Sunday, September 27, 2009

because being terribly happy is a terribly good thing.

so recently a friend of mine, inspired by someone else, encouraged me to write a list of things that make me terribly happy. she said to write 10 things, i wrote 12...and the more i think of things that make me terribly happy, the more that i want to add. for now, i will leave the 12... go ahead, and do one of the things that make me terribly happy ;) and i encourage you to look at your life and think of the things that make you terribly happy and share them with someone. heck, share them with me.

12 things that make me terribly happy:
{in no particular order}

[1] Baking cookies, brownies and cakes just so i can eat the batter
[2] Wearing white v-necks (and decorating them when i get bored)
[3] Deep conversations with new and old friends
[4] Sticking it to "the man"
[5] Snail mail! most definitely!
[6] Sewing leather and taking polaroids
[7] Dancing to the beat of my own drum. (figuratively & literally)
[8] The feeling you get when you've accomplished something on your bucket list
[9] Simple living
[10] Hugs
[11] Seeing people who are amazing and content with being single
[12] Seeing the expression on someone's face when they realized they are loved for the first time
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Sunday, September 20, 2009

and the list goes on.

and we continue...

Friday, September 18th.
Name: MOM
Why: If I tried to list every single reason my mom deserves the unsung hero, there would not be enough room on this page. But for the reason that she deserved it today, there is enough room. I decided on Thursday, that on Friday i would pay my mom a visit. Upon my arrival Friday evening, it was dinner time. What had she prepared (and the reason she gets the award today)? Steak: she has been telling me about this for a while how she makes this great seasoned steak and that i must try it. Potatoes: any one who knows me probably knows that potatotes are hands-down, my favorite vegetable. i don't believe there is a way that you could prepare them and i wouldnt like it. Squash: also love, love. fried squash has always been a treat my mom and i enjoy together. though not fried this time, they were super delicious. Pineapple and Cottage Cheese: an always enjoyable snack by yours truly. Pumpkin: since my return from Africa, i have been telling my mom about baking a pumpkin and that she needed to try it and its great taste. and so for the first time, she gave it a shot. The reason my mom receives the award is not simply for the home-cooked meal which would be well worth a prize. She receives it, because of the thought behind it. It feels great to have those people in your life who know what you like, and don't have to ask what they should make and/or do, because they already know.
(Note: if you would like to have the joy of cooking me a home-cooked meal, go ahead and feel free and contact me and i'll let you know when a good time is.)

Saturday, September 19th
Name: Construction Workers
Why: Bless them, and their taking of a day off. Friday I was delayed 30+ minutes on my way to see my mother, because of the need to take traffic down to one lane on two occasions. So on my return on Saturday, I alloted more than enough time for a bump or two (or a thousand contrustion cones) in the road. And to my suprise there weren't any. Praise the Lord!

Sunday, September 20th
Name: The Little Kids Who Dance at Church.
Why: There are a handful or two of children who dance during worship at the church I attend. Their dancing is not choreographed or rehearsed. When I seeing these kids dancing, it brings joy to my heart. And I recall Scriptures from the Bible that we should have childlike faith, and I think this is just one great picture of what that looks like.
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

unsung hero

So i had this idea a couple of weeks ago and have been meaning to put it into action on here, but it has just continually slipped my mind, so i am starting it now.

unsung hero: a person who makes a substantive yet unrecognized contribution; a person whose bravery is unknown or unacknowledged.

I am going to be identifying unsung heroes in my life on a daily basis. I think some times in life it is easy to become cynical and believe that there is no one out there who is good anymore. At the end of the day a lot of times, we look back and look at the annoying moments or the stressful ones, or "I can't believe they did that" moments. I am going to begin to look at the glass as being half full. I hope this unsung hero part of the blog restores my hope in the goodness of humanity, I hope this blog restores your hope in the goodness of humanity. So each day (or every other day, or third day, or once a week) I will post who was my unsung hero for the day (or the past days i missed, if I skip some days). I will also tag them in an unsung hero category so if you are interested in nothing but that you can click on the label and thats all you will have to look at.

Beginning yesterday:

Wednesday, September 16:
Chase, fellow classmate in Substance Abuse Studies
Why did he get the award: This class of mine ends at 7:15 pm on Wednesady nights, by the time I walk home, it is my 6th time to make the journey in one day. This past Wednesday it was raining. And soon it began pouring. I saw him on the sidewalk and hollered " hey, can you give me a ride home?" He responded "sure" and we began walking/jogging to the car. So much for riding with strangers, right? (he didnt seem that strange.) So he gets the first official unsung hero award for his lending of a hand (car ride) to a fellow college student.

Thursday, September 17:
Name: Keri, owner of Mister Rabbit
Why: A new shop, Mister Rabbit 'a wonderland of one-of-a-kind finds', opened about three weeks ago. My roommate and I checked it out today. It was a very neat store! From the minute we walked in, we were greeted warmly and Keri told us a little about the store. As we continued to shop, Keri again came and talked to us. We just chit-chatted a little, talked about life. I liked this. I like people being personable. Not only do I think she deserves it for her great human interaction with her customers, but I also chose her because she had the guts to start the business in the first place. I like to see people take risks for something that they love. You should go visit this store sometime. She deserves your business.
Check it out:

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Hi my name is Shaila, I'm an alcoholic.

[disclaimer: in case, you just read the title and the first line of the blog and don't finish it. to set the record straight: i am NOT an alcoholic.]

So this semester, as a sociology elective, I am taking an intro to substance abuse studies classs. One assignment we had was to go to an AA (alcoholics anonymous) meeting. It was due yesterday, Wednesday evening, so of course I waited until Tuesday night to attend a meeting.

I was a little anxious about going to the meeting in the first place. My dear friend Ryan agreed on going to the meeting with me. The meeting began at 10pm, and was located at Penn and Britton. Before entering the meeting, Ryan mentioned that immediately after we walked into the room , I should let them know that we are students and we are just doing this for a class. So, we walked in and quickly found our seats. There were about 3 people in the room upon our entering, and no one came up to us and introduced themselves, so we just remained seated silently.

By the beginning of the meeting, about 35 other people had joined those of us in the room, of all ages and all walks of life. Shortly after the meeting began, they asked if anyone was there for the first time, or was visiting from another club. We remained silence in hope that we would should blend in and remain anonymous. So after about to introductions of newbies, he said 'alright, now we'll go around the room.' Beginning with the first person to his left, 'I'm _____, alcoholic.' and then continueing from person to person with the same introduction. I whispered to Ryan that we should just say we are students; he said that he was just going to go with the flow. And i followed suit as well, saying aloud, "I'm Shaila, alcoholic."

I immediately felt guilty for lying to the group, but hoped I wouldnt be found out. The title of this meeting was "There is a Solution." Therefore, the chairman began then followed by other members, would state what their solution has been to staying sober and their darkest moment when they realized they had a problem and needed to change something. Story after story, each member continued to share their heart. After quite a few stories had been shared, they then presented those who had sobriety birthdays. Then we continued on with more solutions. Then the inevitable happened, the chairman asked "Is it..Shaila?" I knew that this moment would come, I could feel it in my gut. Luckily, I had already ran this scenario in my head about ten times in the past 30 minutes. So i began,

"I'm Shaila, and I'm actually a student at the University of Central Oklahoma. I'm taking a Substance Abuse Studies class and I am required to come to this meeting..."

As I continue with what I said, I want to pause here and say this to any one who is struggling with alcoholism, or any other addiction, that just as I said this to the people in the room that night, I say this to you as well:

I continued..."I want to thank you for your vulnerability and for your honesty and for sharing your story. I think for me and for those of us who know people personally that are self-identified and unidentified alcoholics or people struggling with addictions, that it offers hope. It tells us that people can and do change. Being here with you guys, I can sense the community. You guys are not walking along the road to soberity by yourselves, but are walking together. Thank you for that, thanks for being there for each other and for others and for offering hope. Thanks."

And then my turn was over. The meeting continued on for a few more stories and a while longer. And then we, along with those at the meeting, walked out the door and walked back into our lives and our routines. The meeting was good. Honesty feels really great. Being vulnerable and being with people who let themselves be vulnerable feels great. And if you don't know that feeling or haven't felt it in a while, I encourage you to give it a chance. You won't regret it.
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Friday, September 4, 2009

[no name]

So i went to breakfast this past week on a Tuesday, and i met a lady. I sat down with this lady after the serving of the meal was over, and most people had wandered back onto the streets. When i sat down with her, i could immediately tell she was standoffish, but i prayerfully continued to sit anyways. I asked her what her name was and she replied "no name." I just kind of sat there and nodded and she said "yeah, no name, that's what they call me.'' And i replied, "I'm Shaila, it's very nice to meet you."

After a few more exchanging of words, i left this conversation with an acheing heart. Why was she called no name? Who are they that call her this? Why do they call her this?

I hope [no name] feels loved. This is the letter i would like to give [no name] if i got the chance.

Dear [no name],

The Lord has not forgotten about you. He loves you more than you will ever be able to comprehend. His love is unconditional and there is nowhere you can run where it will not reach. He knows the number of hairs on your head and He will call you by name. His grace is enough for you. He's waiting this very moment for you.

Please pray for [no name] tonight. We can call her [Loved]. Please pray for [Loved] tonight.
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Tuesday, September 1, 2009


You're the God of this City
You're the King of these people
You're the Lord of this nation
You are

You're the Light in this darkness
You're the Hope to the hopeless
You're the Peace to the restless
You are

There is no one like our God
There is no one like our God

For greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City
Greater thing have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City

There is no one like our God

There is no one like our God

For greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City
Greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done here

There is no one like our god
There is no one like our God

Greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City
Greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done here

The Lord is amazing. This song "God of this city" has resounded in my head since this past spring, and I firmly, believe in the words that are sang. We cannot even phathom the plans that He has in store for our lives, if He were to mention them to us now, we wouldnt even believe them.

The Soverignty of God never ceases to amaze me. I recently met some people who are already doing some work among the homeless of downtown okc. It was a blessing to meet them, because I feel as though it is an answer to prayer that I have had for so long. It's also neat as to how we met, from one friend i met recently to another and then to another. I firmly believe that because of an act of obedience, the Lord opens up more paths for us to be obedient on. If we are obedient now, obedient in the small things, it will make it easier for us to be obedient in the future, in the bigger things. We serve a faithful, soverign God.

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