Sunday, November 30, 2008

Shifting Pieces

The last couple of weeks haven't been all that great; they haven't been all that bad either. I feel like I'm drifting in a fog and I'm not sure from where the fog came or how I got caught in it. My life suddenly seems to be upside-down, only it isn't. I'm pretty sure this makes no sense to anyone, it doesn't really make any sense to me either-hence the fog.

I feel like Doris Day's character at the beginning of Midnight Lace, when she gets caught out in the bad London fog and someone tries to kill her. I identify with the panic the character experiences; the confusion about being lost and not having any bearings.

Recently, some pieces of my life haven fallen into place. The new pieces fitting have shifted others out. I know God is rearranging things for the better, but I'm feeling rather lost in the process. I know it's a hard process, it doesn't make it any easier though. I'm trying to trust Him more, but that's easier said than done.

Recently, a friend said I've been "off" lately. He/she didn't know what was really going on and I can't really explain it. I was a little sad at first that they realized I haven't been doing so well, but then was excited that they even cared to notice and mention it to me! This friend didn't accept the cheap shallow answers I tend to peddle to people. He/she saw beyond my front and pushed to dig deeper into my life. I need friends like this! I have so few of them, they're so precious to me. Most people are willing to remain outside my walls. There's nothing wrong with that, it's natural. But, I really appreciate friends who take the time and effort to get to know me and dig around in my life. It also meant a lot that he/she noticed and said something without me having to explain myself. I constantly explain myself to others-a habit I picked up years ago when I realized most people don't understand me or have no desire to understand me.

In the vein of being honest about things, this weekend has been a rather dismal for me. I was excited about the snow, but spent much of the time either on the verge of crying or ready to fly into a rage. Honestly, one of the highlights was remembering that I actually do have close friends who care deeply for me and consistently point me back to God, no matter what is going on in my life (or theirs).

I believe God likes my life messy, it means He's in there moving things to where they belong. I was lamenting earlier to a friend how much simpler life was a couple years ago. Granted, I had little to no desire to be alive and couldn't handle having friends in my life. But, there was a peacefulness then that has since disappeared. I know it was peaceful because I was largely comatose, the opposite of what God called me to do-live. Still, there are times that I miss that peacefulness. This weekend has been one of this nostalgic times for me. Strange, that I get nostalgic about lies-but that's where I've been lately.

A friend offered his/her complete support during this difficult time in the fog, for as long as God has me enveloped in it. I needed to hear that this evening, I needed to be reminded that God has me right where He wants me and He's with me. God should be my focus, not the fog-I'm so easily distracted. When will I learn?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

When It Rains...

Eli Young Band
When it Rains

When it rains, I don't mind being lonely
I cry right along with the sky
When it rains, I don't pretend to be happy
I don't even have to try
When it rains, some people get down to sportin' a frown
So I fit right in
Yeah, the sun may brighten your day but if I had my way, I'd take the rain

This chorus has been running in my head almost from the time I woke up this morning. I have a couple ideas about why, but don't really want to think about them. Maybe finding a happier song would be good...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

45 Years Ago...

On November 22, 1963, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated. It's difficult to believe that 45 years have passed and in what a different world we presently live. The assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Francis Kennedy five years after JFK was another shock to a nation in turmoil. I'm so glad I didn't live in the '60s; although, sometimes I wonder if these times will be viewed as just as turbulent.

I may be a historian, but the 1960s and the Cold War era are past my area of expertise. However, I do tend to be a conspiracy theorist about some things. The assassination of JFK is one area that fascinates me. With more than 2,000 books written on the subject and at least one new documentary released each year, the individuals involved and impact of the crime seem endless.

I won't go into the theories I've considered (and may accept as near truth). However, I will say that I find the entire Kennedy family intriguing and there's more there than meets the eye. Perhaps two lessons we can all learn from them are that the end does not justify the means and ambition at all costs will result in extreme pain and a life of loneliness.

I wonder how the world would be if JFK, MLK, and RFK were never assassinated. We'll never know, but they were three visionaries and leaders that shaped the world, their generation, and the generations after them.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Latest Lesson and Revelations

So, I've been thinking about a couple situations in my life the past couple of weeks and how going through these latest lessons influence the way I think about my past. I apologize for being vague, there are still things being worked out.

I mentioned a while ago that an acquaintance wasn't respecting my boundaries. I had several friends make suggestions to me as to how I should proceed, all of which I welcomed by the way. I spent about a week trying to determine God's direction in this and then took a couple days to move in the direction I felt Him leading me. Totally not fun, but so valuable in the end!

For the last several years, I lived in a haze of self-doubt and second-guessing every decision regarding my friendships and God's leading in my life. I spent hours analyzing the most simple conversations and the potential motives of my friends. I was in jeopardy of running out of any church I walked into at the first opportunity. Whenever things got difficult, I ran away as fast as I could, as far as I could.

There have been times in the last two months when I thought of leaving the group I joined over the summer. It broke my heart to think of leaving, but things were getting too difficult (again) and I didn't believe that I correctly understood where God was leading me. There have been other issues at play regarding me leaving, and it felt like it was all coming to a breakingpoint. I was back to questioning Him in my life and ready to run.

Since the time I was in grad school (when I was in FPC), and cut all of my friends out of my life, I have distrusted God. To be honest, I had trust issues long before that, but something in my relationship with Him snapped during grad school. I opened the door for the lies and they immediately took up residence in my life, nearly killing me. Slowly, God has reclaimed those areas and brought me back to life. He's used this latest lesson as an opportunity to correct several things (or has started to correct).

Suddenly, I'm seeing how all of my trust issues are based on my relationships with people, not God. God has never abandonded me. He has never led me astray. I blamed Him for everything that happened in the college religious organization I joined. (I often refer this group as "the cult," something I suddenly feel led to stop doing-as I'm typing, we'll see how that goes). I felt like I couldn't trust Him or how I heard His leading in my life because I was in that group. I also felt as though I made unwise and poor decisions during that entire period of my life. In the end, I was so hurt by everything that happened and abandoned by those I loved, I let it break me to a point where I could no longer function.

He's slowly peeled away the layers and I'm seeing that He placed me there. There's no reason for me to not trust Him or my own decisions; I'm not inept and a stupid blonde-He placed me there and was by my side the whole time. I didn't make a bad choice by being there, it was where He called me to be. I was supposed to be there! I'm not sure why, but I know it was His will; I'm confident of it! (I know that's a lot of repition-I'm still shocked and excited about this revelation and keep repeating it different ways to try and fully grasp it. Sorry, moving on...)

I'm also confident that what happened the last ten months I was there happened because when He told me to leave, I refused and stayed. There were consequences for choosing my own path instead of His. However, His plan for me was to be with those people and have them be part of my life, for a time. I was just unwilling to follow anywhere He led me when He called me to move on. I couldn't understand how He wanted to me start over in the same city. (He got His way in the end, I started over several times in that city and have been so blessed by those friendships!)

To some of you, this may seem very simple and you may think that I should've realized this years ago. I think I got parts of it over the last couple of years, but it feels like the final piece of this puzzle is finally in place and I have complete peace about that time in my life. I'm no longer angry at God about it, I can fully trust Him. I feel as though a huge weight has lifted off me as I fully embrace this new perspective He's given me!

So, through this crazy, seemingly unrelated lesson, I'm learning to trust my relationship with God more and how/when He chooses to communicate to me through the Holy Spirit. Another blessing from this recent challenge has been that I know I can also trust my radar about certain people. I may be more sensitive than others, but there's nothing wrong with that. The individual who didn't respect my boundaries has shown me that he/she just isn't respectful, period. I don't need to be close friends with this person, I just need to pray for them and trust that God will bring someone into his/her life to help correct this behavior and attitude-it just isn't me.

Oh, and about leaving-I'm staying, until God calls me to move on to the next place. At least now I've learned how to move on while also allowing friends to remain in my life. I'm not very good at it, but I know I haven't shutdown and shut them out either. I'm still a work in progress, but aren't we all? =)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veterans Day!

Today also marks the 90th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. I know I shouldn't be, but I'm often surprised at how little people know about World War I, or as it was called at the the time, "the Great War" and the "war to end all wars." Yeah, that didn't happen, but it was the most horrific battlefield ever witnessed in modern times (at the time).

I was shocked to learn that the armistice was planned for weeks and they waited to sign it because the powers that be thought it would be interesting to end the war on 11/11 at 11AM. Thousands of men died that morning in battle trying to take one more hill here and there, even though the armistice was a forgone conclusion. A couple hundred of them had been in France since the first battles of the war and managed to survive until dying on the last day.

World War I fascinates me, it bridges the gap between the Industrial Age (or Gilded Age) and more modern times with which we easily identify. Horses, airplanes, tanks, machine guns, and poisonous gases were all used in World War I. In fact, all but horses were new to warfare and caused a stalemate for four years. The new concept of trench warfare and No Man's Land covered in mines and barbed wire didn't help the stalemate much. The war wiped out an entire generation of men in Europe, which left them vulnerable twenty years later during World War II.

Alright, enough with the history lesson. I'm so pleased that Veterans Day falls on the end of World War I and I know this date was chosen to honor our vets for that very reason. They sacrifice more for our country than I will ever fully know!

The song in my head

I love the internet and Google! I've had a portion of a song stuck in my head all day and was able to locate the lyrics on the internet; which of course means that now the whole thing is running through my head! So long as I sleep tonight, I'm fine with that. :-)

Take Me In

Take me past the outer courts
Into the Holy Place
Past the brazen alter
Lord, I want to see Your face
Pass me by the crowds of people
And the priests who sing Your praise
I hunger and thirst for Your righteousness
And it's only found one place

Take me into the Holy of Holies
Take me in by the blood of the Lamb
Take me into the Holy of Holies
Take the coal, cleanse my lips, here I am

The first time I heard this song, I was 12 or 13, at church summer camp for a week. The camp wasn't a very good experience. As I recall, I cried most of the time because the youth pastor scared the tar out of me with what he preached on. However, I remember hearing this song for the first time there and I pretty much sang it quietly to myself all the way back on the bus from camp. We were in Taos and returning to Denver.

Yeah, I was that strange little kid who sang to herself (I always have). I even used to sing to myself walking around on campus in college. One person from the church I attended passed me regularly between classes. He said he always recognized me because I always appeared to be mumbling to myself (he didn't know my name for almost a year). One day he figured out it was because I constantly walked around quietly singing and then he regularaly asked what songs were on my heart that day.

I consider it blessing to be able to sing-such as my voice is. As my dad would say, "I can barely carry a tune in a bucket." He always referred to his own voice when he said it, not mine, but it applies to me too. When I was an infant, the doctors swore I wouldn't be able to sing, they weren't sure I'd ever talk, run, or play outside. They told my parents that I may never live a normal life due to my physical limitations-God is so much bigger than the limitations I was born with! I love singing and music has always communicated to my heart in a way mere words rarely do.

After middle school, I didn't hear this song again until college when I was going through some tough times. The Holy Spirit always brings it to my mind at interesting times and it always deeply speaks to me. It's like an old friend and I'm excited to see why it's back now!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Poor Posie

Posie is half Siamese and half tabby cat. While she looks more like a tabby, I'm convinced her personality is more Siamese. She operates with all these rules that I'm left to figure out based solely on her behavior. At least she makes it interesting!

One of her rules is that I must personally tell her goodbye when I leave the house. If I don't, she gets very upset and walks around looking for me and meowing (my mom told me this a couple years ago). She makes sure to snub me when I do return home, if I haven't followed this rule. She also has a head-butting greeting ritual she insists we follow whenever I walk in the front door.

I was out running errands yesterday afternoon and then had plans for the evening. I thought I would have time between the two and be home for a while in the afternoon; however, the errands took longer than anticipated and I had to come home, change, and leave right away again. I made sure to properly greet Po when I got home and I properly told her goodbye again.

Apparently, following her rules wasn't suitable to Posie last night, she just wanted me home. When I did return home, she greeted me in her normal fashion. My mom instantly asked me why I didn't tell Po goodbye when I left. Then I heard that Po sat in the living room and meowed in the most pitiful kitty cry my mom had ever heard from the time I walked out the door until I returned, hours later. This strange behavior continued for the rest of the night whenever I was out of her sight.

As I write this, she's currently sleeping on my arms-yes on-as in across them. My hands are starting to fall asleep with an 11 pound cat on them. I'm pretty sure she thinks I belong to her.

She's just a little bit of a diva, don't you think? ;-) Poor Posie, she's had a rough weekend...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Dawg Pound

My hometown team lost last night. :( One of these years the Browns will get their act together and make it to the Superbowl. It just won't be this year! Better luck at Buffalo!!!!

Just be glad you weren't sitting next to me when the football went straight through Winslow's hands in the final 1:10 of the game! Imagine flailing arms and me screaming at the tv. I know that image will make someone laugh today. :-D

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Listening to...

Performed by Clay Walker
Written by: Clay Mills, Sonny Lemaire, and Shane Minor
You can listen to it here.

Oh, look, there you go again
Puttin' on that smile again
Even though I know you've had a bad day
Doin' this and doin' that
Always puttin' yourself last
A whole lotta give and not enough take
But you can only be strong so long before you break

So fall
Go on and fall apart
Fall into these arms of mine
I'll catch you
Every time you fall
Go on and lose it all
Every doubt, every fear,
Every worry, every tear,
I'm right here
Baby, fall

Forget about the world tonight
All that's wrong and all that's right
Lay your head on my shoulder, and let it fade away
And if you wanna let go, baby, its okay


Hold on, hold on,
Hold on to me


Yeah, I'm a sucker for country ballads. These lyrics also represent how God is always there for me, no matter what kind of day I'm having. :-)

The Perils of Long Hair

There are all kinds of inside jokes between my college roommates and I about the length of my hair. These jokes have spread over the years to other friends as well-you know who you are! Most of them stem from a silly conversation one day in the dorms about engagements and marriage.

My hair is rather long right now. It has been longer in the past year, but it is still long. I go through shampoo and conditioner like there's no tomorrow. I've also been contemplating cutting my hair rather short again.

So, I was washing my hair this morning and thinking about something else in my life that God is giving me insight in to. Totally distracted from washing my hair. So distracted in fact that I paid no attention to the bottle I grabbed. I poured some of the contents into my hand and started rubbing it in to my hair. I realized there was no lather, but thought maybe I forgot to put anything in my hands. Yes, folks-I was that distracted. So, I reached for the bottle again, poured more into my hands, and realized there was still no lather. I was also a little confused as to why my hands were suddenly stuck and knots were forming in my hair. I pulled one hand out of my hair and grabbed the bottle I was pretty sure was my shampoo. Nope-conditioner! I had been putting conditioner straight into my hair; which for some reason was causing knots instead of removing them (probably due to having very fine hair). I figure my hair looks a little extra greasy today with all the extra conditioner now in it. :-)

I'm also left asking myself why I have long hair right now. In the last month I almost put body wash and shaving cream in my hair due to distraction-I caught myself in time for those. Those bottles also have completely different shapes, so that's a huge help.

To all those who know the inside jokes about the length of my hair from college-that is not why it's currently long! However, if you have any proof of that, I'd greatly appreciate that you share it with me! ;-)

Maybe it really is time for me to cut my hair or "chop it" as I say. At the very least, it needs to be trimmed, it's doing that annoying "V" thing in the back with all the layers again. But, I really wanted to wait until I was at my goal weight to cut it short again; I'm convinced the longer hair makes me look 5 pounds lighter. What girl doesn't appreciate that?

I welcome opinions-but don't promise to take any advice! Shocking, I know... :P

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I hate grades, they make me nervous and I never feel like I measure up. Perhaps this is partly because most of my friends growing up were always so much more intelligent and did better in school than I did. Oh, and I need to mention my brainiac brother! My friends were so competitive about grades and class standing that by the time I was a freshman in high school, my entire identity was wrapped up in my grades. This led to all kinds of hurt and self-doubt when I struggled with certain subjects. I still don't understand geometry, so I just buy extra fabric for sewing and quilting projects-saves on tears.

Even in college and graduate school, I was highly private about the scores I received on exams and papers. It would usually take me hours (sometimes days) to even look at the notes and score out of fear that I failed. You have no idea how exasperated my friends would get with me! Well, actually, you do if you took classes with me and experienced the drill of me stuffing graded materials into my backpack before I or anyone else could see the outcome. :-) I would rarely even share my answers and corrected tests with study partners and friends in college, I was so embarrassed by how I did. Yeah, I was that bad about it. I actually had a professor in grad school who would pull me aside and verbally tell me my grade after class because it drove him crazy that I wouldn't look right away.

All of that to say, I received two grades in two different classes today that I was especially dreading. I still have an essay waiting to be graded (in a third class) and I'm nervous about it. However, God has been so good in my grades this semester! Oh, did I mention that a "B-" is failing? Yeah, just a little bit of pressure to do well. Kinda rough on a student who usually pulls "B's."

On the exam I was anxious over, I was given a 96%-far better than I thought I would do! I also scored 10/10 on my short essay that I wrote Sunday night. I couldn't believe that I was given 100% on this essay, it was rushed and I felt like it didn't properly address the questions. I also postponed writing it to go to FUSE, something I was really unsure of doing, but felt God nudging me to do and trust Him with this paper.

I've really been struggling with all these papers and school work the last couple of weeks and how they fit in with where God wants me to be spending my time and how to balance everything. Slowly but surely, I feel like I'm starting to figure some things out and am trying to stop relying on my own strength to get through classes and trust Him with all of it instead.

All that to say-Woohoooo!! God is awesome and has blessed me with grades far better than I think I deserve. Only five more weeks left in the semester! Then, I'll be almost a third of the way through my program-unbelievable!!


What a historic day for our country! It's so exciting!!! Now, the healing begins...