Prayer

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‘Tis The Last Brakes of Summer

Published September 22, 2015 by Malia

It’s the last day of summer and I thought the perfect way to celebrate the end of a summer filled with car trouble would be to have my brakes completely go out.  Okay, they’re not completely gone…yet…  I’m sure in some parallel dimension they’re working absolutely perfectly, but this dimension saw me driving to work this morning, scared to death, wanting to cry every time I rolled through an intersection.   You never realize how many lights there are on your daily commute until you find yourself unable to stop and praying, “Lord, don’t let anyone hit me, and PLEASE don’t let me hit anyone.”  Let me just say, I am super thankful that I don’t work nights anymore.  Going to work in the early morning means minimal traffic to deal with. 

It’s hard to believe that the summer is at an end.  This year is just going by too fast.  I know when I was little I always found it funny when adults would talk about time going quickly, or something happening not long ago (15-30 years is apparently not long ago to old people).  Time passing quickly is one of the things I truly dislike about getting older. 

You know what else goes quickly the older you get?  The flavor in gum.  When I was little, I could chew a piece of gum for hours before it lost it’s taste.  Now, I’m lucky if the flavor lasts more than thirty minutes.  Is it just me, or is gum less high quality these days?  Plus, to get any decent bubble blowing done, you have to chew 4-5 pieces.  That’s just wrong.  And yes, I’m almost 31 and I still blow bubbles (soap and gum). 

So, good-bye summer.  Hello fall.

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This Is The Stuff News Reports Are Made Of

Published June 22, 2014 by Malia

So, last night (Friday) we had a bit of a gully washer here in Omaha.  I was at work, and as my shift progressed, I noticed the sky getting darker and darker until it was pitch black.  That’s about when the torrential downpour began.  By time time my shift had ended, the rain hadn’t let up, and the basement at my work had flooded.  I didn’t think much about this because it’s prone to flooding, as is our parking lot.  Before I left work, I checked the weather warnings, and all I found was that there was a flash flood warning for a county in Iowa.  Thinking I was safe, I decided to head home.

Now, have you ever seen those new videos where they show people, stranded in their cars, while the roads swell with flood waters?   I’ve always watched those videos kind of judgmentally.  I’m usually wondering what kind of idiot would go out in that weather in the first place.  Now I know, because it turns out I’m that kind of idiot.

Honestly, things weren’t going well from the minute I left work.  Like I said, the parking lot at work was flooded, but I’m so used to that I didn’t think anything of it.  However, when I got out on the road, I noticed that the water seemed to be a little higher than was comforting.  Plus, I kept having water go up the tailpipe and the van would fill with gas fumes.  Which, is apparently a not so good thing, and probably should have been a big sign to me that I was probably in trouble.

And at this point you’re thinking, “You did the smart thing, pulled over, and waited it out.  Right?”

Didn’t I mention before that I’m an idiot?

I did almost pull off at Village Inn near my work.  My thought was that I could just wait out the storm there, but then I began wondering what I would do if the storm didn’t let up anytime soon.  So, I pushed on for home.  Such a huge mistake.

Most of L Street was under some water.  There were actually multiple times that I found that the appearance of a road had completely disappeared.  When I saw cars stranded I went from worried to really scared.  I just began praying, “Jesus, just get me home.  Please just get me home.”  I didn’t make deal any deals with God, or anything like that.  I just asked to get home safely.  As soon as I could, I got off of L, and headed for Q Street, thinking that would be a better option.

Headed down hill on Q Street towards the intersection with 96th Street, I saw something I wasn’t at all prepared for.  The entire intersection was completely underwater.  Cars were stalled, and the rushing water was coming up to the hoods of large pickup trucks.  Fortunately, there was a parking lot on the hill that I could pull in to.  Sitting there, I felt trapped.  I knew I couldn’t go back to L Street, and clearly I couldn’t get through the intersection at the bottom of the hill.  It was late and dark and I was terrified and I was alone.  Because I’m a drama queen, I had a brief moment where my mind seriously darted to the thought of, “What if this is it?  What if I die here?”  I briefly considered contacting those people in my life that are most important and telling them how important they are to me, and how much I love and appreciate them.  Fortunately for them, no one received a phone call from a unnerved, terrified me, because as I sat there I decided to head back and try going a more roundabout way to get home, one that was likely to be less flooded.

Long, long story shorter, I did make it home.  It took me an hour, compared to the normal 15 minutes.  I did not make any embarrassing phone calls, or send any embarrassing texts.  Not that telling people you love them is embarrassing.  However I do believe you shouldn’t have to be wondering if you’re going to die in order to be prompted to let people know you truly care about them.

Also, I’m thankful that my stupidity didn’t actually end up on the news.

Pillow Talk

Published January 24, 2013 by Malia

My bed is cold.  Every.  Single.  Night.  My bed is lonely.  Every.  Single.  Night.  I’m surrounded by pillows, but you know what the problem with pillows is?  Pillows never ask you how your day was.  Pillows just lay there in various forms of flatness, and are silent.  In fact, if my pillows start talking, I’m pretty sure I have bigger problems than just having a cold, lonely bed.  My point is, on some levels being in my late 20’s and single truly has it’s downsides.

Now, don’t misunderstand me, I greatly enjoy some parts of being single.  I love that if I want to go hang with friends, I have no worries about if I have plans already, or if my friends will accept my boyfriend into our group.  I love that I can be pretty selfish when it comes to my money.  If I want to buy a book or movie or video game (although, I’m pretty sure most guys don’t care if their girls buy video games) and I have the money, it’s no big deal.

Overall, though, as the years pass and I remain single it tends to get more wearing.  I just want someone to share in this adventure of life with.

To this end I was having a conversation with two really close friends a few weeks ago, and one friend asked me if I had a list of what I was looking for.  I had a mental list, but afterwards, I realized that I’ve never written down that list before.  Then earlier this week, as I was praying that God would bring that special someone into a friend’s life, I realized that I’ve never actually prayed that God would bring someone into my life.  So, I immediately texted one of my 3 very bestest friends and asked her if she would pray with me about this.  I really don’t believe I was created to be alone.  I believe that I am alone right now, because there are lessons I am in the process of learning.  However, the desire to be married has yet to be removed (and crazy as it sounds, I’ve prayed it would be), so I’m changing up how I pray.  I rarely ask for help from anyone (even God), which is pretty wrong.  It’s not that I’m too proud, I’m kind of backwards. I don’t want to bug people or God with my needs or wants, because I feel they’re so paltry compared to people with real needs.

Anyway, since I’m not desiring my pillows to develop voices, and I’m not wanting to be known to my “niece” as the crazy cat lady, here’s my list of what I’m looking for:

1.  Not just a fan, but completely on fire for Jesus.

2.  Loves pets; sans bugs, snakes, and spiders.

3.  I don’t care if he’s a sports fan, but he needs to be okay with the fact that I am not, nor will I probably ever be a sports fan.  Also, if I do watch sports, I rarely cheer wildly.  However, I totally love the Olympics, and he will have no problem getting me to sit and watch those games.

4.  Enjoys musicals.

5.  Loves movies.  Going to the movies is something I really love doing, and I would hope that I’d be able to be with someone who not only enjoys the whole going to the theater experience, but is willing to make entertaining comments throughout.

6.  Loves British t.v. shows, especially all things “Who.”  I have always had a soft spot for things produced by the BBC.  Generally, they’re quite a bit better than most things on American television.

7.  Loves books.  Hmmm…maybe this should be a bit higher on my list.  Yeah, it probably belongs up there as number 3.

8.  Family relationships should be important.  I’m pretty much it when it comes to parent care on my side of the family, so he’s going to have to be okay with this, and willing to help me.  Also, it’s super important to me, despite my age, that he ask for my father’s permission to date/court/marry me.

9.  Wants to travel, visit museums, go to the zoo, see the world, and take pictures of all of it.  I admit I’m not a great photographer, but I really love to take pictures.  I want to be with someone who enjoys travel and photography as much as I do.

10.  Be okay with the kid thing.

Let me explain number 10.  (And yes, I’ve kind of talked about this before, and yes, it may be slightly graphic and uncomfortable to read.)

Last fall, when everything went really south, health-wise, I found myself sitting, facing a doctor who was trying to figure out how to deliver unpleasant news.  She had to tell me that it was highly unlikely that I would ever be able to have children.  To this day, I don’t envy doctors who have to tell women this.  Fortunately, for her, I didn’t go into hysterics or any of that sort of reaction.  In fact, I pretty much had already guessed.  I’d known for a long time that certain parts didn’t work right.  Parts that are required to carry a baby through a pregnancy.  Her telling me, just confirmed what I already suspected.  Now, I’ve never been wild about having kids, but I certainly thought having one might not be too bad.  I’m okay (mostly, but believe me there have been some intense discussions with mom and with God regarding the fact that there are 15 year old’s who sleep with everything and get knocked up, and yet I try to be a good kid, and not only do I have this whole nightmare weight situation, but I also have a body that doesn’t understand the basics of how to work right) with all of this, but recently I’ve found myself wondering if this will be a huge check-mark against me for guys.  It seems that a lot of guys, even good guys, are obsessed with the idea of producing babies.  I guess they need to know that their sperm can swim in order to feel like a “real” man.  I figure that if I there’s someone out there who can love me, knowing that I can’t have babies (unless a miracle takes place), then they truly love me, and don’t just view me as breeding stock.

11. Doesn’t take himself too seriously, or say mean-spirited things, thinking he’s being funny.

12.   Loves, respects, and treats me as a partner, not just someone who’s supposed to clean and cook.  In return, I guarantee that I will love, respect, honor, and be loyal.  I’m looking for a best friend.

And there you have it.  I know that we can’t always have what we want, but I figure it doesn’t hurt to be specific.

The Day After Yesterday

Published December 26, 2012 by Malia

Be warned, this is a super long post…at least for me….

Well, Christmas is pretty much winding down.  All in all, it was a good Christmas.  I had a bit of a meltdown mid-day Christmas, and ended up sleeping it off most of the afternoon.  I just suddenly really missed Grampa.  This was the first Christmas without him.  The whole day, while good, felt wibbly-wobbly.  I know he’s in a better place, and much happier because he actually feels good now.  I wouldn’t have wished continuing to be miserable on him.  The thing is, our immediate family is so small, and Grampa being gone just makes us an even smaller group.  It somehow emphasizes the fact that he’s gone.  It’s hard wrapping my head around that fact sometimes.

A few weeks ago I ended up watching the show Hoarders and it really got me to thinking about all the stuff I’ve got.  I’ve got a lot of stuff.  Really, much more stuff than anyone needs, and it’s just stuff.  Sure, I have a few things that are really important and meaningful to me, but overall, I’ve just got a lot of stuff.  I think the time has come to get rid of a lot of my stuff.  I’ll keep my books and movies, but there’s so much random crap that’s been living in boxes under my bed and I haven’t looked at it in over a year.  Clearly, I do not need it to function as a human being.

The thing is, going in the ditch in South Dakota a few weeks ago started tweaking my perspective on life and such.  I guess, I never really filled all of you in on what happened after I wrote my post about going in the ditch and then being rescued and spending the night in Brookings.  What happened following my writing of  my December 9th post was even more “exciting” than going in the ditch.

About an hour after I wrote the December 9th post, I went to bed, only to wake up about 3 hours later in a full blown panic attack.  I’d had a nightmare and all I remembered when I woke up was that I was driving, and the van was going off the road and all I could see was blinding whiteness.  My panic attack basically consisted of my realizing that not only could Katy and I have frozen to death, but the fact that neither the 9-1-1 dispatcher or sheriff’s dispatcher were willing to do anything (even offer a kind word) to ease our terror.  Basically, I felt that they had left us to die.  Trust me, that’s pretty much the worst, most scared I’ve ever felt for my life (and ironically, we were completely safe at the point this feeling kicked in).  I ended up calling my mom in the middle of the night, completely hysterical, wailing that, “9-1-1 left us to die!”  Once mom got me calmed down a little and we prayed, I ended up calling my “sister” and we talked some more and prayed, and I was finally able to get to the point of being able to go back and get some sleep.

Now, when we went in the ditch on 12/9 Katy’s mom had talked to a towing company in Brookings, and they had agreed to rescue my vehicle on Monday morning.  So, when Katy & I got rescued, I called 9-1-1 back and told them not to worry about moving the car, we’d made arrangements to get it in the morning.  The dispatcher told me that was fine and that she’d documented it.  I also left a big sign under the windshield on the driver’s side with my name and phone number.  Come Monday morning, Katy called the towing company, and they told us that there were about 6 cars they needed to get before getting to ours, but they’d give us a call when they needed the keys.  About an hour later we got a call from the towing company telling us that not only was the van no longer in the ditch, but the state troopers had my van towed during the night.  Katy’s phone connection was bad, so she only got that my car was somewhere in a nearby county.  I began calling counties, and each person I talked to was completely rude and unhelpful.  Finally, Katy called the towing company back and asked if they could give her more details about where my vehicle had been towed.  They told her that the van had been towed by Tiny Town Towing in Tiny Town, SD.  Immediately, I turned to Google maps because I had never heard of Tiny Town.  Tiny Town happens to be 40 miles southwest of Brookings (Perfectly logical place to tow it, right?  Since I crashed 10 miles south of Brookings…)

I called Tiny Town Towing, and proceeded to get told that not only was my vehicle there, but there would also be fees to get it back.  I asked repeatedly for specifics on the fees, and was told that it was $100 for getting the van out of the ditch, $3.50 per loaded mile for taking the van to Chester and also for taking the van from Tiny Town to Brookings, on top of which, I was told there would be fees for diesel fuel, service, and labor.  I could not get her to tell me what the last three fees would come out to.  So, I told her I would have to call her back.  I ended up calling home finally and telling mom and dad what was going on.  Dad told me he would call Tiny Town.  At that point I was an emotional wreck because I’d spent the better part of two hours talking to rude person after rude person.  Not only was I not being my normal sweet self on the phone, I was being a stern, direct, no-nonsense “I want answers” person.

A few minutes later I ended up getting a call from Sheriff who was the county sheriff responsible for towing my vehicle.  Our conversation went something like this:

S: May I speak with Milia?

Me: This is Malia.

S: Hi, Malia, this is Sheriff  from …. County.  How are you today?

Me: Hi, Sheriff, I’m pretty stressed.

S: Well, I just wanted to let you know your vehicle is at Tiny Town Towing.

Me: Yes, I know, I’ve been talking to them.  I don’t understand why my vehicle was towed without anyone letting me know that was happening.  Especially, since I had left my phone number and let 9-1-1 know we’d made arrangements to get the vehicle towed this morning.

S: Well, it’s protocol that we tow all the vehicles from the side of the road.  If it makes you feel any better, I didn’t call anyone who’s vehicles we towed.

Me: That does not make me feel better!  Did you even bother to look at my license plate?  It says I’m from Nebraska.  I don’t know where anything is up here, and now I find out that my car is in Tiny Town which is apparently 40 miles south of here.  I went off the road 10 miles from Brookings.  I do not understand why this happened especially when I made arrangements and no one bothered to contact me.

SW: Well, you can’t just have anyone with a pick-up and a towline come out and get your vehicle.  It has to be an actual tow company.

Me: I made arrangements with an actual tow company here in Brookings!

SW: Oh.  Well, I can talk to Tiny Town Towing and see if they can bring your vehicle up.  I was there when they pulled out your van and saw where they parked it.  Of course, there will be fees for all this.

Me: I have a grand total of $20, I have no idea how you expect me to pay for this.

Honestly, there wasn’t much after that, basically I told him that we were trying to figure things out.  He pretty much ended up the conversation there.  If Barney Fife and Boss Hogg had a love child, I’m pretty sure that child would be Sheriff W.

Anyway, by that point, I just collapsed and gave up.  Fortunately, shortly after that I got a call from dad and he’d worked things out with Tiny Town Towing.  Turned out they gave him a completely different quote.   The van got dropped off about an hour later.  My sign was still sitting where I left it, and the windshield had been cleared off, so it was apparent that the sign had been seen.

I guess mom and dad were on the phone back and forth with the South Dakota state patrol all Monday.  Every time the state patrol called back they would change their story.  They eventually tried to tell the parents that I was on the road illegally, because the interstate had closed at 1:07 p.m. and I was out on the road after that.  We easily disproved that by the fact that we had text message and phone log proof that we had gone in the ditch at 12:56.

Anyway, long story short, avoid South Dakota in the winter.

Getting back to my original point, the whole realizing that we could have died or at least gotten hospitalization level hypothermia has really been working on my whole thought process. I’ve started thinking about what I really believe and also what I want out of life.  Super heavy (apparently, something’s wrong with the earth’s gravitational pull in 2012).  So, I’ve started making a list of what I want to accomplish in life before I’m 30 (which happens 11/24/2014 at 2:35 a.m.).

1.  Actually finish writing my novel.  I’ve got a good first draft, and have started on the second draft.  It’s not a life changing novel, or anything, but at least it’s better than some pop tween fiction I’ve read.

2.  Lose weight.  Okay, this is an ongoing one, but I really want to be 100 lbs. lighter by the time I’m 30.  Which is totally do-able.

3.  Clean out useless crap from my room and/or life.

4.  Go on a date.  To this point I’ve been on one date in my entire life, and while it wasn’t a bad date I’d like to experience one where I don’t feel completely blindsided.  (It’s an entertaining story, and the guy was a nice, decent, good guy, just not the guy for me).  I would like to reach 30 having gone on more than one date.  It’s not a big deal, but it’d be nice.  Plus, I’ve got two really super cute date appropriate shirts now, so that should count for something.

On a different note, even though Christmas is over for the year, you should totally take 5 minutes of your life and watch the Penny & Teddy video I posted yesterday.  I have to say that making these videos gave me a whole new level of appreciation for professional puppeteers.  I thought doing the videos would be quick and easy, and I was shocked that in order to achieve 7 minutes of semi-okay footage we worked for about 5 hours and only stopped because the two diabetic performers (mom and I) hadn’t had lunch and we were both about ready to pass out.  Here’s the video I posted yesterday (yes, I realize that I’m harping on this, but I’m actually pretty proud of myself for actually finishing a project for once in my life, and that said project turned out fairly decent).

Okay, well, I’m all pau for tonight.

Aloha.

 

P.S. There’s no Tiny Town, SD, I just changed the town name.  Also, I was nice and didn’t share the sheriff’s name.  I should also mention, that I’ve always had a lot of respect for the law, and those who do that work, and overall it really saddened me to run into this situation.

Little Miracles

Published August 12, 2012 by Malia

Let me start this by saying that I’m not looking to get into any sort of religious or theological debate.  The point of this blog is to share what’s going on in my life, random thoughts I’m having, and things I’m entertained by.  I am a Christian, and so this post is about that.

These last few weeks since my Grampa died have been kind of hard.  Half of me has been questioning whether or not I’m really doing the right thing going back to ND to school.  500 miles is an expensive bit of a trip, and I can’t get home very quickly in case of family emergency.  The other half has been feeling that I finally see clearly what it is I’m supposed to do with my life.  The last three weeks I’ve been feeling really discouraged, and even kind of terrified of what this school year is going to entail.  I’m finally, FINALLY committing to a major, and for the first time I’m really starting to obsess over how I’m going to succeed.  I’ve not felt this way in ten years, it’s kind of refreshing.  Something else I’ve been discouraged about is the price of gas.  While it’s not in the $4/gallon range yet, it’s steadily creeping that direction.  I’ve been saving most of this summer, but I’ve really been feeling consumed with worry about whether or not I was going to have enough saved to have a cushion in case gas prices suddenly shoots up even higher.  I’ve had a specific amount I’ve had in my head, but I wasn’t really praying about it.  I realized late last week that while I’ll probably have almost enough, I’ll really be on the line of having enough, and there’s no way I’m going to be able to make enough to achieve what I’d like to have.  (I should note here, that I wasn’t able to actually get a legit summer job, so I’ve been doing some online data work that pays pennies, and while I did have one pet sitting job, the one I do every summer never materialized.  So, it’s been a challenge.)  Even though I’ve been fraught with worry, I’ve not mentioned it to anyone.  I’m not good at asking for help, or admitting that I may need it.  Especially, when I know how tough times are for everyone.

This morning, at the end of church service, there was a time of prayer for all the students and teachers heading back to school.  I was stubborn, and didn’t go up.  To my surprise, one of the ladies came over and prayed for me.  When prayer time was over, she told me that for the last three weeks I’d really been on her mind, that she sensed I was really discouraged, and she’d been praying for that to lift, and for me to be encouraged.  Then, she handed me a check and told me it was a little bit to help me out.  Later, after church, I looked at the check, and about fell over.  It was exactly, to the cent, what I’ve been needing.  It really was a gift.  I feel so blessed, and less terrified and discouraged.

So, here’s to committing and succeeding.  I’m going back to ND.