Saturday, January 08, 2011


I need an Awakening.  Tomorrow I am starting a 21 day fast with my church based on the Awakening book (& website linked in title) by Stovell Weems.  I have attempted this before.  I have never been that successful at fasting but I am also not a quitter by nature.  A friend recently said to me something like 'I need to let go of the past & the pain.  It has changed who I am'.  I think pain SHOULD change who you are.  As cleche' as it is, pain in your life will make you bitter or better.  I have been bitter.  I want to be better.  I am hoping by fasting, I can refocus & move in 'better' direction.

I am at a job that I am mostly happy with.  I am dealing with being a working mom.  I am a little more stable financially.  I hate a little less.  But it could all be better.  

When I have tried fasting in the past, I never could focus on God much because I was so consumed by the discomfort of my flesh.  I would be grouchy & have no energy and never managed to function at a decent level.  The book Awakening has really got me amped about this fast though because I feel a bit more prepared and a little less legalistic & much more expectant.  I feel my faith has been strengthened & my unbelief has been helped.  It was a good book.  I hope it is a great fast that awakens my relationship with God.  Here's to hope in 2011.

Monday, November 29, 2010


I am a prisoner.  Fear binds me, stripping me of my appetite and hope.  I'm hot despite the lack of heat around me & I lack the ease & comfort one normally receives from being in their own bedroom.  I sit tense on the edge of my bed doing the only thing I can at this moment.  I am thanking God.  Thank You God for You are good.  I praise You for You are good.  Over & over, without feeling, without meaning, hoping the words will work like a magic spell.

There are no accidents.  You chose my parents, my siblings, my husband, my home.  You know what You are doing & You see the big picture while I sit trapped.  Unable to leave.  Unable to stop the terrors that cause my fear to make my belly hot.  Unable to find anything to control in the madness that God knew was going to be my existence.

He continues to blow me Kisses.  After losing the job that made me miserable but would have gotten me on my own feet financially, I was out of work for 35 days, & I thought I was going to die from the depression & hopelessness.  Someone who cares about me pointed out that having that job for the 5 weeks I did got me caught up on some of my finances and if I hated it, it was best I lose the job because I never would have quit.  I see the big picture from that pain.  Some.

Then after 35 days, I am offered a gift of a job which I love & makes me happy & uses my gifts but does not pay enough for me to take care of myself.  I think maybe I am not supposed to take care of myself.  I also see the vast sickness of my codependency.  Still I can not see yet how being bullied and manipulated into taking care of other family members is going to work for my good, like Romans 8:28 promises.  Being bullied is horrible.  Having someone control you with fear is sickening.  Not being able to trust those who are supposed to take care of you & protect you is lonely.  How do I not let my circumstances blacken my soul and ice over my heart?  How can I bear the thought of sending my daughters out into the world knowing what I found out there?  How can I model to them 'God is all you need' when I don't feel that way from my prison cell?  How do I show them freedom when I am not sure I ever lived there?

I can not deny His Kisses.  He keeps blowing them & they are my oxygen.  I know the next one will always come & I believe His timing is above my comprehension.  I just get tired of feeling like I may die before my next Breath comes.  I totally understand how the disciples felt in Matthew 9:25.  'Jesus help!  We are going to drown!'

Thank God He keeps quieting my storms.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

no respecter of persons

Besides maybe one day getting out of debt, working again may gain me some really valuable lessons.  What I want does not matter.  How honest I am does not make people trust me.  No matter how much you plan and organize (& pray & wish), there are only 24 hours in a day.  You will not always get applauded for doing the right thing.

I hate when I think i have learned a biblical truth only to find out I just got the basic concept and the real lesson is a lot more likely to strip away big chunks of flesh.  We can rejoice too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  Romans 5:3-4.

As adorable as that verse is, I am in the gross part right now.  After 5 weeks of working all but full time, my kids are still a wreck, my finances are even worse off (dumb stuff keeps happening; truck repairs, speeding ticket due, credit card scam, etc, etc) I never see my spouse to work on our relationship, I still cant seem to do things right at work, so much so my job may be threatened, even though I am giving it my all.  I have not been able to make it to church except the days I was asked to volunteer and it is getting cold.  There is no time for friends and fun, only function and never frivolity.  I live where the good die young and evil is blatantly rewarded. 

while the end is no where in sight, I still hold to the belief that there will be a Light there.  I remember that there always has been One before.  The Light has been so faithful that I am not doubting the Light exists, but I really only continue to put one foot in front of the other out of habit.  Out of pride.  Out of spite.  Out of lack of options.  I just hope I make it to the end without getting lost.  I expect some bumps and bruises along the way.  Endurance, strength, character blah blah.  So I keep at my rat race.  Never giving up.  Growing weary but never quitting.  Waiting & working & falling & bruising and knowing one day I will again see the Light.        

Thursday, September 09, 2010

The Price of Truth

You have the right to remain silent.  Anything you say can & will be used against you.  I never have been one to remain silent.  I learned at an early age that what I said would be used against me.  Still I could not keep the truth silent.  Apparently I still cant.

I keep hearing one of my favorite songs play over & over in my head.  A line actually.  Aerosmith's Dream On.  You've got to lose to know how to win.  Sometimes when you are honest, when you tell the truth, when you refuse to remain silent, you lose.

There is not much I hate more than lies.  I hate myself most when I lie.  So I came clean about some lies I have been dealing with and it cost me something precious.  I want to be mad about it.  It is so much easier to just emote in anger.  It is so much easier to rage than to be vulnerable & admit pain & brokenness.  The anger belongs to me.  My scars & the open wounds I have hidden with band aids were gifts from others.  The anger, that is mine.  Still, the truth is free.  It is not prison & chains.  It is not darkness & cold.  I may lose but sometimes that is what it takes to win.

In the end I know the price of truth will be worth it.  I trust God & know my broke needs His fix.  I would never want my junk to bleed all over something I love & taint or jeopardize it.  The truth has a high price.  Maybe that is why I require it.  Every body's got their dues in life to pay.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Permission to Speak Freely by Anne Jackson

Love it! The first thing I love is the visual appeal of this book. I love the look and even the feel of the book. The cover art is great then the more pages you turn, the more artistically beautiful the book becomes.

The intro made me want to cry tears of relief. I fell in love with Anne Jackson before I even got to chapter 1! I am not often a fan of Christians but not only do I want to go to church with Anne, I would love to have her as a friend. I love that she took a huge chance with this book and the topics it covers and I am so relieved to see she is not offering up her book as a cure in 7 easy steps. I love that she acknowledges that humans are so individual that what works for one may not for the other. I love that! It is so frustrating to bring a problem to the church or a christian and be given a pat response that does not work and adds to our guilt.

This book was rhema words to me that left me wanting to curl up in Anne's lap and sob while she held me. I honestly do not think I can possible give a biased review of this book because it was written for me. I do believe that she has touched on something that Christians NEED to tap into if we ever expect to make it through our journey following Christ. Jesus is Truth. The Church are His people. When we, as His people cant speak about our personal Truth, we die a little. Sometimes we die a lot. Anne gave the gift of going first by writing this book. It is a gift. I hope I find the strength to go second with my own confession now so the gift will continue to live. I pray millions of others will be strengthened enough by her gift to do the same. I long to live in a world where we have the permission to speak freely. No matter how painful or how much it cost, Anne highlighted the messy beauty that results. That's what Im talkin bout, baby.

Monday, August 30, 2010


i believe tomorrow will make day 21 of the fast I recently mentioned. I have failed beautifully! A lot can happen in 21 days, insanity can be conceived, be birthed, breath & conquer & then die. All in 21 days or less.

Instead of floating into peaceful spiritual tranquility, I wound up stumbling Lipton Tea style into the dark abyss of pride, of evil, of sin. I hate to sound like a Christian but it was satan. Even though it is not the norm for me, I chose isolation and fear. I tried to walk into the light & instead cowered from it. I tried to stay pure & holy & wound up dirty & defiled. I tried to be strong & was weak. But that was where I found Truth and escape.

I have been noticed. I have been tossed a line. I have been rescued.

This week begins news for me. New job. New schedule. New counselor. New issues I have not cross examined. New relationships. New vulnerabilities. New hope.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

In the Sanctuary of Outcasts

I found this book to be an easy read and a quick read. It was not exactly gripping where I had to know what was next, but I definitely was anxious to continue reading. The real appeal may not have been Neil’s experience for me. His story and the lessons he learned were nice, but I was just completely curious about a place that was a prison to criminals and at the same time a refuge to medical outcasts.

The truths Neil learned are basics; a good life with loved ones does not require wealth. It is vital to be honest without worrying about your image. Helping others is nobler than winning awards. I was glad he learned those things, we all should but it was not what made the story interesting to me.

Ella was easily the character I was drawn to the most. I did enjoy Link too though. I loved the message that life changing relationships developed in this strange location where the river runs North (does it really??) though the people never would have been friends outside of the magic that was Carville. Not everyone gets a chance like that so it was definitely story worthy to me.

Some things that stuck with me after reading were in Ch 36 where Neil described how he used to date beauty queens and after time, their stunning beauty became common. He said the same thing happened with the leper patients. Over time, their deformities & disfigurements faded into the norm. On both sides of the spectrum, after time physical traits disappear. I wish more people comprehended that and put less importance into the physical. It was comical to me that Neil wanted to wear cologne while in prison so I was glad he got over his definition of beauty by the end of the book.

My favorite Link moments include Ch 30 when dealing with a leprosy patient, he called him a leper. Smeltzer got upset and told Link ‘don’t call me that’. Link said ‘you got leprosy don’t you? What you want me to call you then?’ Smeltzer did not know. That was profoundly sad to me but I love Link’s candor.

Also in Ch 38 after his wife told Neil she was divorcing him, Link asked why Neil was sad. He told Link about the divorce and he laughed. He said ‘you a liar, you lost $2 million and you in jai! What you think she gonna do?!?’ I paraphrased to keep the eff words out.

The last thing I found so noteworthy was something Neil’s mother said to him in Ch 41. He did not want to live in the town his children were in and had a long list of valid reasons why. His mom told him ‘you either live in the same town with your children…or you don’t. There is no in between.’ I don’t think people get that. I dare say fathers don’t get it. It is so important for parents to put aside their own wants for the needs of the children. I was so glad Neil got that!