Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Isn't HE awesome?

At the behest of fellow bloggers, I'm posting some more of my photographs. I took them this week.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Thorn in the Flesh

I feel that no matter what I do, I will feel empty. It's terrible. Each day I discover that I'm not who I was the day before... and that (hopefully, anyway) I'm better for it. Each day God is molding me, shaping me into who He wants me to be. It's terribly painful. It makes my head and body ache most of the time. I hate it some days. Some days I thoroughly enjoy it. Most days I feel very far from the world, from people. And some days I feel so close to people I can hardly breathe. It's breath taking and awe striking.

What is His will? And who am I that He should choose me for any of it? Has He? And if He has, what is It?

I feel lost and confused, dazed and completely out of control. I'm o.k. with that. What I'm not o.k. with is this empty feeling. This idea that enters my head from time to time that tells me that no matter what, I will be purposeless and unfullfilled for my entire existance.

I believe this comes from The Enemy. I know it does. But it is so heavy. So heavy... the weight of that one thought... and thoughts are unescapable. You can't run away from them. You can't leave them at home. You can't turn them off or wash them away in the shower. You can't tell them to shut up. You can't break-up with them. They are in your head. And that is terrifying to me. No wonder people are capable of going insane... when it's in your head, how do you escape? How do you believe anything different?

I feel that I am called to something so great. To change the world. Changing the world of course comes by changing one life at a time... not easy work. But worthy.

I do believe that Satan burdens those who are the most costly to him. So I guess I should feel very complimented. But I don't. I just hate him. I hate what he has done in my life. I hate the pain. Although I may minister to woman who have been in my position (which there seem to be more and more of) I despise him for it.

And God does not give us anything we cannot handle. And JG told me that she believes I was called to this... that I should write down my account. Publish it even. Get the word out so that so many woman do not feel alone. Maybe this is my purpose for this time in my life. Maybe so.

I suppose Paul had days when he was so burdened by his own guilt it nearly drove him mad. I'm sure The Enemies of darkness surrounded him in the night and taunted him til he couldn't hardly see straight. Maybe that was his "thorn in the flesh." I know that it is mine.

For Marrie

Marrie had a post on her blog about how she saw herself and I was intrigued; it was an excellent post. She asked the question, "how do you see yourself?" Well, Marrie, here is part of the answer.

The first memory I have of being aware of myself is one of my middle brother T and I. We were outside the house in Amarillo, I was about four and he around two. I picked up a can of WD-40 and sprayed it, the nozzle was pointing toward him and it sprayed in his eyes. I didn't know what a nozzle was or which way to point it. I just pushed the top down. When I took T inside to get my Mom, she kept asking me what happened, I told her he did it. I was too afraid to tell her I did it and it was an accident. So, I saw myself as a liar, as a guilty liar. And I worried for a long time about it.

In elementary school I had a "friend" (and I use the term loosely) named Monica. She at one point turned our whole fifth grade class against me. It was terrible. But because I thought Jesus would have been her friend I desperately pursued her friendship. I am the village idiot to the nth degree. Monica's mother would not let her come to my house or spend the night at my house. If we wanted to spend time together outside of school I had to go to her house. I didn't understand why then, but I do now. I distinctly remember one time when Monica stood at our front door (a RARITY) and her mother was looking inside through the screen door. I will never forget the look in her eyes. The look was one of disgust and contempt. Why should her daughter associate with "those" kind of people? "Those" being ones without sufficient income in her eyes.

I started playing basketball in the fourth grade. My Dad used to come to games when he had the chance which was great. I have always loved my Dad. He is one of the greatest men I know. However the car ride on the way home was always terrible because I never seemed to play defense hard enough or I could have made the shot if I'd practiced more at the beginning of the week... don't get me wrong. Dad was just trying to encourage. He didn't know. But a lot of the reason I stopped playing (later in life that is) is because I was never going to be good enough. Never. And that's how I've always felt. Always. It's like carrying around a ton of bricks. Now that I'm divorced, since I married a man who didn't want me on numerous levels (emotionally, physically, mentally, intellectually) that feeling is only amplified and reinforced.

In fifth grade I tried out for the Sound of Music, for the part of Lisel and I got it! Now, it would take an act of congress for me to try out for a part which is why is was such a big deal for me to try out for Sing Song hostess at ACU. I have always loved to sing. Always. If I could, I'd do it for a living. I sang with a group in high school and we were great... sang for large audiences and people loved us. I don't mind singing when there's other people singing with me but when it comes to a solo you can forget about it. So when some friends and I decided to try out for Sing Song host and hostess it was a big deal (and I have always dreamed of being a hostess as dumb as that is). The first time I sang my solo my friend Bekah heard the first note and said, "Wow! I didn't know you could sing like that!" And yet I still have confidence issues.

In middle school, I became obsessed with my appearance because I had a friend who was constantly looking in the mirror. I think every other question she asked was, "Do I look o.k.?" I thought I was fat. I thought I had the ugliest face known to man. I thought I wasn't good at anything... basketball, art, writing, singing (all the things I enjoyed most). Nothing. I'm not sure what happened between the summer of fifth grade and the beginning of sixth grade but it was something terrible. I lost all confidence and self-esteem. I'm sure something happened that I have chosen to block out... and I'm sure it had something to do with my friend Jenny's aunt.

In high school my mom used to tell me that I could have any guy I wanted. Whether or not that was ever the case I don't know. But I never saw it. Never. I have always seen myself as fat. I haven't ever thought I was beautiful or pretty or anything of the like. I have always seen myself as someone who looks awkward and says stupid things at all the wrong times. And I still don't know what Mom was talking about... and Mom wasn't the only one who said it. K said it one time about a year ago. I met with him and told him about the situation with J and he said that of all the guys to have picked it would be the one who didn't want me when there was a whole slew of them who did. And I asked him what he was talking about and he said, "L, I know these things. I was at the retreats and stayed with the guys. Every last one of them would have given their right arm to date you. One time the seniors asked all the guys in the room to name the one girl they would date if they could and everyone one of them named you." But none of them ever asked.

I see myself most recently as someone who for the first time in their life decided to stand up and say, "No More" and who will now forever be branded for it. Scarlet letter D on the shoulder. I see myself as someone who isn't extradordinarily beautiful or even remotely beautiful but doesn't need to be because my love is so deep that it makes up for it. It is pure. I see myself as someone who doesn't quit who doesn't give up. Who stands up for what's right, regardless of whether or not it's difficult. I see myself as someone who can be and who is influential.

I have always struggled with guilt. Struggled with self-image most of my life. I have not, however, struggled with my identity. I know who and whose I am. I have always known that. Always. But I have always been worried about what others thought of me, but not in the peer pressure kind of way.

As far as how others see myself, I feel like now they see me as a failure, as someone who couldn't keep their own husband. As someone who wasn't wanted. What man doesn't want to be intimate with their new wife? What kind of story is that? How grosteque do you have to be? I feel like people think I'm a liar. Men will pay a prostitute on the street... but he didn't want what he had right in front of him? And my own family thought I had to be lying. How's that for encouragment?

So that's only a little of how I see myself. I feel a little naked now. I think most times I feel naked on my blog though... blogs are for nakedness in some form or another.

This subject could be written on about all night... but I'll quit here.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Collective Soul

So Tuesday night I went to a Collective Soul concert at the Granada. IT WAS AWESOME!!!!! And that's putting it mildly. My friend Leslie called me Monday night and told me she hung out with two of the band members (Ryan, the drummer and Dean, rhythm guitarist) on Sunday night. She was entertaining two co-workers that were in town from Montreal on business and met them... how crazy is that. Long story short, they told her to come to the concert, bring some friends and meet them backstage afterwards. So she asked me to go (and I'm so glad she thought of me because I LOVE Collective Soul... they rock my face off!!!!)

We were SO VIP. After a few minor complications, we were able to get in and were about 15 feet from the stage. The Granada is a pretty intimate setting anyway, great venue for a concert. Tony (one of CS's roadies) walked us in the door and found us a great spot to the left of the stage. He even got us drinks... we didn't have to pay for a thing! We were instructed to wait out back after the concert for Dean. The concert itself was SO COOL... yeah, I just can't even tell you... it was SO much fun!

At the conclusion of the concert, we went out back as instructed and waited on the hood of Leslie's car and talked with Tony. Ryan came out and talked with us for a little while, told us Dean would be out shortly. We took a quick pic with Ryan (which I don't have, Leslie does... Tony couldn't operate my camera). Will, the bass guitarist came out and talked with us for awhile. He is a hoot. And hot... yeah. He's hot... let me just reiterate the fact that the man is hot. Anyway, we shot the bull with him for awhile and before he took off he says to us, "So, what's the word? Are we hanging out later or what?" So did all of you get that... the hottie bass guitarist from Collective Soul asked us if we were gonna hang out with them. YEAH. So, despite my urge to scream, "HECK YES!" to him, I played it cool. Before he left, he made sure to let us know he would "be back around." Dean came out shortly and upon seeing Leslie gave her a huge hug. All of the guys were really nice and had good firm hand shakes... always a good thing. Anyway, he introduced himself. We all talked for awhile... wow. It was crazy... we were hanging out in the parking lot with Collective Soul. Are you kidding me? Anyway, Dean invited us to hang out with them at the bar next door and then go to their huge after party at a place downtown. He was all about Leslie (gee, wonder what he was really after? hmmmm...) By the way, this is the same Leslie that's in the pictures from the Fogo de Chao post... super cute and such a hottie. Oh! How could I forget? When Dean said he would meet up with us at the Havana, he kissed me on the cheek goodbye, saying it was a pleasure to meet me.

We went next door with the crew for a little while but it was already so late and we both had to be at work today. However, at the bar, Leslie and I were sitting there talking to Tony (which by the end of the evening I think he wanted to marry me) and Will (the HOTTIE) comes in and makes a bee-line for us. I'm sitting on a barstool and he comes over to order a drink. He leans against the bar looks me in the eye and says, "I'm feeling especially evil tonight." Now I have to confess that the first thought that came to my mind was not one of pure and holy intent. What I wanted to do was say... well... I won't tell you, but I wanted to say it and then shoot him a look that would make a sailor think twice. But alas, I did not.

So, Leslie and I left shortly after. We did not go to the huge after party, even though it would have been cool to say we did. We can say that we did get personal invites from three of the band members though. I think that it was wise to have left when we did. I have plenty of self-control... but usually it's best to stay out of the fire all together. I got home and was in bed around 2 am. At work by 9 am.

Below are pics from the concert. Some turned out better than others... but some of them are kind of artsy. I think they're allright. Disappointed though. As good as my new camera is, I should have waited and got the Canon. Dang it. DANG IT. You can't beat a Canon...

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Wages of Sin

Some days the guilt and shame are so much that I can hardly breathe. Some days it's so much that it's hard to lift my head or drag one foot to take one step in the right direction.

Yesterday and today are those days.

How do you tell someone about something you don't completely understand yourself? How do you explain to them something that still baffles you? That still makes your head spin? How do you tell them that you are as much of a sinner as the person who sinned against you?

I feel old, so old that some days it's crippling. A man told me not too long ago after speaking with me for awhile that I had "an old spirit"... whatever that means. And yet, at the same time I feel as if I've been reborn; I've had a renaissance, a rebirth. No more suffocation, the bag removed from my head and I can see clearly now. No longer looking through the haze of the thick plastic of the past. And it feels good. But I feel guilty for feeling good about it...

Today I just feel so heavy, as if walking with a 1,000 pounds of extra weight. Drudgery. Most days I'm able to put it off, but not today. And when I'm like this it's visible. People ask me what it is that's that matter because I think I look heavy, I look weighed down.

But I continue. Because that's what you do. And it's not bad... it's not bad. God is so good... he is so good to me. But my heart hurts... it just hurts with pain of my own sin against Him and the pain of having to tell others about it. It's emotionally exhausting.

The problem with pain... is that it hurts.

"Surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of man he is..."
~C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

"Nothing is yet in its true form."
~C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces

"Love may forgive all infirmities and love still in spite of them: but Love cannot cease to will their removal."
~C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

but since you've been gone
I can breathe for the first time
I'm so movin on
thanks to you
now I get
I get what I want
since you've been gone

~ Kelly Clarkson

At times life is wicked and I just can't see the light
A silver lining sometimes isn't enough
To make some wrongs seem right
Whatever life brings
I've been through everything
And now I'm on my knees again

But I know I must go on
Although I hurt I must be strong
Because inside I know that many feel this way...

~ Creed

Sometimes I need to remember just to breathe
Sometimes I need you to stay away from me
Sometimes I’m in disbelief I didn’t know
Somehow I need you to go
Don’t stay
Forget our memories
Forget our possibilities
What you were changing me into
Just give me myself back and
Don’t stay
Forget our memories
Forget our possibilities
Take all your faithlessness with you
Just give me myself back and
Don’t stay
Sometimes I feel like I trusted you too well
Sometimes I just feel like screaming at myself
Sometimes I’m in disbelief I didn’t know
Somehow I need to be alone
I don’t need you anymore, I don’t want to be ignored
I don’t need one more day of you wasting me away
I don’t need you anymore, I don’t want to be ignored
I don’t need one more day of you wasting me away
With no apologies
Don't stay
Don't stay

~ Linkin Park

And that's how I feel today.

Book Quiz - Courtesy of Mr. Honeybee

On Mr. Honeybee's most recent post, she took a book quiz to tell you what book you're most like. Well, I decided to take it and here's what it came up with. Pretty accurate I might say... you should take it too!

You're Confessions!

by St. Augustine

You're a sinner, you're a saint, you do not feel ashamed. Well, you
might feel a little ashamed of your past, but it did such a good job of teaching you
what not to do. Now you've become a devout Christian and have spent more time
ruminating on the world to come rather than worldly pleasures. Your realizations and
ability to change will bring reverence upon you despite your hedonistic transgressions.
Florida will honor you most in the end.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Fogo de Chao

So the evening with the ladies Friday turned out great. Spent WAY too much money, it was WAY expensive ($70 on me alone, the 11 us ran a $684 tab). I have never felt so pampered ever. The waiters pulled your chair out for you every time you got up and sat down... I felt like a princess! Thought I'd share some pics...

Partners in crime... but mostly accountability! Ashley is the best!

Leslie and I pose for the camera...

Monday, August 22, 2005

Tag, I'm It!

7 things I plan to do before I die:

1. backpack Europe
2. be HAPPILY married with children (keyword there being HAPPILY)
3. go whale watching and actually SEE a whale (been twice... still haven't seen one)
4. sell some of my photography
5. do some type of mission work some where outside the U.S.
6. go on an African safari
7. go to Australia

7 things I can do:

1. shoot a basketball with a gun in my hand (oh yes Demo, I'm THAT talented)
2. twirl my hair for hours on end (yeah Beef, maybe eventually when I'm not insane, I'll break the habit)
3. play the cello (or at least I could... haven't in awhile)
4. ride a bike without holding on to the handle bars
5. attract all types of psychos and dorks (apparently, it's my specialty)
6. play some CRAZY defense (basketball)... oh yes, I will know what kind of gum you're chewing :)
7. make some kickin' chili (as well as chocolate chip cookies)

7 things I can't do:

1. drive my Jeep when the gas tank is empty
2. sell my guitar on ebay (CAUSE the STINKIN'THING WON'T SELL!!!!!)
3. I've finally figured it out... I CAN'T RESCUE PEOPLE!!!!
4. change the past... unfortunately
5. balance my checkbook (to my mother's everlasting grief and shame... and my everlasting grief)
6. quit my job and move to Timbucktoo (even though it sounds appealing)
7. save myself

7 things that attract me to the opposite sex:

1. Eyes
2. Sense of humor... you gotta be funny, you can't make through life without being able to laugh at yourself
3. Relationship with God (MUCHO importante!!!)
4. Relationship with family (just not so close to your mother that you spoon her in bed... yes, thanks for that one J)
5. gotta be laid back, easy going... none of this up-tight crap
6. o.k., you gotta be taller than me (not hard too accomplish) and bigger than me (also not too hard to accomplish). I don't want to feel like I'm going to kill you if I sit on your lap. And if some guy talks trash about me, you need to be big enough to kick his tale... yeah... So, basically, you have to be hot. ;) (which encompasses all the things listed here.)
7. Must be romantic... and let me clarify. I don't mean that you have to spend a lot of money... this doesn't qualify as romanticism. What I'm talking about is planning ahead and being thoughtful. Going out of your way every once in a while... not too much to ask I think.

7 things I say most:

1. dadgumit
2. Oh mylanta!
3. anything ending in "izzle" (thanks Beef)
4. dang it all to hades
5. crap (need to quit saying this one)
6. good gravy
7. what is wrong with these people?

7 Celebrity Crushes

1. Pierce Brosnan (oh yes, right there with you Discom!!! that man will be hot when he's 100)
2. Matthew McConaughey (it's that Texas drawl and the eyes... good gravy I could... o.k. I'd better quit while I'm still ahead...)
3. Antonio Banderas
4. Orlando Bloom
5. Brad Pitt (he just seems real down to earth)
6. Christian Bail (just because he played Batman and I've had A HUGE crush on Batman since I was a kid... I'm crazy I know. Speaking of...)
7. Batman (yes, he does count)

7 people you want to do this:
1. Writer
2. Kacey
3. Kara
4. anyone who happens upon the blog and reads, but never comments,
fill it out and post!! It could be your first!

Random Acts of Kindness...

Saturday sucked. It was just plain rotten. I was tired. I had to work for my boss. My friend kinda laid into me about needing to quit my job... I cried. It was terrible. I went home, took a four hour nap. My bro called and I told him to come over and we'd go grab a bite to eat. He knocks on the door and upon me opening it. He holds out a single pink rose (mind you, he didn't know I had a crappy day) and says, "For you!" I was still very tired from the nap and I'm positive that I did not give him the appropriate appreciation he deserved. But I could have cried it meant so much to me... simply because he thought of me.

I have never been fond of pink roses, but I will forever think of my brother when I see one now and they will hold a special place in my heart just because of my bizzle.

So, props to you Beef. You made me feel like a million and a half bucks! You're the best and some day some chic (if she meets my approval of course) is going to break the bank when she gets you.

You ROCK. Straight up yo.

Friday, August 19, 2005

I'm so tired of the friggin' north Dallas attitude. Tired of it. I don't care how much money you make, you that doesn't give you the right to treat people like crap. And I don't care if you wear Gucci or Prada or whatever other name brand or shop at Neiman's or Lord and Taylor or wherever else... get over yourself. I hate materialism. And I work with all these ladies who are obsessed with it and I find myself some days being so overwhelmed by it that I feel the need to give in because I don't feel pretty enough... I already didn't feel like enough because of J and now there's this. E is a body builder and N is a millionaire... good grief. Like my self-esteem needed this? I hate Satan.

My bro and I are standing in the kitchen the other day, I'm making enchiladas and he says to me, "There should be no reason you struggle with self-esteem."


And I feel like crap. Why does this have to be such a struggle? The desire to be wanted or to be desired? I don't want to be because of what I wear or drive... God forbid it... but because of who I am and what type of spirit I exude.


O.k. you guys are going to be tired of my emotional vomit. I'm sorry. But this week has been crazy and I got an email from The Idiot due to a situation and it pissed me off. The fact that he took the time to type out my name enrages me. Anyway...

And I wouldn't be thinking so much about any of this except that tonight I'm going out to eat with a bunch of fabulous ladies from church. We're getting decked to the 9's and going to eat at this really nice place. We've had it planned for two months (maybe longer) so I've saved up. And E comes in the office earlier and makes a comment about my body and it just blew my whole day... I know it's dumb. It's really dumb but I could have melted into the floor because of what my boss said afterward. Good grief people. So I'm trying to think positive but it's hard. It's just really frustrating... I bought this dress to wear and now I'm debating on even wearing it because of what she said... I could cry. It's so stupid. Thanks E. We know you're perfect, do you have to make the rest of us feel like we're not because we know it. My ex made sure to let me know. Thanks. Thank you very much.
This is one of my best friends Bekah and her boyfriend Abe. She blesses my life... I took this pic of them while in Galveston in May. This is probably one of my favorite portraits I've taken thus far. I love the symmetry. Over all I think it's composed well. Anyway, I was really missing her today. Posted by Picasa

Running the Gauntlet

Last night my bro the Great Beefalo, Sydney and I walked around Valley Ranch. It was after midnight and things were pleasantly peaceful. On our way back toward the house we came to a piece of sidewalk that was spotted with sprinkler heads. They were on, spraying away, dousing the sidewalk. Pivoting at various intervals spewing their life giving water on the grass... and the paved way home.

"You wanna run the gauntlet?" I asked.
"Are you serious?"

The three of us stood there, all thinking about the timing... it had to be just right. (Yes, Sydney was calculating as well. Ears flat, nose twitching, she was preparing.)

Beef started to jog and then stopped abruptly. Me being behind him (and too short to see what was going on) slammed into his back.

"GO!" I said frantically.
"I was but..."

And Sydney and Beef took off leaving me in the spray. So we all just ran, at first trying to make the effort to not get sprayed, however, this idea was soon abandoned and we simply ran to keep from getting further soaked.

My cackling laughter could probably be heard for a block or two. We came to the end of the gauntlet, wet and laughing.

We walked on, getting closer to our final destination and lo and behold, there was another, yes, another gauntlet of sprinklers.

"You wanna try again?"
There was some sort of gutteral response to this.
"Or we could just run through them."
"You serious?"

So we ran through the sprinklers, laughing, feeling like we were kids again even though we had just been discussing the weights on our hearts and were up, walking Valley Ranch well after midnight on a worknight like the irresponsible adults we were.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Have no Fear, your Double-D Leader is Here!

Are only boob-less women supposed to be leading the church? Holy cow. Is there a book chapter and verse on that one?

So I get this email from a friend of mine. She's much older. Has kids my age. She tells me in this email that I may need to "disguise my boobs" being that I'm in a position of leadership now. Excuse me? Disguise my boobs? If I was walking around with cleavage hangin' out all the time I can see where this might be coming from... but when I don't I don't see where this is coming from. Are you serious!?!?!?! So if I'm just sitting in the pew doing nothing, I can have all the boobs I want, but when you start getting active (no pun intended) then you have to schedule breast reduction surgery? This chaps my hide and burns my biscuits. Even better, steams my clams. What am I supposed to do? Cut them off? I've talked to three different people, people I KNOW would tell me if I needed to make a change. People who would tell me to go change clothes. My brother wouldn't be seen in public with me and he WOULD tell me to change if I was wearing anything inappropriate. What in the world!?!?!

Maybe if that idiot would get his head out of the gutter he wouldn't have made such disgusting comment. Unprovoked. We were just standing there and he said it... what in the world? Are you kidding me?!?!?! He's 33! Grow up pervert! "Well, if you had been wearing a different blouse, maybe he wouldn't have said such a thing." I WAS WEARING A T-SHIRT. Maybe it didn't have anything to do with me! Maybe it was his vile mind. Have you heard the rest of what he says and does all the time? And he's supposed to be my partner in ministry! Why? Why? Why?

Good grief.
I picked up the mail today for work and there was a postcard that said: "Are you certifiable?"

And the first thing I thought was: "Are you certifiably insane?"

Here's the chance for a dig Beef. Go ahead. Make your day.

Keyboard of Life

Sometimes when I'm typing at work, I get tired or I'm not paying attention. I'm on the phone, I'm looking away at a sheet of paper... and my fingers loose their reference but I'm still typing. When I look back up at the screen nothing makes sense. What I have typed does not read as it should. It doesn't say anything. It's nonsense.

I think sometimes in life we get so caught up or so distracted; we get so comfortable that we don't realize how far away it is from where we need to be. The things we fill ours heads with are great indicators as to how far away we are from where our focus ought to be. We wonder why we're having such problems, why things are going right. Just like our fingers on the keyboard.

Today I'm going to move my fingers over, make sure the index fingers are on the given guides and go from there. Keep my eyes on the screen to be sure I'm headed in the right direction. Today I'm going to be aware.

How comfortable are you with where you are today?

To be or not to be...

I like that I use an alias on my blog... that none of you (with the exception of a few other blogging heroes like Beef & Writer) know who I am! I am Rambouillet! Ram!Bwaa ha haaaaaaaaa!!! Oy. That sounded kind of evil. And I'm going for the good of humanity here...

Continuing on, it is most enjoyable to have an alias. I chose my for specific reasons as I'm sure most of you have yours. I like this veil of secrecy, the shroud of the unknown. After all, y'all know way too much about the rest of me to know my real name.

I'd like to think that my blog is like that of a super-hero. Yes. Yes... that's it. And this is the place where when I'm not working, when I'm not leading the singles group at church, when I'm not being the older sister, when I'm not being a daughter, when I'm not being the oldest grandchild (on both sides of the family)... when I'm not being what it is that I feel I have to be for everyone else at a specific moment in time I come here and be me. Say what I want to, be what I want to... I can be Rambouillet.

So really, it's kind of like the inverse of a super-hero. Super-hero's typically use their alias when fighting crime. I use mine when fighting my own demons.

My space. My words. My thoughts. Some days I love them. Some days I hate them. But mostly I just enjoy the freedom to express myself and not worry about the public finding out it's me: _________.

Do you worry about people finding out it's you?

Monday, August 15, 2005

Props to Lord Byron & Writer

If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad. ~Lord Byron

I have enjoyed writing for the whole of my life. As early as fifth grade, I won an award for my writing. This is not to say that I could now, but I have previously. Writer's post (you should all check out his fantastic blog @ meanderingmusingsmustermadness.blogspot.com) has inspired this post especially since Ray Bradbury is one of my absolute favorite writer's of all time. His description of things makes my mind run wild with all sorts of fantastical nonsense. I love it...

Now, my blog is for my purposes and my purposes only. As are my three or four journals I keep at the house. No one reads those of course... they are simply for my own sanity. :) However, it is important that you all know that much like what Lord Byron said, I write to empty my mind. I write to sort thoughts and collect the ideas and data swirling about in my head. I wrote a short poem about that once. Don't know if I posted it or not. But it was the very same idea... emptying the mind... ink forming letters, creating words, stringing thoughts onto pages.

I do appreciate those of you who stick around for my nonsense. Especially in all of it's unedited insanity.

Sometimes I find myself aching to write down a thought so bad that I've found myself keeping a pad of paper in my car and in my purse so that at any given time I can write down whatever it is that ails me. What joyous release to be able to express oneself with words! What a tragedy to be without words... to be without words is to be without thought and what a true tragedy that is.

A few months ago I didn't know what a blog was and now I find that it is a place of solace and comfort, a place to vent. A place to lay one's head. A place to sit. A place to bounce ideas from one continent, one city to another. One mind to another. It is another place for me to be me.

I used to be so embarrassed at my writing, especially my poetry. In fact, I never told anyone I wrote any. But you know it really doesn't matter what anyone thinks. It's really a matter of what I'm thinking and whether or not I want to write it down or not. You don't have to like it. I don't necessarily want you to. This is a big deal because I've spent the better part of my life trying so hard to be what every one else wanted me to... trying so hard to please everyone else, thinking about what they wanted and liked and never thinking about what I really wanted and liked.

So, the long and short of it is this: I write to clear my head. I write because I enjoy it. I write because I feel better when I do. Like singing.

Give us this day...

I was thinking this morning, the reason we have so many letters to various churches in the Bible is due to the fact that every church, no matter the denomination has flaws. While this conclusion may seem elementary, it may not be such. Take a look at your own church or the churches you have visited and the attitudes they have so rigorously embodied and transferred to others knowing them to be the "truth." People do a lot of stupid and terrible things when they think they're in the right.

We're all just trying to figure things out. We're all mixed up and all in the wrong. And that does not mean (as Romans discusses) that we should abuse grace. What is does mean is that we should not judge. That we should be slow to anger abounding in love, as the Pslams state God is. We should love our brothers, because it covers a multitude of sins (I Peter 4). We should give each other a little grace, hmmmm... like the forgiveness and grace Christ gave us? Funny the Bible talks about that and yet we are so quick to forget about it. Are we not called to be imitators of God? (Ephesians 5)

Satan parades as an Angel of Light and oh does he does his work well, church warring against church when we should all be unified. We all know Christ. We worship the same God. And yet we war and argue with one another... when will we see the damage we are doing to our ownselves? No wonder the world wants nothing to do with us.

God forgive us when we fail to see our own iniquities and are so quick to point out and cast out other's. Help us to see with Your eyes, spiritual eyes, the eyes of Your spirit so the we are able to do Your will in the works of Your churches throughout the world. Renew our minds, restore our hearts.

God forgive us.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Not Just Any Tuesday

Ah... where do I start? I don't know why it has taken me so long to blog about this. I guess I didn't want to ruin a good thing. But I read Claraslvr's blog about her wonderful evening and was inspired to write about mine... so here I go. And besides, my posts have been dark of late.

He picked me up around 6 o'clock on a Tuesday evening. It was sunny outside. I had only been given a hint at what we were doing... something about "swinging things." Having been given a dress code as well (how cute is that?!?!) casual and kind of athletic, I of course had spent my day off stressing about what to wear. Typical girl thing to do. Do I normally stress about what to wear? No. I went with olive capris, a white tank with a black flower embellishment (just the right touch of feminity) and black flip flops. I debated on the black flip flops since he said athletic, but at the behest of my roommate went with them.

A knock at the door. So, I get my bag, put up the dog, and we're off. Off to where? I don't know yet but the conversation is great. And I must add that he did open the car door for me. A gentleman. *sigh*

In the midst of our wonderful conversation he asks me if I've ever played golf. Nope. Not ever, never so much as picked up a club (and somehow I suspect he knows this already... I'll have to ask him one day, but I think, it's only a theory, but I think he overheard a conversation two days before involving my boss and a few other people about how to swing a golf club and I was going on about how I've never played before and never so much as swung a club. So, they all stood around and tried to tell me how to hold a club and whatnot... all the time he was only a few feet away.)
So he tells me we're going to a driving range.

We stayed at the driving range for a good two hours. I, of course, had the obligatory strikes but actually all in all didn't do so bad. Not for the first time anyway. He let me borrow his glove so I wouldn't get blisters (what a sweetheart) although I didn't realize he was playing without one until we were almost finished. When I offered to give it back he kindly refused.

I ended up playing barefoot due to the fact the flip flops weren't working so well. Why had I listened to my roommate? I should have gone with my original instinct... some cute tennis shoes... oh well.

We talked about the books we enjoy reading and the our families and all kinds of stuff. Leadership in the church... frustrations... It was most enjoyable... most.

M was kind enough to go to the opposite end of the area where you drive, so that I could make a fool of myself and only he and I could laugh, not the whole of the range. Ever the gentleman! Well, we had visitors. One in particular liked to pitch alot of dirt as he sliced the ball. I was getting showered in dirt. This is the only time on the date I became paranoid. I know, it's ridiculous. It reminded me of an old Ally McBeal episode (I hated that show, only watched one) where the guy had a little bit of salad dressing on his face and it bugged her bad she pictured him the remainder of the evening, face dripping with dressing. Well, I just knew my face was going to be caked with mud between the sweat and the dirt being thrown in our direction by the guy upwind!

When we had exhausted our bucket of golf balls we packed up his clubs and headed toward the car where he once again, opened the door (I could get used to this...)

Off to Mi Cocina (two firsts in one night), a really nice mexican food restaurant. We sat down and I think it took about 45 minutes to order because we spent so much time talking. Anyway, we shut the place down. I was so impressed because M made it a point to know the waiter's name. He was so polite and made sure to say thank you, even for the small things. Like my Dad does. It was a breath of fresh air.

He talked about his witness and it was amazing... I felt like I'd finally met someone who felt like I had for so much of my life. It was awesome.

Before the evening was over, we agreed that we had to "do this again." Since then we have talked at least every other day, if not more.

He is most enjoyable.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


The rustling of dried leaves over the pavement. Smells of chimney smoke; the quiet in the air, sounds dampened by the cool. The smell of newly sharpened lead pencils and school bells...

It's time for some pigskin.

Texas High school football is great because it's mostly just a bunch of boys playin' ball cause they want to. Sometimes because their dads want them to. Sometimes to impress a girl. But mostly, cause it's about the spirit of Friday night. It's about the floodlights in the stadium. The fight song played over a roaring crowd. The adrenaline. And for what? Some 17 year old kids. We'll go scream our heads off to pump up the ego of a 17 year old. He'll feel like a pro. That's awesome.

I love to see the glow of stadium lights on Friday. LOVE IT. It stirs something in me, makes this thing in me rise up and it takes hold of my heart.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

This one's for Discom

So, Discom, you wanted me to give you some Cliff Notes. To update you on my life. Well, your recent post regarding "BJs" has inspired me. No, I was not a prostitute in a former life. Even better a wife. Yes folks. I was someone's wife. But apparently I wasn't... well, enough. So here I am. Branded for life. In the good 'ol C of C, that means I can't be saved. Not even Christ's blood is good enough for the sin of Divorce. So here I am, Red Letter and all. Capital D.

You know people tend to think that women are the one's who hold sex over men's heads and keep it from them, that we are the only culprits. WRONG. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Now, it happens more that way than the other but that does not mean that women are the only ones who use it as a weapon. Sex is not a tool. It is not a weapon. NOT a weapon.

I know that at some point in my life I knew deep down in my soul, in my heart of hearts that God made sex this beautiful, wonderful thing. But now, I have a hard time believing it. I know it. I'll tell people that all day. But I have a hard time believing it. Knowing and believing are different.

By the time it was all over, we were married 2 1/2 years and I can count on two hands the number of times we did it. And when we did it was terrible... it was like some sort of out of body experience. He may as well have been sitting across the room watching - watching and hating it. It was awful. The man had issues. Issues with a lot of stuff... like his mom. Good grief, that's a tale in itself.

And you know what really sucks... I WAITED. I WAITED DANG IT!!!! Is this what I get for waiting!?!?!?! There are millions of people out there who have sex all the freakin' time... ug. It just pisses me off.

He would tell me that sex was "gross," that it was "too messy." There were about 20 different excuses. He was too tired. He had a headache. He didn't want to hurt me. Would I really be that interested if it hurt?!?!?! And he NEVER did anything to please me. And that is no exaggeration.

And so you pray: God, help me be patient. Help me be a better wife. Help me not be so angry. Help me have a better attitude.

And then you pray for death because you've been wounded so deeply by the least suspected person and no one believes you. And then when he stops talking to you and he won't go to counseling and he fakes it to the world and the fakeness is about the make you crazy... you know what has to be done. So you start to think of ways to make it look like an accident so your parents won't be worried about what you were thinking when you went. After all, divorce is unforgivable but there are some who think suicide is sort of up in the air.

He told me once that the reason he looked at porn was because he admired the artistic qualities of it. That has to be the biggest bunch of bullsh** I've ever heard. I asked him one time if he'd ever cheated on me and his response was, "What's your definition of cheating?"

You know, I don't wish any ill will on him. I've forgiven him. I have some hurts to deal with, but I have forgiven him. Now I have to forgive myself. That's the hard part.

And the last thing he said to me before he walked out the door for the last time was, "Well, I would say I'd see you around, but I guess not."

And I'm much better off. Spiritually, physically, everything. Better off. This Ram ain't far from the flock and I ain't going to hell. I know where the Shepherd is and I'm in safe keeping.

For right now, that's all I have to say about that.

Early Morning Sydney

Monday, August 08, 2005

At a loss...

I feel at such a loss right now, that everything is coming together and falling apart all at the same time. Like worlds are ripping apart. No more UNT... no more speech path. Maybe teaching art? Maybe inner city work? God help me! Cause all I want to do is Your will but I gotta have some help.

Patience and time. Patience and time.

For those of you who pray... I would appreciate it. I need wisdom and guidance to decipher the spirits at battle around me daily. We are at war.

If You Want Me To

This is a song by Ginny Owens and it has encouraged me greatly the past few years. The first time I listened to the album this song came off of I bawled the through the whole thing. It was like she knew exactly where I was coming from! The title of this particular song is captured in heading of this post. Most of the time I can't listen to it without crying. I've decided though that crying is o.k.

The pathway is broken
And the signs are unclear
And I don’t know the reason why you brought me here
But just because you love me the way that you do
I’m gonna walk through the valley
If you want me to

Cause I’m not who I was
When I took my first step
And I’m clinging to the promise you’re not through with me yet
So if all of these trials bring me closer to you
Then I will go through the fire
If you want me to

It may not be the way I would have chosen
When you lead me through a world that’s not my home
But you never said it would be easy
You only said I’d never go alone

So when the whole world turns against me
And I’m all by myself
And I can’t hear you answer my cries for help
I’ll remember the suffering your love put you through
And I will go through the valley
If you want me to

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Office Depot

I run to Office Depot for work alot, mostly to their Copy Center. There are three main people who run the copy center: Eric, Jamie and Kim. When I go to Office Depot I spend more time there listening to their life stories than shopping for my boss which please me fine. I'm sure people think it strange, which pleases me as well.

Eric's wife died in February. He met her over the internet. She lived in China and he went there to marry her. I'm not sure how long they were married but she had a brain tumor and died.

No one at the office would know this because no one else takes the time to ask the simple question: How are you today Eric? I simply asked one day and got an ear full of the above. So we sent flowers to his house after the funeral. He has since then met another woman, who has a son (his last wife was barren, so this is a blessing!) and has been to China this summer to marry her. He has been gone several weeks on vacation to met and marry her. He was back this week... I was so excited to hear how things went and see pictures. She is beautiful and Eric was beaming!

Jamie is married to a wonderful man. She doesn't have to talk about how great he is. You can tell by the way it resonates in her voice. Her husband went to the Sunset school of preaching in Lubbock, Texas... how crazy! She was shocked that I knew of it. She is a doll and I enjoy visiting with her.

Kim is new to the crew. Today I listened to her talk about her pregnancy. I had no clue she was pregnant but apparently she wanted someone to know and needed someone to talk to about it. I stood there for 20 minutes after getting my copies made and listened to her. Hardly said a thing... just listened. She's 22 and has a boyfriend in Shreveport. She's planning on moving there sometime in the next few weeks. She's due in November. It sounds as though she has plenty of family and friends in Shreveport who love and support her (which is such a relief!!!)

I hope that my listening serves them in some way... I hope I minister to them in my own quiet way when standing at their service counter. Ha. That's funny. Their service counter!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

can anyone tell me how to add my photo to my profile, you know, so that when I post I have a pic? I would appreciate the help!

Spiritually Scrumptious

I had lunch today with a lady I've known since middle school. Oddly enough, our paths have crossed here in the metroplex in the singles group at PC. How funny! Her and her husband are interested in working with the singles and her daughter (who is my age, we were in the youth group together years ago) is in the group I'm leading here as well.

She wanted to hear about my story and I just wanted to bask in her presence for awhile. We started out (before we even sat down to the table) and the tears began to well up... so we prayed we wouldn't cry. And lo and behold... we didn't. For two hours we talked about our deepest hurts... and didn't shed a tear. It was wonderful... discussing spiritual warfare and looking back on our lives and seeing how we have been so deceived by the Great Deceiver; how we have overcome in spite of it with the help of the Almighty and not only that but come out better for it, pain and all.

We had shrimp and fruit (an odd combination I thought at first) but it was terribly wonderful to the palate! I wish, now back at my desk, that I had some more!

Blessings... we finished our lunch with a prayer of thankfulness... and then we cried... tears of joy.

He is good. God is SO good.

And I just wanted to share his goodness with you.

The Distance

A fellow blogger has spurred me to write this... and while I have tried to keep it light lately cause my thoughts are usually weighted so (I have to have some relief somewhere...) I am inspired. Take heed: there may be a few rabbit trails along the way. So I hope you like rabbits.

I have felt, my entire life that I have been set apart. That I am called to something; chosen, even. I have understood from such a young age. Not just knowing the answers to questions, because I haven't always known, still don't. But seeing the bigger picture, the forest for the trees. I would go on youth trips and get letters weeks later from youth ministers saying how impressed they were... that they know people who were twice my age with less wisdom than me. I didn't ever think much of it really.

I used to wake up in middle school and cry every morning because I was still alive. I didn't want to be here... amidst the masses who didn't get it, who didn't appreciate or understand God. Not that I completely understood either, but at least I longed to. I would pray, o Lord, I would pray to be taken home. Finding true friends has always been a challenge and such work because it has always been such a frustration to me that people do not "get it." And disappointment gets old quickly... the heart can only take so much...

When I was baptised, I felt so clean. I remember that feeling. I remember the conviction, the urgency and the desire to tell the whole of the world about the good news I had received.

I am a wretch, LORD knows I'm a wretch. Why he ever wasted His time saving me is a conundrum but I'm glad he took me into His peace, His salvation. I cherish my redemption. Continually cleansed by the blood... what a thought, that something so crimson makes something so pristine?

Praise God.

With understanding, comes responsibility (as my brother and I often hold each other accountable to when we seem to be near the end of our ropes). So I will take on this Singles group and do my very best. After all, its all I can do. Even though by all rights I wasn't "supposed" to be in a singles group. God does have a great sense of humor doesn't He? He does work for the good... He does take our sin that separates and draws us nearer to him.

Holy, holy, holy is the LORD God Almighty, who was and is and is to come.

and His church said...

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Continue Continuing On

This is for ST. She continually reminds me of what heart is. So this post is for her.

ST, since you'll probably never read this, I'll have to make it known to you in other ways. But I wanted the world to know. You've had it rough the past few years. In fact, you've had some really rough spots throughout your life. But you continue to continue. You come to work, despite your age. You come with a good attitude and joy in your heart, maybe not happiness but joy. You are special.

I enjoy our talks. I enjoy laughing with you. I enjoy our friendship and the fact that we are sisters through Christ Jesus. Eternity will be fun!

H is missing out. He is missing out on you. I am so proud that you are able to keep a smile on your face and joy in your heart because you know where your true value comes from. THANK YOU for being an example to me. Thank you for your encouragement in times when I have been in dark places and looking for the light. Thank you for listening and crying with me. Thank you for being a Godly example.

ST, you are precious... so precious! I love you! And my heart is full and overflowing at the very thought of you. I'm so thankful for your presence in my life.

We'll just keep on continuing to continue together... deal?

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Take Me On a Gondola

My bro and I went to Williams Square yesterday in Las Colinas, walked around for awhile. Vented. Walked. Vented some more. In the midst of our wonderful conversation (because they always are) I noticed in the canal a boat with a man standing in back rowing it and not only that but two people inside as well. It was a real live, genuine gondola! Wow. I've only ever seen those in the movies (like in Indiana Jones). I've been thinking about how cool it was all day today. I know. I know. I'm crazy. But it was SOOOOOOOOOOOO romantic, being that we're in the city and all. The sun was setting, there was a slight breeze. Ahh... It was so cool. So, as a tribute to the gondola, here's a little ditty I wrote (to be sung to the tune of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame"):

Take me on a gondola
let's float down the canal,
I don't care how much we have to pay
the money won't matter a week from today!

Just look deep into my green eyes,
are they not convincing enough?
Can't you see, that, it's meant to be
you and me, in a gondola!

O.k., so the last line is a little tricky... but it works. It works.

The Titan

Last Saturday my brother and a friend and I went to Six Flags. As a grand finale, L and I decided to ride the Titan, finish the day off right. Now, I must admit. I was scared. I was really scared. The first drop was going to be more than I was going to be able to handle... or so I thought. But nevertheless, we filed into suite with everyone else and waited. We happened to get caught in line next to two young boys, Jeremy and Sam. Jeremy was a course young boy, cursing when he thought it counted and making it known, whenever and however possible that he was a tough kid. He was by no means a wimp. Sam on the other hand, had a gentle spirit and a kind presence. Sam was smart, even wise. He had kind eyes and a genuine concern for others that could be seen from a mile away. In standing in line for the 30 or so minutes we did, the four of us got to talking. Us, twenty-somthings talking to these 11 year olds about life. Interesting. And then the time came. Sam and I were nervous. In fact, if I hadn't been working so hard at keeping Sam's mind off the impending doom, I would have been in fits.

It was our turn.

Sam looked distressed.

"Think about something else. What's your favorite thing to do?" I asked.
"anything but this!"
I smiled.
"Well, who is your favorite person to be with?"
He thought a moment.
"My parents."
"Well, think about them. What's your favorite memory with them?"
He thought again... his mind going somewhere I was unable follow.
"When I was three, in the hospital."
"What were you in the hospital for?"
"I had a brain tumor."
"Really? Did they take it out?"
"Yes. I had my last check up last year. My uncle died of the same kind of brain tumor. But mine's all gone." Sam said all of this with such a peace. His eyes tranquil.
"Well, that's good its all gone."

The train of cars for the Titan lurched and groaned to a halt right in front of us. The gates opened and we were welcomed to take our seats. L and I sat together. Jeremy and Sam in the car in front of us. Jeremy in front of L, Sam directly in front of me. The yellow bars came down over our laps and L noticed, I could not see his face, nor the top of his head, that Sam had begun to cry. We asked the attendant to make sure he was o.k. The attendant leaned over, mumbled something, Sam reached up, gave him a high five, the attendant smiled and we were off.

Scaling the height of the first drop was nothing short of unnerving. The Titan dwarfs the Texas Giant. Dwarfs it. As mentioned before, I couldn't see Sam, but Jeremy was looking around anxiously and he was attempting to communicate something to Sam. I decided to cheer the young lads on. And maybe myself as well...

"It's o.k. guys... you can do it! WE can make it!"

When we reached the top, I thought I might go out of my mind when...

And it was all a blur... BUT IT WAS FREAKIN' AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!! That thing pulls G's!!! IT ROCKED!!!! I went from sheer, grief stricken terror to 85 mile an hour bliss!

When the rocket screeched to a halt at the end of the line I was whoopin' and hollerin' like an idiot. It was such an adrenaline rush!

"Sam, Jeremy, you guys good?"

Two hands flew back from the seat in front of me (and I was elated!)... not a sound, no words, just two hands... the universal sign... it was time to give this young man some well deserved skin. Panic again hit.

"Sam! I can't reach you!"

From the left side of his seat, a hand flew around and I flung myself forward, straining... please... I HAD TO REACH!....

POP! Five big ones for the big man Sam!

The metal snake crept up to the pavilion, released its tight grip on us and off we went. The four of us chatted all the way down the stairs. When we'd made our way out of the maze it was time to part ways. It was nearly time for the park to close and I'm sure the boys had some sort of parental figure to be meeting somewhere.

"Well, we'll see y'all later!"
Everyone just kind of looked at me. Yeah, guess that was kind of a dumb thing to say. But I wished I would see them later. It's what I would have said to my kids at the Y...

All in all, it was a good day. Rode a roller coaster for the first time with my brother, had fun with a new friend and met some cool kids.

I hope Sam and Jeremy have good parents to go home to. I know I did. If only we were all so lucky.