Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Good tidings.

I'm right where I am supposed to be. And I really like where I'm at.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

thought for the day.

"Never count success by money gained. That is not the mind of My kingdom. Your success is the measure of my will and mind that you have revealed to those around you. Your success in the measure of my Will that those around you have seen worked out in your life."  A.J. Russell

Friday, October 21, 2011

October Update

It is certainly time for an update. Life is super busy right now but I'm actually enjoying being in fast motion again. Now being so busy, I feel like I am back in college trying to juggle "it all" like I once did, work, studying, social life, etc. It's kind of nice to have that face past  routine and purpose that forces me to stay on a disciplined schedule. I naturally am not disciplined which is in part why I worked and tried to train for half-marathons and other fun running events in order to increase my level of discipline, which always made me a better student. Strange to some, but that works for me. When I got out of school, I just wanted to be fat and lazy and totally undisciplined because I had been for 6 and a half years non-stop in order to get through college. And well, for now I am back at it.
I am still working full-time...but the last 3 weeks have been doing half days at my facility and then half days at another facility that does not have a speech therapist right now. I just started treating a patient at the local hospital every evening after I get back from work (I work about 45 minutes from my home). On top of that I am taking on online course (12 hours long) that is the prerequisite for an onsite course to become certified in Vital Stim (a tx intervention that will be great for my resume at some point). So I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Also have started an 8 week bible study that is so good. I am really enjoying being in fellowship with other believers and especially women. I am so excited to draw close to God in this season of my life and am enjoying his presence. I have spent the last few years doing my own thing and a distant God, that now it is so good to be with my old "friend" again.

Another bonus is that I think my gain weight diet is working. Last time I went to the Dr. a few weeks ago (for yet another sinus infection) I had gained 5 lbs, and my pants continue to get tighter :) Also, we found out that our house had mold and asbeto in it. so we had to move out for a week while it got cleaned out...but that may have been the cause of my ongoing sinus infections because I am highly allergic to mold/dust, etc.

Here is a recent video (a month/two ago) of caleb :) I taught him some signature dance moves...AKA "the sprinkler"

video

Me and Brandea and baby Caleb at the fair


The boys Andrew (L) and Peter (R). At the fair...

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bloom Bloom Bloom!

And so this is my ode to spring: I am reading a blog that asks...What spiritual season of life are you in?
 I can respond to that without a shadow of doubt that it is spring. Finally! This blog was started in the actual winter season and a spiritual winter season and I am so excited to rejoice  in embracing my "spiritual" season of spring! 


No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.  ~Hal Borland

"Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night."  ~Rainer Maria Rilke




It's spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!  ~Mark Twain


The naked earth is warm with Spring,
And with green grass and bursting trees
Leans to the sun's kiss glorying,
And quivers in the sunny breeze.
~Julian Grenfell



If you've never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom.  ~Terri Guillemets

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"Little Men"

I just snuck downstairs and placed this quilt that I have been working on for Andrew, my 4 year old nephew, on his bed while he is fast asleep. I can't wait for him to wake up to this much anticipated blanket!


This is the top with the cars and ABC's. The blue color is the exact same color as his room. 

This is the bottom. It's reversible. My sis and I love this side the best actually! It is all the old-time pictures for the ABC's- it cracks me up. For instance, "V" is for Velocipede (yeah, that's a tricycle) and "Q" is for Quoits (AKA horseshoe; It's a wonder that generation ever learned their letters).  My favorite is "L" is for Leap Frog, which is a game I play with the boys all the time! 

I live with my sister and her husband and my three nephews, Andrew (4), Peter (2  1/2) and Caleb (9 months). They were gone for 6 months and have now returned. I needed that time away from them to grow and I needed a break from them honestly. The kids were driving me nuts and so were their parents!...But God has shown me that they are my ministry during this season of life and I prayed a lot that God would change my heart during that time. For some   reason, I continue to be surprised that He did. I was telling my friend tonight that I have healed so much from fears and distrust of men in this adult life, because of my relationship with these little boys over the last several years. I never understood real love until Andrew was born and I immediately loved him with all my heart. Now, everyday I must extend grace, kindness, compassion, patience, and humility to these "little men"; And in return, gift of receiving unconditional love everyday in such large doses is extremely healing and just what my heart has needed, although I would never have predicted that God would use little children to help make me whole again. 
My favorite thing right now is that the two and a half year old greets me in the morning and when I come home from work with delighted squeals of "Aunt Boo, boo boo boo boo boo" as he runs towards me with his arms wide open for a long hug and squeeze and then he just rests his head on my shoulder, and a little sigh, like that's the only place he wants to be.  It is such a wonderful season I get to have to invest and make special memories with these little boys. My next project is Peter's quilt.




Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I have hope, inside is not a heart, but a kaleidoscope

I re-listened to this album today "kaleidoscope" due to sheer boredom from the radio tunes...; It was nice to listen to it and not hurt or cry. This was the album i listened to for about 4 or 5 months straight, to and from work for 1 hour each way, on all my road trips...That's a lot of hours of these lyrics. They helped heal me in a way, i felt like someone out there knew my heart ache and sang the words aloud that I couldn't bare to whisper and tormented my mind constantly. Listening to the words aloud was some sort of therapeutic sigh, a release and outlet that I couldn't find in any other place.  Actually, the first intro song..".Kaleidoscope" is my current ring tone. Here are some lyrics from a song I really related to but it goes with a catchy and fun beat...even though the lyrics seem a bit sad.


"Goodbye"

Should be sayin' that to you by now, shouldn't I?
Layin' down the law that I live by,
Though maybe next time

And I tell myself to let the story end,
My heart will rest in someone else's hand
My 'why not me?' philosophy began,
And I say

Ooh, how'm I gonna get over you?
I'll be alright, just not tonight
Someday, oh I wish you'd want me to stay
I'll be alright, just not tonight,
Someday

Maybe is a vicious little word that can slay me
Keep me when I'm hurting and make me,
Hang from your hands


Luckily (and thank GOODNESS) this is not the season I am in anymore. I thought it would never end though. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. The scariest thing is you think all is well and the next thing you know the air has been knocked out of you and you don't think you will ever get back up with no warning to pre-plan for a recovery. YUCK. I hope I don't have to go through that again, I don't see how people can go through break-ups over and over again, maybe they are made of thicker skin than me. I dono. 
All this to say, it was nice to enjoy the album today, and not hurt. And it was nice to know that season is behind me. 
This past year has been a really hard one but has definitely put me back on a journey purposed to bring me closer to my Lord, and for that I am so thankful.
 I am ready to enjoy God and all the things he has in store for me. I think it's time for a new album!
Any suggestions???


Sunday, September 4, 2011

El Fin y The Beginning

Today, I started on path of completion. I  did in fact finish this book today""Born to Run"; It was totally awesome. Sadly, I have been reading it since March or April...and it has been driving me crazy that I have yet to finish it.(I must admit, I am a really slow reader); I began and I think have finished writing a letter to my dad. One of the last and somehow first steps for healing that I am in desperate need of in this season of life. I am going to send it sometime this week and thus begins a new future, a new mindset, and heart position towards my father. I am tired of looking back with regret, I am ready to forge a new path with him, ready to make the effort to have a better relationship and I will not give up this time. I know that my healing with my dad will also set me free to have healthier dating relationships and I'm ready not to be so insecure and afraid. I'm ready for change.In a strange and freeing way, I feel like now that I have done this I can move into a different season. Also, this week my family is starting a scripture memory challenge; Each week we will memorize a new verse or new scripture; This week I chose Colossians 3:12-13 "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." I think this is a suitable verse for me to put in my heart this week considering the process of forgiveness and the heart attitude I am electing to project in relationship to my own father.
Also, I have read and been inspired to move on by this poem that was published in a blog I have recently began following:

What Might Have Been, Or What If
By Glynn Young
It is an act of courage
to ask what if;
It is an act of self-deception
to ask what might have been.
One looks forward, one looks backward;
both are ways to view the world.
Both are ways to understand one’s soul.
What if creates possibility;
what might have been celebrates regret.
What if grasps the thought of
what could be, what might be;
what might have been is gripped
by the memory of what never was

After reading this I know that my heart and my mind are convinced more than ever to move forward in step together. It has taken me awhile to get here but as the author describes, I am tired of being gripped "by the memory of what never was."
Life, bring it on.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Smash...

Tonight is the first time I have ever cried about a patient at work. I have always been very good at professionally compartmentalizing difficulty situation at my job. For instance, I spend a lot of time around sickness and death. Most of my days. I see people at the end stages of life, days and hours prior to death. I counsel and comfort families from time to time when their loved one is terminal or just days from passing. It is hard. It's uncomfortable. Those are frequently days that I come home from work drained and heavy hearted. but that's part of my job. Death is certainly a looming reality for people over the age of 75 and if you work in healthcare with geriatrics, death looms, period.
This is likely the reason I spend a lot of time thinking about death. The ins and outs of it, the nearness of it for my family members or even for myself. It makes me more aware that the decisions we make today will effect us in 50 years. Exercising and staying physically fit and mentally stimulated is a proven way to increase life expectancy. Even our  choices about our relationships today will effect the outcome in later years. For instance the amount of  laughter in life can predict your life expectancy and increase your resistance for disease and viruses.
I think about my own life and the decisions im making in these regards. I am trying to be physically health and relationally health. I don't want to have regrets. I don't want to pass certain things down to my children and it come back to bite me on my death bed.

Recently I have encountered deaths that have not made any sense to me. I usually am always at peace with the passing of our residents because they are almost always ready to go. But these particular deaths have caused me to have doubts about the medical field, our physicians, our nurses. On my name tag at work i have a quote that says "have i done everything i can for my patient today?"; And I just wonder if we had this attitude would things have turned out differently for these patients. I cried today because I think the odds are good in these instances that they could have. I tried to advocate strongly for both these people in particular and hit brick walls on all fronts. If I am a part of this healthcare team who is trying to make a difference, trying to shake the rest of this medical team and say "wake up!",  then why couldn't I, why don't they listen? It's like watching your own scary dream and wanting to wake yourself up, but you can't...you're powerless.If we can't make a difference among our own professional peers than how can the healthcare system get any better..Is this what  our medical treatment has become? What would happen to me if I suddenly became a patient in other peoples care? It really scares me.
I think this is the general consensus among medical professionals. It has just gotten to me lately. I'm effected. My rose-tinted glasses are busted and I really want a new pair.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Measure for health

After reading my friends blog which was used as a "getting out of debt" forum and diary I was really inspired. Maybe I should start writing about how much I eat...since it is what consumes my thoughts right now as I am trying to gain 10 pounds. Yes, I know...it's kind of the opposite problem that people struggle with but real none the less. I have never been overly in love with the way I look since I became so thin, just as I don't think girls who are underweight are attractive either. I had a friend in college who was so pretty but seriously and grossly skinny and it made her a less attractive person on the scale from 1-10. Strangely and ironically I used to struggle a lot with my weight when I was in high school. I was athletic and muscular (hard to imagine for anyone who knows me now), a size 4/5 most of the time and my mom once told one of my best friends when I left the room that I was a bit "chunky" and that I had to be careful because that was just my "build"; I already struggled with anorexia before my best friend tattled on my mom's unkind words...so it only made matters worse. I remember thinking about every single thing I ate. It was all consuming and so frustrating not to be able to starve myself enough to be "skinny"; Later, I learned that lots of kids with my family background and dysfunctions developed eating disorders because eating was the only thing in our worlds that we could control. The only thing. And as soon as I heard that I knew it was the root of my sickness.  After college I eventually confessed my struggles to God and was delivered right then from that illness. I never struggled with it again. I realized the root of my issues and from then on I have been working on those things...it's been almost 10 years since then...and I am still working on my stuff...but ironically...I am now trying to gain weight...trying to become a "healthier" me.
I've started eating Luna Bars with my breakfast, and a Boost shake in between lunch and dinner for the last two weeks. It's been really awesome. For the first time I don't feel hungry all the time and I didn't realize how good that feels.
Today I messed up a bit. I had a luna bar and a half of a bagel and coffee. For lunch I just had a zebra cake :(; I ate a pimento cheese sandwich on my drive home. And now a carnation breakfast for dinner. Fail. Work has been pretty frustrating lately and I find myself not eating at lunch time on these days...Better luck tomorrow!

Monday, August 29, 2011

My mom has always believed people need "mental health" days...

I played hookie today. I needed a mental break from work. SO my sister and I soaked in the Jefferson Pools AKA "the bubbles", and drank amazing Chai tea while we watched "Say Anything." Man, I love movies from the eighties.
Ofcourse, I did very important things like snuggle with my nephews, pretend to be the Big Bad Wold and chasing the little piggies around, and then we built some sweet forts; Aunt Boo did in fact launch the "airplane" (which Andrew is almost too big for *sad face), and of course we read "Go Dogs Go!";
Most importantly, I taught Caleb some sweet dance moves. Please note his snort...it's a family trait that has blossomed in this kid at a young age, and I'm so proud :)

video

All in all, it was an awesome day, and I am now ready to begin my work  week.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

92% healed and a milky way for the road...

So I'm totally enjoying where I live now, for some reason. I love spending all this time with my nephews. they are such fun ages right now and I want to keep them this way forever. I had this vision the other day that at some point i will see my nephew when he is like 16 and is 6'5 and I will make him sit on my lap like buddy the Elf sits on his elf-dad's lap. haha. The other day he asked me "Aunt boo, will you be with us forever?"... and I don't have the heart to tell him no...how do you explain to these precious children that you would want to be anyplace else but in there presence...and often times, I really don't. I just enjoy them so much. I actually decided at some point this summer that I really do want to have children. I went from being a man-hater to a kid-hater, and now I think they are super fun and I think I could be a really good mom actually. I have lots of practice right now. The kids sometimes call me "mommy-boo".
Any how, I am almost done making Andrew's quilt. It is super cute and I'm very proud of it. Pictures to follow. Then it's on to a quilt for Peter-bug.
Tonight my sister and I had girl night, which we've been trying to do once a week. We went across the street to Warm Springs Inn and had coffee and THE BEST Chocolate dessert ever...it was so wonderful. I like that about this place...small town..it's easy to make traditions, become regulars, and know everybody when you are out and about. When we got home we stood outside and stared up at the stars...it feels like you can see them all out here. What's really cool is we could see the milky way tonight. What a sight!
Fall is in the air...I'm ready for scarves, tall boots, quilting, and tea time with brandea and charles. Everything is going to get busy again with biblestudies, choir practice, quilting groups, girls nights with my sister, Monday night dinners with jenny...I feel so blessed right now. I know god has brought me to this place, though a lot of it has been painful...i slowly feel my heart changing and my chin lifted up. I needed the hurt and the pain and the process in order to be a more whole and healed person.  Seeing the Milky Way tonight was just a bonus :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Venting.

So project fat girl is on. I'm currently 102 pounds (i keep dropping weight gradually)...and am trying to gain at least 10-15 pounds by January (in order to fill out my bridesmaids dress mo betta); I'm currently in the process of going to the Dr. to make sure all is healthy and am going to try to increase my caloric intake throughout the day. I really hate looking this skinny and I don't think anyone looks good this small.

Also- random thought, that I've been thinking a lot about this week; I really get sick of being mothered all the time. Sidenote: Ofcourse I live with my sister and her husband who frequently mother me as 2nd nature and it drives me absolutely insane. I don't understand why they can't treat me as a peer instead of a child, because that is my perspective of how our relationship should be. I don't know if other people feel like they are constantly being mothered by there family (although I think this is pretty natural), friends, and co-workers all the time! I don't get it, I'm quite capable of all sorts of things...why do people feel the tendency to tell me how to do common sense things all damn day?! I wasn't born yesterday. I find myself a really easy person to get along with, am too nice most of the time, and maybe a little absent minded and have a poor attention span...but aren't most people sort of this way? I am just trying to figure out what it is about me that makes people feel like they should tell me what to do. In fact maybe everyone tells everybody how to do everything all the time and I'm just being oversensitive or something...I can't gauge this at all.

It's times like this when I miss my ex-boyfriend. He was the one person who pretty much never "mothered" me or felt the need to tell me how to do something or what to do in my life, and the times he did I could count on my fingers  (in fact he tended to waiver at the opposite end, by not sharing his opinions unless I specifically elicited them. In fact there was a  lack of general openness that likely led to our ultimate break up...but that's water under the bridge now). The point is I always felt safe, not judged or stupid around him. It was one of my healthiest friendships/relationships in that way.
 I hope to meet someone else with that same quality because it's important to me to feel respected by my peers and family instead of belittled. 

An awesome thing happened at work today. We get Ipod touches in order to do our billing. Tomorrow we get more training on them and Im hoping we can download APPS to use for therapy sessions with our patients. So excited.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dedicated to Love

I spent the weekend in Chicago with my old friend Jessie (girl-jessie that is) and her new fiance! I was so honored to get to spend quality time with them both before they wed. I loved "them". She was all of her "best" qualities in his presence. It's these experiences with my married (or engaged) friends that make me hope in love now. Having known some of my girlfriends deeply for years and years I (of course) have in my mind the perfect guy for them...and I continue to be surprised and overjoyed by how God succeeds my expectations!!! In some ways, I have enjoyed so much this season of singleness and being able to share  in rejoicing with my girlfriends over the wonderful men that God has brought into their lives to marry. I know it is God's way of encouraging me to know that God designs all things perfectly and purposefully. It has also allowed me to more clearly see that God knows exactly what we need, even in the times that I think he has forgotten me. I am incredibly thankful to have a worshipful and hopeful heart because of my married friends. In a strange way I more deeply understand the purpose of marriage and the effects it can have in ministering to others because I am so touched by the beautiful display of God's love and affection towards us by being such a gracious and intentional designer of our lives, even in love.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Back in swing

SO things have been crazy...as usual. I have not blogged in a bit because my family came home in Mid June and it has been non-stop ever since. It has been so wonderful to have them back! I can't wait to get home to snuggle and romp vicariously around with my 2 yr old and 4 yr old nephews. these moments are so precious...Caleb is doing great! He is a doll. I feel like I dont get to see him as much because he is often in bed by the time i get home from work. It's wonderful to have a house full of people again.



My mom has also been here for the last 3 or 4 weeks. I love paling around with her...it's so enjoyable to have a grown-up relationship with her and go on fun vacations! She is my official travel buddy! We just got back from San Francisco (where it is actually cold during the summertime therefore I concluded that apparently these people are keeping a big secret from the rest of us); We had an awesome time visiting her old friends, people who knew me between ages 0-4, and it was so neat to see how much they love my mom and what great friends she has.
It has certainly been an adjustment to having the house so full again. I am praying God gives me a servant heart during this next year. I also think I may have some residual unforgiveness to work out with my sister...Since living here, I have been awakened to her flaws in the form of being deeply hurt by her last year and I realize now that she is back that I am still not completely over it. I am someone who does not judge people initially and just full out loves them without judgement, but once I am aware of peoples flaws or am severely hurt by them, it takes a long time for me to reconcile those feelings. I hate that about me, and it's terrible I know;
I gave my birds away last week, Mr. and Mr. Finch #2. We have mice coming in from the fields that are being cut at this time of year, and because of my birds and the bird food the spit out around there cage...the mice are attracted to my room more so than any other place in our house. I have slept on the couch one too many nights in the last 3 months, and I'm just kind of over it at this point.
I threw a big party for my sister and family's return...it was really fun and the whole community was invited, not that they all showed up though...I've never planned such a party and I was nervous  but it turned out to be really fun and I had so much help it was easy!
Heading to chicago in less than a week to hang out with Jessie! So excited for my weekend excursion to the big city and quality girl time!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Time's up

So the time has come, and there is much to get ready before my sister, her husband, and ALL three boys return to the manse. I am so excited to welcome them home. It's been 6 months since they left.
My mom is also coming up this week. Can't even describe how excited I am to have my mom around...it's as if "home" is coming to visit me for awhile.
I am in the midst of healing at this time. Am working through life, the past and the present, as well as the"build-up" and "junk" in some of my most vulnerable and broken places. I met with a woman last week and prayed through a lot of things that have been weighing heavy on my heart for awhile now...and  am breaking free of the junk, and greeting that old familiar friend, "hope" again.  More prayer is scheduled for this week and event though it is a very painful and more vulnerable process than I am naturally comfortable with, it is very necessary.
In less than 2 weeks my mom and i will leave for San Francisco! I can't believe it's almost here.  I'm so excited, and so glad I get to spend this quality time with my mom. Im very thankful she is healthy enough to do things like this and know it is something I will look back on with fond memories.
I think a lot about what life would be like without my parents, or have anxiety about my relationship with my dad if he dies. I'm not sure if this is just because I work in a nursing home and am near the end stages of life and walking families through this process on a daily basis, or if this is a normal thought process to have at this age, but regardless...I think about it a lot. The time we have with our families is so precious.

Had the best time tonight with the "church ladies"; we had a girls night and played taboo (one of the few games i like, because it involves words and language) and drank daiquiris and laughed so much. One of the ladies said "this is just like college" and it made me smile. Also, one of the ladies (who doesn't go to our church but runs in this particular circle of women) was there and let me borrow her belt because I complimented her taste in belts...because at the time she was wearing a wonderful belt I had recently been eyeing from a local gallery. I really like her, she is sort of who i hope to be as I age...spry, great jewelry, accessories, and funny. Also, i find it both amusing while simultaneously irksome that the women were surprised at how funny I am...and comparing me to my sister. Ofcourse I am funny. it is one of my best traits...as a kid I definately was like chandler from "Friends", using humor as a deflector from the pain...and over time...that humor was perfected.

These comments are the one thing I am not looking forward to about my sister coming home. I don't like feeling overshadowed by my sister. I like that I have made friends and community and become engaged in my current situation and surroundings and I fear when charles and brandea get back I will be swept back under the rug again...and no longer will I get dinner invitations, but we will ALL get the same dinner invitation...I dont want to be seen just as "brandea's sister" or "the preacher's sister-in-law". I actually think I am pretty interesting but because I am guarded and reserved I easily get pushed out of the picture. For all that I have worked for...I don't want to go back to being "the sister"; Please pray for me that my heart changes and I can be a servant and fulfill my ministry during this season. SOme people are called to Africa, others to serve their city, but I am called to serve my family...my nephews...and in a way, it is hardest and thankless of them all...please pray that god continues to move in my heart and change my heart to be a servant this year.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Angel

Angel you sing about beautiful things
And all I want to do is believe
But I traded my dreams for this mess of memories
And they just stopped working for me

I'm not a monster I believe
Like a liar would believe
Helps me navigate the wooden smiles, the raging sea
All my heroes pull their heads
Like a fighter would I guess
No one ever really likes getting older

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Eternity, salvation, and hope.

I mentioned that on my recent trip to Atlanta I experienced a lot of anxiety on the plane trip. I didn't go into much detail but I have a larger picture of the root of the anxiety at this point. I have some routine plane taking off and plane landing anxiety. I generally close my eyes for these parts and then I'm ok. But I couldn't shake the fear, in fact I had a beer during my lay-over to help stabilize my nerves and numb all the thoughts, it definately took the edge off and I could think a little more clear about the root of the fear. (i'm a strong believer in knowing the root of your actions, fears, etc) It dawned on me, I was afraid of death. I continued to imagine all the way to die on a plane...running out fuel and crashing, electrical failure, and the pilot falling asleep at the wheel. I imagined plunging into the deep blue sea, as well as into canopy of trees below. I had feared death like this as a kid, imensly in fact, but not really like this since I had become a christian. how strange, i thought.  Why in the world would I be afraid to die now, and here in this moment I wondered. Then it dawned on me...it was a question of eternity. As a child I remember wondering with great anxiety with out any knowledge whatsoever of Christs free gift to us, "where will i go when i die?, and where will my parents god?" and the hollow response that filled me brought me to tears and absolute numbness at such a young age. Since I've become a christian I have not felt that overwhelming dark, hollow, and sick feeling when the notion of death arises. I was apalled, that my childhood fears have returned. That same empy/hollow fear was back. And suddenly I realized I was wondering, "man...if I die, am I going to hell?, What! How come I have doubts about this?" and that's the scariest place my heart has been in a long time. How could I let my heart and my life get so far from God that I am pondering the authenticity of my faith and my salvation?  Since I've been a christian I've never thought I would be THAT person who has found themselves as a vulnerable passenger of a plane wondering, if I die today where will I go, really? and suddenly I was that person. And today, a week after that trip, I still am. In fact I realized tonight, not only is it a salvation question, but a question of where my heart is now. In fact, this past weekend I was shocked to find out everyone thought it was going to be the rapture and I was so ill-prepared spiritually. I really used to scoff at mention of the rapture in near future and this time, I was a bit anxious about the affair being sprung on me at my time of spiritual unrest and doubt.
Bottom line is if my salvation might be in question...then I am still in control of that right?  I just ask forgiveness...and confess...and so on. But What's stopping me? And so I reached into my heart tonight to find these answers and realized it was just empty, and hollow, and numb...and the hope was gone.

How did I lose it? I've been so faithful for so long...maybe I lost my heart a long time ago, and just wore the faith for show. I suppose it's been a gradual thing over the years, I've just lost my grip on it all now and I don't think that pretending my heart into being "ok" will take me much further. So now, I suppose I am to gather the pieces and start again, from scratch. I don't know if I'm strong enough this time, knowing the road that lies before me, unlike a new christian who springs into action sometimes without wisdom or foresight. I really don't want to get stuck in this place. I don't want to just be the same old broken worn out, hopeless heart that puts on a happy face at 40.

Please pray for me.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I spent the day driving to staunton in my new to me hyundai santa fe SUV with the sun roof open and the windows down listening to delightful music, gardening, and selling my old car. I hauled my first big item in my SUV, a wheel barrel, even had to put the seats down ;) What a great day. Oh, and I also spent time watching the old Fame tv series, recommended by my sister. She and charles are always looking for wholesome shows to watch usually sending them back in time to the 80's and 90's, when tv was much more innocent. We've watched Dr. Quinn, Touched by an Angel, and All Creatures Great and Small. Have to admit though, Fame is pretty awesome...it's sorta of like Glee, except with leg warmers.

I actually spent the whole weekend gardening. it felt so good. i've never really done it by myself...but have always helped my mom, and my sister, and once I potted a tomato when I was in grad school and named him "mater", but mater eventually died without anything significant to show for it.. true story. Anyhow, gardening makes me feel a lot like my mom. Actually, lots of things make me feel a lot like my Mom since I've been living out here alone. I have always had enormous amounts of respect for my mom because she put my brother and sister through college by herself, and basically raised me alone. She was actually a very shy and meek person once upon a time, but life handed her some hard situations and she picked herself up by the bootstraps and faced the demons head on. Now I wonder, how was she so brave, how did she do this? How did she deal with mice, and ants, financial issues, and just everyday all by herself for so many years...even still she does it. You see, I'm at this point in life where I should have a husband who helps me figure this stuff out. Most women my age don't have to do all this alone. And although I'm thankful for the experience, I'm worn out from it. My mom still goes through this, and she is 65. She is still doing it on her own at 65. But despite all that, the thing my mom loves best is to garden. she would rather be out "piddling" in her yard than in the house cleaning. She has the most beautiful yard, and vegetable garden, and i have a lot of memories of her outside riding the lawn mower, dragging the hose across the yard, sitting in the dirt with her spade in hand, and  then taking breaks in between with ice tea in hand. Summer is her thing, it's her happy place. I always watched and helped some...but never had much interest. But this weekend, I finally got it. Gardening really is fun and so rewarding.

I'm trying to spend my time ministering to brandea and charles as much as I can think to. When I hear about my friends going over seas I think "oh, i've never done that and I would really like to!", but I know my ministry is here, with my own family...who needs financial help, or encouragement, a card, a ride, an errand, or a fun present from "aunt boo" :) Now it is easy to minister to them, the hard part will be when they come home and will need so much more help than before. I have gotten to a place in my journey where I am ready for them to come back. I can't wait for my sister to call me and say "Boo, we are coming home!"

Have a backpacking/camping trip planned with my friend jenny. She is a forest ranger so she can build a fire, which means we are good to go!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

untitled

Im sleeping back in my bed tonight after I've been on the couch since last Tuesday. I hope to God I don't hear the mouse trap snap in the middle of the night...ewe, gross.  My life has been pretty crazy the last few months and it finally feels like it's slowing down ("knock on wood") although I still have a lot of things on my mind, personal projects, and professional projects that should be  occupying my time but aren't because I don't know where to start with some of them, so I put them off, and then I get sort of all swallowed up internalizing my concerns and worries about all of it which leads me right into a funk. I've been moping about work, and around my house the past 3 days. In part because I just got back from ATL where I was with my family and friends and I so loved being home, i always do...and it is not unlike me to mope around the day after returning to my dwelling place after spending quality time with people i love. Hopefully tomorrow I will find motivation and get a move on it.
I have some kind of insomnia, have since I was a kid probably, but got really bad in high school. That's actually how I started sleeping in my sleeping bag. I would sleep on the floor in my bag with my bible beside me, when I couldn't go to sleep or would wake up in the night I would read my bible and go back to sleep. I have also taken IBprofin, or nyquil, or warm milk, or a glass of wine before bed, and listening to Andy Stanly from  North Point Community Church is a tried and true trick I use. I've probably listened to all of his sermons in the last 3-4 years. Since I've been out of college it's gotten somewhat better, and there was even a span where I could fall easily to sleep without any sleep aids at all (a record!), although I didn't stay asleep...but the getting to sleep is the worst part. Now it's alright, I think I have found a good sleeping aid that is 90% successful. Valerian root. My sister gives it to her kids when they can't sleep and ofcourse it's natural :) And the great thing is that for adults it is made in tea form. So I just let my tea bag steep for 15-20 minutes (my philosophy is the longer you steep the better you sleep) and then off I go :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

We are Warriors

Went to ATL for the weekend. It was so good to be home. I actually teared up a lot during my air travel to Atl. Home hasn't seemed that inviting and wonderful in a long time. I felt like a child, who could not wait to see her "mommy" and feel safe again. And in finding how comforted I was by the thought of running into my mothers arms at the end of my travels that Friday evening, I realized just how tired of being brave I was. The last 4 months have been utterly exhausting, and I just wanted my mom to take care of me for 3 days, I just wanted my "mommy", and I can't remember a time that I weeped for joy at just the thought of seeing her.
Ran the Warrior Dash with Allison on Saturday. It was so much fun! We got super dirty swimming and crawling through water, running through mud, and other exciting and overcoming other exciting and crazy obstacles.

mom and Aunt Elizabeth made great vikings...


Pre- race
Post-race

 My aunt came along to partake in the excitement. I only have 2 aunts and I decided...I would like to be a good aunt to my nieces and nephews the way she is to me. She shows up for everything, and it's usually always a journey to get to the events in my life, but she comes...without much to-do.
I also got to see my grandfather. that was good but hard. He is in a rehab center at a nursing home right now, getting better, slowly but surely.
On my way home from lynchburg I got lunch with Susan, my old bible study leader. I am forever thankful for her at this time in my life. I enjoy her so much and I love the relationship she has with her new husband. I am always so inspired and encouraged by her/him when we spend time together.
I also bought another bird, introduced him to Mr. Finch. Hopefully it's a good match.
Caleb, my nephew, had his heart surgery last week. He is doing ok. The surgery went well but he has had a few setbacks since then. His lungs collapsed yesterday and he had to go back to Intensive Care Unit. Right now he is intubated with some kind of apparatus that suctions his lungs to his diaphram so that they will re-attatch. He is in a lot of pain which the Dr.'s are trying to manage but caleb also does not tolerate pain meds well and gets sick and throws up the medication. He is eating ok. He apparently is beat red because of the way the blood is not circulating and oxygenating his body, and my sister says he has so many lines (IVS, monitors, etc) that she needs help to hold him.  Please continue to be in prayer for our little guy.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I thought the winter would be sticky but it turns out spring is the season to be a'fearin

Well last night was quite the adventure. I'm definately not lacking for entertainment around here. The Bob cat came back. I handled it with a little more brain power than last time. Instead of using my muffin tin and spoon on the bob cat, I just stood from all the doors of the house calling frantically for Jazz, who eventually did come to the house, although with many dramatics on my part. Knowing what sort of animals were out there kept me frightened enough to just stay in the house this time, instead of chancing an encounter with a bob cat, or coyote. The sounds coming from this creature are eerily close to the house which leaves me surprised Jazz hasn't gotten eaten at this point. 
On top of that, after getting jazz safely in and scolding him to no avail, I go upstairs to my room where, lo and behold, and little brown mouse is just scurrying out of the radiator. Ewe ewe ewe. I called my sister in hysterics and tears. I don't know what it is about mice because I know they won't hurt me...but they are just so gross. Maybe it's because I was once traumatized by Jazz who brought me the gift of a mouse onto my bed in the middle of the night. The mouse was half alive, squeaking and running towards me! Needless to say, Jazz and I were not friends for awhile after that.
So I moved my bird into brandea/charle's room so that jazz could hang out in my room and scare the mice off. I decided NOT to sleep in my room because there was a small chance a mouse could scurry into bed with me. So I had just gotten all my stuff moved downstairs when....THE LIGHTS WENT OUT! No lights anywhere! It's already pitch black and inky out here...so I found some flashlights, at my dinner (it's 10:45pm) of edemame beans (that i had just finished cooking) and a glass of milk and went to bed, uh I mean..couch.

Monday, May 9, 2011

muffin tins and spoons...

So the other night I got home late from work. It was very dark and inky when I got in. I let the cat out, and immediately hear hissing. So I think, maybe he encountered a raccoon. Next thing I know, I hear the most dreadful sound...like a baby crying because it's in pain or being tortured, a truly horrible sound to endure and stand back without doing something. This was the first moment in my life I thought owning a gun might be useful. But instead, fearing Jazz the cat was being tortured by some horrible creature, I can only think to grab a muffin pan and a spoon to bang together in the dark night in order to scare the wild creature and save Jazz (I can't have my sister coming back from Philly with her cat dead...I would be the worst house sitter ever). So I go outside with my flashlight (because all the automatic lights are broken) muffin tin, and metal spoon in hand to save Jazz, the cat. Fortunately, Jazz was standing around in the dark with his eyes bugging out of his head...so scared from the whaling sound of the unknown wild animal that he is stationary. I have never ever been so frightened in my life. Luckily Jazz and I quickly took refuge back into the house once I scatted and shewed him along. Such is the life of me, an innocent girl from the suburbs, too naive to have sense in situations involving wild animals so close to my house. Little did I know it was most likely a bob cat up in the tree right next to my house. I could have been his late night snack, oh but once again I have been spared.  Thank goodness for my muffin tin and spoon, a deadly weapon indeed :)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

untitled

I have happily created a safe place for myself here in Warm Springs, forming friendships, running again, and improving my overall quality of life by getting involved here. Although, I have had very lonely moments and there have been many a tear in the last 6 months, overall I think I am in a good place. For a long time I have experienced an extended winter...starting since last July, and am embracing the change of seasons in both physical and spiritual state at every opportunity; Just a week ago I felt myself affirmed in the contrasted colors of greens in the various elevations of the mountains on my daily drive to and from work. Part of me is the blooming spring green, with a fresh face to embrace yet another season of life, whatever it may have in store for me...while a deeper part of me is still a dark green, where there are more shadows and the sun does linger, and nature needs time to take it's course.
Well it turns out I was not so safe after all, it was really just my own man-made diversion. Turns out I am still broken and have a long way to go.
I am grateful for my brother-in-law who, in the last 10 years, has stepped into my life to take over the godly man/role model in my life without ever being asked. He has always taken the time to help me heal, to impart wisdom, and genuine concern for my wholeness as his sister. And tonight, I saw him cry for me. In all these years, I am not certain I can remember this happening before. And, that's when I knew I was in serious trouble.   It turns out there is more healing that needs to happen in areas of my life including with my father, and some of my relationship issues that are pretty deep that I have been avoiding here lately. I kind of hit a brick wall with things in the last two weeks and have not sought God because I just lost hope I guess. But Charles gave me a word that I am missing out on the blessing because of the spiritual block in my life and I wish it weren't true, but I know he is right. and so now I have to move. I have to act. I can't be disobedient, because I am here, in warm springs, for such a time as this, i know. I have to be okay before I leave here, and I really really want to leave here. so that's motivation enough.
Also, the funniest thing here lately is that my family is trying to have an intervention for my thinness (out of nowhere, because I have been thin for about 4 years now), which is seriously turning into an after school special. I have had some very cliche conversations with my sister and with charles that one would watch on the lifetime channel about my said eating disorders and anorexia. But I have consented to go to the Dr. to make sure I'm okay, although I have always said it's just a worm.

"Rejoice in the spring time of the year.Let there be Springtime in your hearts. The full time of fruit is not yet but there is the promise of the blossom." A.J. Russell

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ramble

I'm in a really good place right now. In fact, I'm rather enjoying my lot in life now. I am working and saving money to go on a euro-tour for a few months hopefully next August. So now I am diligently pressing on toward that goal...I thrive with goals, and my life feels like it has some purpose again. Also, I'm in the market for a "new" used car because the transmission is slipping again in my ZX2. I'm pretty excited for the excuse to get another car since I've had my old one for about 9 years! It was my very first car I bought all by myself when I was a Snr in high school. And now it's time for an SUV baby! I'm so pumped. It is a "freeman" thing for us women to have big cars and be able to tow and tote things...it's like I came out of the womb with that instinct or something...I actually already have a hitch. So I'm totally prepared.
Also, I was a victim of a flash flood this weekend. I went into the wine shop and the next thing I know, the sidewalk which I had used 15 minutes ago was covered by a strong current of rushing water, and water was coming into the store from under the door! I was so scared. Logs were literally floating through the downtown. I had visions of being rescued in a boat and my car (parked on the main street) floating away, while a helicopter documented overhead for the local evening news. So the shop owner handed me a glass of wine to pass the time and help cease the shaking in my knees. And just as quickly as it started, the water receded and I was back on my way.
And such is life in Warm Springs, VA...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Update



You may wonder what I do out in these woods to occupy my time, with my family gone, and no television...well...
This is what I've been working on for Caleb. I started quilting this winter, actually a part of two quilting classes. A co-worker organized everyone to make "squares" for a quilt for my newest nephew (who has a severe heart defect) and of course, I offered to assemble the quilt, quite the ontaking since I have not yet completed a quilt in any of my classes. Everyone was so awesome and even people who are not crafty made something. I was really touched and encouraged daily by this project and it brought me hope. Most days, I would show up to work and there would be new "squares" waiting! It made my day to see how much people cared about my family and how enthusiastic they were about this project. I have not completely finished it yet, but it only needs the border around the edges and that won't take long! So excited and proud of my first completed quilt!


Up-close view of the "squares" made by staff/co-workers

There are safety pins still in that I used to keep it together while I sewed.

Heading to Philly over Easter weekend and will surprise the family with it! Can't wait.

So I currently have allergies and possibly a sinus infection which has resulted in laryngitis again! I can't believe this. Exactly this time last year I remember staying home from work for 2 days and looking out at the tree blooming right outside my window and loving that I got to see it in the days many lights because I was home...well I'm about at that place again! haha. Note to self- if I ever get married, I am not to do it in the month of April, because I am not very pretty, pleasant, or able to talk during parts of April.

Also, it is bad timing because in 1 month from today I will be participating in this race
http://www.warriordash.com/
super excited but also way out of shape...(I haven't run in almost 2 years)...So I am also currently reading the book "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall in order to re-visit and re-inspire my love for running.

Tomorrow I am supposed to go hunting for mushrooms with my forest ranger friend. Apparently this is something people do around here, or maybe in lots of places and I had never heard of it until a couple of weeks ago. But apparently this is mushroom season?!

Also, another random story about my life here.
Some man from my church called here to ask me on a date, and when I say man, I mean...he's been married before and is a bit older than what I'm goin for. I have never met him, at least I don't think. But even though we've never met, he knows me, where I live, and therefore my phone number, because I stick out like a sore thumb around here...Maybe I don't. But I sure feel like I do most of the time.



Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Napolean

I ate a giant bowl of Napolean ice cream tonight because I have a really sore throat and it's a good excuse to eat bowls and bowls of my favorite ice cream. Funny how such a wonderful thing reminds me of this past summer which was saturated with sadness and disappointment. After my ex-boyfriend broke up with me Charles and Brandea were immediately armed with said ice cream. I ate bowls of it in bed, just like I did tonight. And then, only two weeks later Caleb was diagnosed with a severe heart defect and it was just devastating to us all, but especially to Brandea and she too was comforted by said ic cream.  It just is funny how I had forgotten the comfort I had found in eating ice cream, and haven't had or needed any of it in quite some time. I sure do hope this is a napolean-free summer!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Stuck in the Mud









Feeling like I'm in a rut the last couple of  weeks and just  not able to move forward right now. My friend and I got stuck in the mud this weekend while parking in the grass for an event. The wheels just kept spinning and spinning. Although we brainstormed some pretty good gameplans to get "unstuck" we were reluctant to attempt them without some assistance, afraid we would only get ourselves into more of a mess...sinking down deeper. Turns out the fix was pretty easy, we just lacked the confidence and experience to get our vehicle safe to dry land.  Next time we'll know. 
I too am hoping this is an easy fix, God will come and rescue me with his all-knowing wisdom and guidance onto the dry land. But I'm not really sure if I should be waiting around on God or if it's my turn to take the plunge by myself.



Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bloom

I'm getting ready to spend a long weekend with my Dad and his wife in DC. Finally heading to the Cherry Blossom Festival after a couple years of failed plans and I'm so excited. I'm also incredibly nervous. I always have a lot of anxiety around my dad. He says hurtful things constantly and is just generally condescending. So that puts me on the defense emotionally while at the same time I want to please him and feel his acceptance. (as i reread this I realize that is exactly my posture in my dating relationships, thanks dad)
I'm never sure if he knows he is being a jerk and wants to get a response (which is my mom's theory), or if he is just unintentionally an asshole. And then there are moments when he is really kind and supportive and tells me that he loves me, which I'm so thankful for. In summary, it's just very confusing to spend time with him.

I listened to a sermon yesterday that spoke about giving forgiveness in our relationships, and the guy specifically spoke about his own father. He said this statement in passing that really struck me and I wish it hadn't. But he said "until I forgave my Dad, I could never truly be in a loving dating relationship."
I can't imagine forgiving my dad for all the hurtful things he has said and is yet to say. But isn't that what Jesus does? How can I withhold from my father the same grace that God gives to me everyday?
I recently gave a friend advice to make amends with her mother after she said "if anything ever happened to her, or if we never reconcile, I would feel so guilty." That's how I feel everyday about my Dad. I mean honestly, not a day goes by that I don't think about that...and I know that day will come, and I will have regrets without a shadow of a doubt. I just don't know how to do it, and make it stick. I don't know how to release it and let it go.
I thought once I got out of school our relationship would be better because I would be financial independent. and it is some days. Now I think, when I get married my relationship with my dad will get better (my sister's did...because my dad respects men, but not women). But maybe my dad doesn't live to see me get married. Maybe I just need to stop waiting on something, because nothing will ultimately reconcile us unless I have forgiveness. Plus, I don't want the broken relationship I have with my father to have any holds over me, I don't want to give him that power or satisfaction.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Letting go

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.” — Herman Hess


 “Change is never easy, you fight to hold on, and you fight to let go.” 


Today, I am relieved to let go.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring spring spring

Things are actually going alright these days. I completed 16 hours of my community service this weekend with one more saturday ( 8 hrs) to go! I've started back into running...can't believe I haven't done it in so long. It's like this intrinsic part of myself that I have somehow stored away for so long. I feel more alive all the time. I've endured almost 3 months of solitude on this isolated mountain and I welcome this first day of spring with open arms, hoping for hope, hoping God says "yes" to me, hoping I say "yes" to him, and can experience the spring in the same way that the birds and flowers do...in a joyful frenzy with complete trust in the unceasing cycles of seasons and life for all that is in store during spring time. I want to bask in God's warmth this spring, unhindered by my past, my guilt, and sin, despair, and sometimes way word thoughts. I want to be full in.
Side note: Earth day is only a month away!


Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!sitting bull

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mountain to Sea trail

I figured since my last blog was so strange and depressing I should check in so that people know I am still here, and really as crazy as my last sylvia plath postings may have hinted at. I feel like im on the other side of the mountain now. I have 25 hours of community service to look forward to, some reconciliation with God in my near future (i'm just sure of it), my family will be back in a couple of months along with tulips and warm weather, and a completed quilt  or 2 and a book that should be finished soon; So things are certainly looking up.
 I've been so aggravated with the state of my life as I am "in the middle" of a myriad of projects...funny to think that just 6 months ago I was complaining that I was not doing "anything", no hobbies or passions or things to pass time by other than work. My quality of life has certainly improved in the last couple of months, although my heart still isn't quite right, but this too shall pass....So all in all, things are looking up. A part of me doesn't want to let the heart pangs go, because it really means saying goodbye to a season of my life entailed in the good and the bad emotions the beginnings and the ends...to push that floating log that once saved my life back out to sea and watch it drift out of view, eventually forgetting it's significance and healing purposes in my life. I will stay by the shore and wait for the next drifting log to come to shore...although I hope I am not just standing and waiting for it, I hope I am dancing, spinning, laughing, and living when that drifter hits land.

I'm just afraid to let go of love because what if I can't get that feeling back ever again. What if I just forget how to feel the right emotions and have the right responses in order to give my heart to someone else.
It's surreal at times to realize that I am ok again without him, without anyone here really.I have returned to my life that existed before him (baseline), but actually I am not that same person, so I guess we are not to go back, but to go forward.... it scares me a little bit to have that capacity and be so ok with being alone most of my life, it makes me afraid that I will end up alone because it's so easy and comfortable to me, it's second nature.