Esther Pavao
This probably isn't as profound or whatever as my other posts, just a couple random thoughts I had and thought they were interesting.

You see it everywhere. "Live is if today was your last day." "What would you do if you knew you would die tomorrow?" "Live life to the fullest." Etc., etc. Rock bands, pastors, teenagers, artists, all of them have their own way of expressing it, but the sentiment is the same, "Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die." Isaiah 22:13

The truth is, no one really does. They get up, they go to work, they maybe spend time with their spouses or children or friends, but no one really acts like it will be their last day because deep down, they don't really believe their lives could end that quickly without them getting the chance to actually live. We all put off really living until a later date when we have enough time, money, or whatever.

I started thinking, "If I died tomorrow, what would people say about my last day? Laugh, if you will, but I started playing out conversations between people who are close to me. The great thing about being dead, is that unless you killed millions of people like Hitler did, people tend to forget all the bad stuff about you as soon as you are gone. They only want to remember the good stuff. They even praise Hitler for his leading skills as often as they censure him for his sick regime.

Let's see...if yesterday was my last day, it would go something like this: "She got up early, like most mornings, wishing for at least one more hour of sleep. She really liked those quiet moments before everyone else was up. She used to make fun of the fact that she prayed in the shower. "It's the only time I have peace and quiet!" She left for work a little bit late. She had a cup of coffee, ("of course,"they would say with a smile), she wouldn't consider her day started until she had coffee. Nothing she said counted until she had caffeine. During work, she wrote bible verses out that she'd post on the wall of the office, or sometimes she'd close them in the drawer so that when she opened it to give someone their change, she'd see it and it would remind her why she was doing what she was doing."

"What verses were those?" Someone would probably ask.
"You would have to ask her. All I know, is they made the difference between a good day and bad day for her."
"I guess we'll never know."
"Guess so. Well, after work, she went running. She loved doing it, even though she joked about how slow she was and she could never stick to it. She talked to her brother on the phone for a wile and then she hung out with a couple girls after she went running--some her age, some younger. She really had a heart to make them feel safe talking to her and make them laugh."
"She used to say that laughing is what helped get her through the day. 'You either have to laugh or cry,' she'd say, 'so I laugh!'"

"She was a little bit serious all that day though. She tried not to let it show, but something was on her mind."
"I know she was at odds with a few people, but she didn't want to talk to them because they were tired of her talking whenever something came up."
"She was stubborn about that." And they would laugh because you don't get irritated with dead people. "She didn't like staying mad at people or people staying mad at her."

You get the idea.

Perhaps they'd say, regretfully, that I was never great. So few of us ever really are, however many plan to be. They might be glad to have my writings so they could hang on to a small part of me.

So, my last day was spent doing what I loved: drinking coffee, serving people, investing in a ministry, and hanging out with friends. And what more can you ask out of life? Maybe I never "changed the world" as they say, but I certainly changed a few small worlds and I wouldn't have changed my last day even a little bit.
Esther Pavao
I was a little depressed today. A couple things happened, and before I knew what happened, I was taken out. It's that fast I guess. When I got home from work, I didn't want to see anyone, so I decided to go for a walk. I put my headphones in, turned my music up loud enough to not be able to hear anything outside of them and went to the first place I thought of--the pond.  It was quiet up there, no one was around, so I walked around it, ending up on the Holy Hill. I can't explain what it was, but something drew me to what I guessed would have been the point that was the center of our gathering up there during the Ingathering. I started praying about the situations that had gotten so out of control.

I read a book once that covered different things about prayer, and one thing that was stressed was that if God allows your mind to wander when you're trying to pray, allow it to do so and see where it leads instead of feeling guilty and trying to force yourself to focus. You'll lose every time anyway. So, when I got distracted, I just got lost in the silence up there, the beauty of the beginnings of fall and the wonderful breeze. I started to think of something that John Bob said to me: "When I get bogged down in my mind, I find that the best way to get out of it is to force myself to praise God."

I wasn't really in the mood for loud praise music, but I think the point of the exercise is to get out of the funk, not indulge it, so I selected the first Christian album on my iPod, selected a favorite song, and started to sing along. Are you surprised to discover that the exercise worked? (Thanks, John!) By the time I left, I had tears in my eyes, but good ones because I was so grateful that whenever I reach out to Him, God always meets me there. I still don't have incredible insight or wisdom, but I know that putting into bigger and better hands is the best thing I could have done with it.
Esther Pavao
Hey people,

Yes, it's true, I'm back! I know, it's been about 10 months since I've written anything, and I'm  very sorry about that, but I won't waste time with all my excuses, let's just settle with the fact that I'm going to try better to write more often. I feel like I process my thoughts better when I get them out in writing, and even though it makes me nervous to have them out in the open for all to see, maybe something I learn will help someone else someday. I'd like to believe that the struggles in life are for some purpose anyway.

So....I guess it would probably take way too long to catch everyone up on my crazy life over the past year, so I'll just jump right in!

Lately, I've seen a lot of places in my life that I hold back. Whether fear of judgment, or fear of hurting other people, or hurting myself, just downright fear. A sister recently asked me what I had been writing recently, and was completely shocked when I answered, "Nothing."

"God gave you a gift. You need to be writing. I don't care what it is, just do it!" She exhorted me thoroughly, and walked away leaving me standing there, ashamed and determined to get over my fear and write. Later that evening, God led me to read Matthew where I smacked into "The Parable of the Talents". I'll copy it below.

Matthew 25:14-30

American Standard Version (ASV)

 14 For it is as when a man, going into another country, called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
 15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one; to each according to his several ability; and he went on his journey.
 16 Straightway he that received the five talents went and traded with them, and made other five talents.
 17 In like manner he also that received the two gained other two.
 18 But he that received the one went away and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
 19 Now after a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and maketh a reckoning with them.
 20 And he that received the five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: lo, I have gained other five talents.
 21 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will set thee over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
 22 And he also that received the two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: lo, I have gained other two talents.
 23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will set thee over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
 24 And he also that had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou didst not sow, and gathering where thou didst not scatter;
 25 and I was afraid, and went away and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, thou hast thine own.
 26 But his lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I did not scatter;
 27 thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the bankers, and at my coming I should have received back mine own with interest.
 28 Take ye away therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him that hath the ten talents.
 29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not, even that which he hath shall be taken away.
 30 And cast ye out the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness: there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.

I quite literally felt winded. Where have I been investing my talents? Perhaps it was false humility, perhaps it was fear, probably a good combination of both with a good sprinkling of stubbornness, but for whatever reason, I have been keeping my talents to myself and God is not pleased with me because of it, so this is me trying to change that.

Anyway, maybe that's too quick of an overview, but I actually really don't have time for more and I want to post this as soon as I can before I chicken out. Expect more soon!