Monday, January 26, 2009

Winds of Change

Well, it's official. I am moving to the land of cowboys, aligators, fresh citrus -- and the Rat.


The mixed emotions continue. I am excited about the opportunities. I am thankful to be supported by my mom and dad. I am frightened to take this next step. I know that it is the right decision. Yet, I'm so sad to leave some of my dearest friends. In fact, in some ways I am scared to leave them, because while I don't have the vast network of friends I am accustomed to building, the relationships are deep -- and have only deepened with the tragedy of the divorce. They have seen the uglies.

I officially quit my job today. I have a part-time job to keep me busy while I pack up. I am heading south around the middle of March. And, I hope to lose about 15 pounds in the process. The exact next step is in the works, but not official, so I will hold off on the details.

In the meantime, I'm happy not to be making 100 phone calls a day. And, I am thankful for God's financial protection and provision.

I will appreciate your continued prayers for the transition and healing process. As always, I am very blessed.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mixed emotions

Politics aside, I am enormously proud that this country could demonstrate how democracy can work with a peaceful exchange of power. I'm not naiive enough to think that there may have been "acting as if" moments on everyone's part. But, the fact that two diametrically opposed viewpoints and opinions could work together to pull off a well orchestrated inauguration day is powerful.

I am proud to be an American.

I am proud that this country has put an end to racial glass ceilings. I was moved by Jim Brown's interview on Fox News when he said, "there are no more excuses." I pray that those individuals (from both sides) who's words and actions may attempt to perpetuate racial divide will be silenced.

I was not proud of those who chose to boo the man -- and, thus, the office -- that has kept them safe for 8 years. But, the fact that we live in a country where dissenters can voice their opinion without retaliation gives me pause.

I am grateful for the military men and women who cheered the incoming President while voicing their heartfelt thanks for their former Commander in Chief.

I was impressed by Rick Warren's prayer which was inclusive but pointedly Christ-centered.

I am concerned about the future of issues like abortion, socialism, Palestinian-Israeli relations and an unbridled Senate. I keep hoping that Obama will lean to the center, but his first day does not give evidence of that.

In the midst of all of this is opportunity. Opportunity to grow in our faith. Opportunity for us to engage in the political system. Opportunity to articulate what we believe and become participants in the democratic process.

A painful 4 years seems inevitable, yet I have the audacity to hope that through the pain this country will wake up from a deep sleep and its people will reclaim responsibility for themselves.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hmmmmmmmm . . .

Have you ever Googled your name? I'm sure you have. I'm sure I have done the same for myself before. But, I don't remember googling my name and having so many weird Cheri Armstrongs out there. And, they write. But, not well. Not exactly Cheri Armstrongs I want to get confused with. But, then, if they could google this blog, then maybe they would feel the same about me.

I'm cleaning out my closets, again. I am so ready to be done with this phase!!! I seriously think it's about 300 bags of donated or tossed items. And, I still have a ways to go -- meaning, I'm about half done. How is that even possible? I guess, donating most of my TOO BIG CLOTHES in my closet, isn't such a bad thing! :) But, that accounts for 3 bags. In the last 18 months, there have been 297 bags of too much crap!

I'm sure there is a personal life parallel in there. In fact, I know there is. Just not something I feel like getting into. (The decluttering that never seems to be completed -- piling on more junk before I get my life cleaned out -- etc) But, that's not for tonight. Tonight is just random thoughts.

Lucky you. Reading weird random thoughts.

Here's a quote that I love. Comes from the most foul, off-color human being I've run into awhile, but that makes his comment even more poignant.

He says, "What motivates most people -- beyond money, beyond fear, beyond success -- is redemption."

Maybe God knew what he was doing.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Lessons I'm still learning.

I found this today. It was a journal entry I wrote my senior year at Taylor (circa 1994). I share this with you, because it is eerily true today. There are some lessons that we just have to keep getting better at -- and maybe never really fully grasp. Please read it with the understanding that I wasn't then -- or now -- depressed.

I was just pouring my heart out to the Lord telling him the details about my messy apartment -- and comparing it to how imperfect I am. (That hasn't changed, either!) And, I write, ". . . . Lord, You know I'm not perfect. You can see my entire life. Why am I so quick to point out to you my faults when you have already forgotten them? Why am I so quick to point out to you my desires and wants when you have already satisfied my needs? Lord, Jesus, sometimes I don't feel satisfied. Sometimes, I feel very empty and I know that I need you -- but I don't feel You or accept Your gifts to me. To be very honest, I'm having a hard time accepting Your will. I'm having a hard time giving my heart up to You. I'm scared of vulnerability."

Well, that sums it up, doesn't it? Sometimes, giving it all up is difficult, if not seemingly impossible. I just want to control that one part -- you know the one. The one that seems so hard to hand over to a perfect, all loving Father who only wants the best and has the power, foresight and compassion to give the best. Yep. That one. That's the one I want to store away and hold on to and control as I see fit -- at least until I mess it up so royally that I would prefer if God would just take over again -- and fix my mistakes.

I'm still that silly girl -- a little wiser perhaps -- but the resemblance is uncanny.

Thursday, January 1, 2009