Stream of Unconscious

Often I wake in the middle of the night with thoughts and visions that must be written. A lot of it may seem like mere rambling, but I am a born writer; I need to see what happens to my words once they stare back at me from the pages of my computer screen. Since I am ususally more than half-asleep when this happens, I jokingly entitled the original document: "Stream of Unconscious." Now that I am finally starting to publish in a blog (as so many people have suggested I should do!), I thought the title remained appropriate.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

In Heavenly Peace

I'm sick of my last post, which was rather whiney, being the latest thing I've put out into the world. Despite my current hardships, this Christmas has been awesome, and I am filled with the knowledge that I am very, very loved and blessed.

Right now I can hear the stomping of little feet among the mess of wrapping paper and newly discovered presents. There is nothing quite like the sound of children's laughter in the other room. A fire burns in front of me, I can smell my sister's lasagna in the oven (another Christmas day tradition), and I am taking a moment to reflect while looking forward to an evening of games and movies and my recently perfected brew of hot chocolate! Life can be a good, good thing sometimes. I am sorry that I got so caught up in the frustrations of life that I couldn't see...

And God... there is no mistaking the hand of God in all of this. Lately I have seen him differently. I have been going back to my old views of god; that impersonal, indifferent god that only cares about whether or not you're "good enough." And I knew I wasn't, so I had been slipping away...

But I forgot about the One who came quietly, in full majesty but without show, born on a regular night in a smelly, dirty, stall in a barn... to live simply, and grow up to sacrifice and save us all. I am frustrated with my lack of skill in expression... perhaps there is no way to say it well. We have grown cold to the story after so many years, it seems. All I know to say is that I feel Him, I know Him from the inside, know that He was, and is risen, and will be there always, and that He has never given up on me, and never will.

I know it today, and there will be many, many other days where I do not know it so specifically as this. But I am content with heavenly peace for the moment...

Merry Christmas, all... and may you know the joy and peace of the real God this year...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Blues

I can't believe we are less than two weeks from Christmas. I have done little of my shopping and have managed to catch a few songs on the radio, but mostly my days are the same as they've always been, and it just doesn't feel like Christmas for me this year. I hope there is still time to redeem that...

I have been sitting here thinking of Christmases past, and what stands out to me most... I miss my family's odd traditions more than I ever thought I would. I don't have a tree this year. It just wasn't practical, in the midst of paying bills and all, and a couple of people even offered to buy me one, but I turned them down, for whatever reason. I almost wish I hadn't. I could use a little sparkle in my life these days...

I'm hoping to make it up to see Rock City Lights this weekend. Last year, about this time, I was near-dating someone who bought me hot chocolate at my favorite coffee shop and took me up to see the lights, and it was just... nice. Definitely very different from this year. If I can't find anyone to go with in the next few days, I'm going to go myself. I shouldn't miss out on Christmas just because I'm alone again. I never expected it to be this hard, though. I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong, either.

I hate to be all doom and despair, but it's been a rough season for me, especially in the last couple of weeks, and I've never been good at hiding it. I would love to know what my purpose is supposed to be. I would love to know if I'm going anywhere at all. I would love to know... so many things. At what point do we get to know, again?

I feel like I am missing something very important in the midst of all of this surviving. I feel like I am forgetting how to live... and I don't want to miss out. I don't want to miss my youth, or my singleness, or my friendships at work, or getting the full experience of things like Christmas. Its just not me at all to be this way. I am just tired and discouraged, and I would love someone to come along and help me see clearly again. I would love... but no, I'm not there yet, and wishing for something that isn't here will get me nowhere. I just have to turn my focus back around to the present.

At least I wasn't one of the people who got laid off... right before Christmas. That would have been terrible! Even though I don't enjoy my job, I am lucky to have one. And I did get to watch The Grinch last night, and that was of course awesome. I think this year it's more my state of mind than anything else, which means the fault is mine. *sigh* I even got upset this week because I don't think I'm getting a lot for Christmas this year, and that's just stupid. Its not about stuff, and I know it. What's wrong with me lately, I wonder?

I am severely unsatisfied with this post. I'm pretty sure no one cares about my mental meanderings in a difficult December. But I guess the point is that I want to be real, and the reality is that I'm struggling a bit this year. Is it bad that I'll be glad when Christmas is over this year? I don't think I've ever had that thought in my life! I am truly hoping this is just a phase I will outgrow very quickly...

Let's leave on a happier note, shall we:

"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more..."
~Dr. Seuss

I love Dr Seuss!! =]

Saturday, December 6, 2008

To Lose and to Seek

To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under the sun.
A time to be born and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill and a time to heal ...
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance ...
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to lose and a time to seek;
a time to rend and a time to sew;
a time to keep silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

I have had a solitary morning, waking early and having no plans until late afternoon. Have you ever found yourself alone, and realized you're someone you're uncomfortable being with? I guess, despite living on my own, I don't spend enough time with just me, because I'm discovering that I still don't know myself as well as I would like to.

It is ironic, really. I work all week wishing I were home, and here I finally have time to myself, hours of it even, and I have no idea what to do. I flee to the refuge of writing, because it is the only well I have drawn from that has not, at some point, come up dry. And that is only because I believe it to be a gift to me from the direct and purposeful hand of God. But how exactly I am to use it, I still do not know. I have alway believed those answers would reveal themselves in time, and now I secretly wonder if time is just going to waste...

Winter has been making itself abundantly clear, like that person at the party who feels they need more attention. No matter how high I turn up the heat I am still chilled to the core, so I've taken to wearing hoodies inside and saving on my electric bill. Not exactly my idea of a good time. The only good thing about the cold is that it makes a hot cup of coffee that much better, for it is suddenly both delicious as well as functional. I have found that I love something more, and am so much more satisfied, when I am filled up after need instead of just desire. Perhaps that is why God has been allowing me to need so much lately. If I ever make it to a season of filling, I will be that much more appreciative of the change.

So where do I go from here? I am back to having to make the big decisions, and choose the course of my life as best I can. People are getting laid off at work, and there is talk of the jobs that are left being outsourced to India. My lease is up after Christmas, and there is that little voice inside that I had effectively silenced for a year, making an unwelcome return: "You know... you could just go..."

I could, perhaps. But lets not be ridiculous. Go where? Even if I could get a nanny job somewhere far away, the economy is bad, and jobs are scarce, and who knows if I would be any happier somewhere else? But does that mean I should stay in an uncertain work environment that I do not enjoy, sign another year lease on an apartment that is functional, but not home? Does staying where I am automatically mean stagnant existence? Or does God have something just around the corner, if I can just endure this for a little bit longer...?

I don't know. Am I supposed to know? Because I rarely ever know. Sometimes I think I'm lousy at faith. Its not that I don't have enough, but that I believe in the wrong things, the wrong people or circumstances. If my life were not redeemed, and surrendered to the Holy God and to discovering his plan for me, I would be doing things completely differently. I know that for sure. I can't say for sure that I would be any happier, but I would definitely not keep waiting on dating someone... I get so sick of being alone, day after day after day. But I know married individuals who still have lonely days, so I'm trying to just be faithful to the season of singleness that I seem to have been handed. But I'm not even going to try to pretend that it doesn't tear me apart sometimes.

But... when it all comes down to it, I'd rather endure people's questions, and funny looks, and misunderstanding, and do what I know in my heart to be right, than to "conform to the world" as they say, and have to live my life disappointed in myself, always wondering what could have been if I had waited just a bit more.

I know that I may not end up with a great guy at the end of all this waiting. I may just end up with a lot of questions and a house full of cats. But at least I won't end up selling out on my dreams, trying to navigate life with a guy who isn't in tune with the spiritual side of me, because that is where I find my creativity, where I am renewed, where I find the strength to forgive and love despite how I feel. I would live only a half-life if I were to be denied intimacy on that level. And I have worked so hard for so long to be whole again.

I honestly don't see how people do relationships without God. I just don't see how it would be possible. Even with God, I fight with my selfishness and baggage and messed up perspective. Who I would be without Him, I don't even want to know.

I don't really know how to wrap this up. My heart is confused, and a little lonely and lost. Have I done the right thing, in living my life the way I have? I would love a little Supernatural reassurance right now...