blog look! I'm not sure how I feel about the current design, but the swirling, twirling 'journey' look needed a rest. I changed the blog name, too, but I'm not sure that 'hello, alohilana' is a keeper.

We shall behold [at some undefined future date, that is..]

- I produced three new graphic designs for the church I'm working with.

- I started yet another university course, which brings me up to three senior-level courses at the moment. [I had to throw in the 'senior level' so you can fully sympathize with me, here]

- I started sorting through my belongings in preparation for my big move. This is a bigger job than I thought; brilliant of me to note, hey?

I realized that somewhere around 2 AM last night, as I sat on the floor amidst a sea of papers and small objects.

- I did finish a post, but since I actually started the thought way back in June, it got tucked away behind previous posts. Because a bloggin' diva I ain't - yet. [Oh, yeah - it's 'On Rainbows and Puppies', if you're lookin' for it.]

- I bonded with some precious people over the holiday weekend; it will be the last time some of us spend time together for awhile, but I'm trying not to think about all that just yet, 'cause every time I think about the good stuff I'm leaving behind, I get a little choked up.

True story.

There is no perfect place to be. Honestly, every day here hasn't been great, or even decent. I'll never understand some of the things I've observed during this quirky little journey, but I am truly appreciative for the little joys, the smiles, and the new friends. Maybe it's not perfect, but it's a good place to be. ;o)

...And now you know the rest of the story. [cue Paul Harvey.]

More soon, but I'll stop here [before I get too sappy, 'cause that's just dangerous] and say that I truly hope you had an amazing Independence Day weekend, celebrating freedom and liberty with your nearest and dearest!



Oh, It's Definitely Good.

I may have discovered the most amazingly cool website ever today.

Yep, no lie. ChaCha is a free, online information portal; you can text any question and it will find the answer.

[Yes, I realize that Google and it's mobile child GoogleText have already swept the world, but roll with me, alright? ;o)]

Not only will it turn millions of ordinary people into conversational geniuses, it's inordinately spectacular because it's named after me - well, after the only name for me that my baby sister could spit out during her formative years. Oh, yeah. Since those times, I've been 'ChaCha' to my family and friends.

So I feel like I should be collecting royalties or fronting the band, here. Luckily for the world, I am doing neither of these things, but I just had to spread the love, anyway.

Happy texting! ;o)



Productivity Is Key.

Have you met my friend Wordle?

This little guy is a pretty ingenious way to [waste] devote precious time.

You'd better believe I did it. *grin* Twice, in fact. Because I love me some randomocity. ;o)

Here's a wordle word cloud of hola, alohilana:

And a random mishmash of words all about me, ripped straight from myspace ['cause I'm original like that, yo! ;o)]? That looks like this:

So what's your wordle, darlin'? ;o)

[props to Lewis for the link!]

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[the alohilana blog] by R. Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at alohilana.blogspot.com.