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.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Miracle

It was a week ago tonight that I lost my little cat friend. Strange that I am missing her now more than even that weekend, but it is possible that I am just now beginning to feel the emotions of it. I am trying to be brave, and let her go.

I have left her stuff out this week, her little food dish and the empty litter box, still sitting where it has always sat. But I have to pack it up tonight. I just haven't been able to bear the finality of it. I think that this is a normal emotion. Just one I wish I didn't have to feel.

And still... I cannot deny that I am blessed. She was hit by a car, and rushed to the Vet, and like anyone would I prayed for a miracle. And it happened, just not as I had hoped it would. The miracle came not in saving the cat, but in dear friends and family, and even people who barely know me, taking the time to let me know that I am loved.

People took me out for coffee, and bought me lunch, and posted sweet things on facebook, and called me, and hugged me. Some even offered whatever savings they had in contribution for the surgery she would have needed. It was nothing short of miracle, to me.

Anytime you turn on the news you hear about all the crime, and sadness, and disaster, and we are faced daily with the reality of sinfulness in the world. But let us not forget, dear friends, that we are loved; that we are capable of just as much love and life and hope and kindness as we are of failure and futility. Let us not forget that simple acts of love can change the lives of those around us.

I thank you, all of you, for being part of my life and choosing to love me through my loss. I miss Shaunessey, but through the pain I am so gratefully blessed to know that I am a loved individual in this crazy world.

Let us choose not to miss the miracles that are offered us and not take for granted those we love in this world. And also, give your little furry friend a hug for me today.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Unlocking the Door

This year I perfected my hot chocolate recipe... I mean, perfected. I am drinking a cup right now! Mmmmm... so spicy... :)

The evenings have grown cold and I feel like my feet are always freezing. I have had to dive into my vast collection of crazy socks on a regular basis. I wear hoodies inside and keep a blanket in my lap while I'm working. But its really not that bad this year... or I have embraced instead of resisting it this year, perhaps.

Honestly, I love that winter forces us to remember to be cozy. I would totally forget about fuzzy socks and hot chocolate and how great body heat from a hug feels if it weren't for the colder weather. Funny how even unpleasant things sometimes lead to joy.

I have just discovered, for the very first time, how great the Chronicles of Narnia series is. I read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe years and years ago, but somehow I never made it to any of the other books. It seems to be unlocking some forgotten door in my creativity, however. I even wrote a few paragraphs of my own story this morning. I just woke up and had to write it down. It is stirring up my creative soul in a way that is terrifying and refreshing at the same time.

I read the words:

"Make your choice, adventurous Stranger;
Strike the bell and bide the danger,
Or wonder, till it drives you mad,
What would have followed if you had..."

...and literally got cold chills. I don't want to overstress it, but the life parallel is unavoidable. I am in a phase where trying new things (within reason) has become my latest hobby. If I don't "strike the bell," persay, I am left to regret and wonder what might have been. I want to turn every doorknob and experiment with my hot chocolate recipe and take roadtrips and see what all life has to offer! The mysteries of this life feel fresh and almost tangible... just close enough to keep you interested in pursuing them...

I seem to have struck the balance. I have a very dull and mindless job. One of the few pleasures I find in it are some of the ridiculous names of physicians or patients, but even that can only get you so far. But I have finally figured out how to do my job well and still rely on my imagination to ward off boredome. In my mind, I am free to roam about the world of fantasy, and I hope that it all comes spilling out onto paper before long. The trick is finding something remotely original. How great it would be to actually get something published... but I am a long way from there, still. :)

I have also found myself singing often in recent days, which I think is awesome, because God gave me those verses in Hosea when He began to transform my life into blessed contentment... "and she will sing again as in the days of her youth..." Beautiful, His redemption. I don't remember much about my youth, and I kind of doubt that I did a lot of singing, but I am grateful for the ever-present songs that fill my heart these days.

I don't know how long it will last, but the world seems a kind and welcoming place lately. God has set me in a place where I am resting, growing, becoming the woman He has longed for me to be. I am trying to make good decisions, and choose the direction for my future. I have hope like I hadn't known existed in this life. Most of all, I believe... and oh, how it changes everything.

Here's to spicy hot chocolate, fuzzy green socks, autumn days, and heart-songs! I assure you, sitting at the feet of Jesus is the only place I truly want to be. This is unlike any other chapter of life I have experienced. If you aren't there yet, I encourage you to drop everything, quit all the trying, and just sit at His feet. I honestly don't believe I will ever be the same again.

Jesus loves me, this I know... :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Randomness having to do with my recent life...

Hearing Christmas music on the radio when it's not even Thanksgiving and 70 degrees out... bah, humbug! *dislike* :(

Having an evening to myself after a stressful week... sigh *like* :)

Starting a new book... new adventure *like* :)

International Delight Pumpkin Spice creamer... bleh. Nothing like the Starbuck's version *dislike* :(

The new theater downtown that serves beer... I love Chattanooga *like* :)

Stepping in puppy pee... ew *dislike* :(

My BWW's buddies... fun times! *like* :)

Good Fortune's new holiday peppermint vanilla body wash and lotion... tingly! Very much *like* :)

Church in the morning for worship, fellowship, and growth... contentment *like* :)

My feet always being cold now... brrr! *dislike* :(

Fuzzy socks being the remedy... comfy *like* :)

Pondering my roadtrip to MN... OMG! *like* :D

Not having made progress on my children's book idea... disappointment *dislike* :(

Co-planning a Thanksgiving party for people who aren't going home... party *like* :)

My winter wardrobe... where did this stuff even come from? *dislike* :(

Earning a bonus at work... Yay! *like* :)

Thinking of the perfect Christmas presents for all... creative *like* :)

Christmas trees/lights already up... its a bit soon, but *like* :)

Raspberry Chipotle Hummus being rumored to be back in stock at Greenlife... oh my word *like!* :)

Going all week without driving my car... stir crazy *dislike* :(

Missing the gym for a week... Fatty McFatterson *dislike* :(

Finally getting cable... 'cept I forget that we have it so still don't watch it often *like* :)

Kitty purring happily at my feet... warm *like* :)

Pirate setting on Facebook that lists my relationship status as "marooned" instead of single... Arrr! *like* :)

Getting recently drunk dialed... LOL! *like* :)

Being chastised for my odd views on dating and relationships over dinner... dorkwad *dislike* :(

KT Tunstall's song: "Throw Me a Rope" which reminds me of a certain someone... hopeless *like* :)

Encouraging note from an old friend I never expected to hear from again... made-my-day *like* :)

Being way to obsessed with Facebook? Social networking *like* :)

Having commenters ignore my weirdness and have fun leaving some of their own likes/dislikes... please? *like* :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

No More Bad Days

I hate crying for unknown reasons. I guess it is just one of those days, but I am finding it difficult to change course. I finally finished up work, and now I am curled up on the couch with my favorite blanket, trying to make sense of it all as the daylight drifts off to brighten some other section of the world. Crazy that in another's story somewhere it is morning, while for me, it is just another day gone by.

I finally finished the newest Donald Miller book, and it has made me a bit introspective lately about the story I am creating day to day. It has shaped my perspective in such a way that I do not believe I will be able to look at things the same. That is the mark of a good book.

I have also found rekindled in me the desire to write, to speak life and truth into the bad stories that children face daily. To invite people into a better story... this is my passion and my dream. Though God seems to be alright with it taking my lifetime to accomplish such a small task.

My mind is very far away this evening. I long to know the answer to the question that has burned up my thoughts for months. And yet I can't bear to speed the story along. I don't want to miss a day of it, so I must wait and see what happens. Some days it makes it hard to live here, to interact with my friends and wash the dishes and sit in front of that computer to meet production. The story I so desire to live is miles and miles from here...

However it all turns out, I am working on making a better story, of living a life I am proud to say I lived. Even this evening, before I close my eyes to dream, I have opportunity to redeem part of the story, and I will take it. I want to make memories and smiles tonight. I want to sit in heaven with people and watch my story and say :"Oh yeah... that was that day that started out horrible, but I made it count by the end. We had fun!"

I want all my days to be that way. I get to choose at least part of my daily story. Tonight I choose to be who I want to be, and not who I feel like being in the moment. Perhaps that is enough for today.

With the right perspective, I'm not really sure that there are such things as bad days. We definitely find ourselves in terrible circumstances at times, but isn't it just one small part of a greater story? Much to think about.

I would like to change my perspective so that I do not believe in bad days any more. I wonder if I am being unrealistic, or if I have just discovered one of the secrets to happiness? :) Time will tell, I suppose. For tonight, however, I have just a little more story to make...

No more bad day :)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Autumn Story

I haven't written in a long while because I've been doing some thinking, some sorting, and some just plain living. I have come to a place in my life that I never thought I would make it to, where the word "contentment" isn't just for fairy tales... it has become a reality. And I have simplified my life enough that I can just breathe, and just be, and just heal.

I have learned to laugh again, with my whole heart, like I haven't in a whole lifetime...

I have been alive long enough to know that change comes swiftly, and often catches us off guard. So instead of being fearful of not "getting anywhere" in life, at least for this season, I have taken the time to just rest, and let it all be. At some point, if nothing has changed and I grow weary of the simple life, I may try to stir things up a bit. But until then I will sit here and soak up this ever-elusive "stability" that I have stumbled into. God be praised.

This morning I awoke to the chilly breeze coming through my window, and on my way to turn the kettle on I noticed the tree next door had given up its golden canopy and scattered its treasure all over our front yard. The ground is completely covered, utterly beautiful... the kind of beauty the heart needs in order to remember to pause, reflect, and be still...

I am also shedding the old layers and preparing for vulnerable winter. I don't know what the next season will bring, but I am ready to turn bright and beautiful, to let the color show and let go, and be still and wait to be made alive again. I feel in touch with this old earth today, like my soul knows its glory and pain in this season. I feel like I fit somehow, in this story, even though I don't know how it ends.

It is enough to just be part of it all, just to breathe and feel, to laugh, and love, and be. I have asked myself lately if I am enough, if I am doing enough, if I have healed enough or loved enough, if I have made any difference in my little space on earth...

And these questions remain unanswered. Yet today I know that Almighty God knit me together before I was born, and breathed holy Life into me, and let me go, and let me fall, and let me come back to Him and gave me Life again, anew. Even the cycle of seasons tell His story. And it is enough.

I see now that I have finally given Him back the pen, in surrender and acknowledgement that He is the one creating story. And I can't decipher the plot, which sometimes makes me crazy as a writer, but I am finally okay with the mystery.

I like the story, though, that I have found this Autumn. I still don't know what story I am to write, but it is possible I have had to become satisfied in my own story before I can create one to share with the world.

For now I am content to just rest, and wait to see what happens next...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Solitary Saturdays

Saturday morning... quiet, calm, and solitary. I just brewed some coffee and took that first, fulfilling sip, and let out a sigh.

I am almost lonely. Almost. And yet...

I cannot be angry. I am not unsatisfied with my circumstances or anxious to be somewhere I'm not... I am content to just be. I feel like I have come a great distance in a very short amount of time. I feel... so many things. Mostly I feel Father-God, with firm and loving hands, restoring all the missing pieces of my heart, lost somewhere along the way...

I am not who I was, even a month ago. I am new, redeemed, alive again. I have reached a new chapter of the story somehow... wrapping up the old and stepping into new. Still the same story, and yet... we move along.

Life always moves us. Sometimes the season is long, and we forget that we are moving. Then suddenly, without warning, it has vanished and is no more.

I have let go. I have learned to lay my burdens down, and let them stay there. I have learned to sit at His feet and just rest. I have learned to praise Him, and thank Him, and trust Him through the times that make no sense. Through all the mess of loss and horror and poverty and unfulfilled dreams and crying myself to sleep... I have learned.

I still wonder what is next. I still know what I want it to be... I still ask Him if it could be...

But I also trust... and wait.

This year, I feel Autumn in my blood. It comes softly, slipping in through the slight change in temperature, the hint of dark a bit earlier in the evening...

It comes in through my quieted spirit; unafraid now to show the color within... and let go.

I welcome Autumn. I welcome change. I welcome the story that is in God's hands...

Some day I will miss solitary Saturdays. Some day, I will wake up next to him, and wonder that the story changed so quickly. Someday there will be breakfasts to make, and kids to take to soccer practice and chores to be done. And all of this will have passed away into memory.

So I praise God for the solitude, though there is pain in it. I praise Him for the season, for the story, for these Saturdays, and for those that are coming.

I praise Him, for He is worthy to be praised...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

To Stand and Wait

I need to give myself a break. It has become abundantly clear to me by now. In fact, I need it so badly that God is practically forcing it on me....

"Rest, child..." He keeps saying. I won't do it. So then my job sends me to work from home. He takes away about a billion distractions I had struggled to fill the emptiness with and says: "Rest." I don't like it. I don't like the silence; the being alone with myself. I don't like my mess. I don't like spinning my wheels. "I want to be DOING something!!" I frequently remind Him. I pray for other jobs. I ask about marriage. I fight, I yell. I squirm and cry.

I don't like it. But that's all He's really giving me right now....

I succumb. Lately I've just been giving in. Its not as bad as I had feared. There are just lots of things I need to work on, and I know it. And positive growth feels like it takes so very long. Worth it, in the end, I have no doubt. But... I am twenty-seven already... why must it take so long?

This is not the fun part. I am living with an open wound, and it hurts. He's opened me up, and is cleaning everything out... I am fully aware of the pain of having all my weaknesses, insecurities, and bad habits exposed to the elements. And what's worse... to the eyes of those around me. An absolutely nightmare, to a desperate approval-seeker such as myself.

Will it ever be over? I know I will never "arrive" but will there, someday, be a day when I'm all cleaned out and healed up and moving forward into a beautiful life...? Will I be able to write, to love, to help others someday?

I search daily for that Gateway to Hope. I ache to abandon the master/worker relationship, and move into something much, much more intimate. I don't want to miss a second of real relationship with Him. And I realize... that is also His desire. How ironic that I find resting to be such hard work. For me, this resting and trusting is the hardest path I have yet chosen. But what else really matters?

I am anxious for a season of action, a season of change. I am anxious for love to be a verb, and not just a fictional ideal. I am oh, so anxious for Hope to come to me again, and repair the wings on these dreams of mine...

How long, O Lord?

Once again, I am reminded to be still, and know Him as my God.

They also serve, who only stand and wait...

Sunday, August 23, 2009


I would love to have an original topic to work with, but my brain is still in "search" mode, and nothing is coming up on the page. I suppose that might require that I change something about my life... which I may be close to doing... but I want to wait until I've actually done it before I try writing about it... we shall see.

I love writing. Everything from the sound of the keys to the gentle transformation of words from brain to fingers to page. Half the time I feel like someone else is writing for me, as if these aren't even my thoughts. The muse takes over, and all I have to do is what it tells me, and new life is born. Sovereignty is beautiful and terrifying.

I am trying to write a children's book. Harder than it looks, let me tell you. I have a fantastic title, but that's as far as I've gotten with it so far. I've actually started at least a dozen writing projects recently, with high hopes, and no follow-through. I guess that's a step up from not starting them at all... I guess.

I have a lot of questions that still remain unanswered. I suppose we all do. I still don't know if I'm supposed to conjure up a story through my stress and anxiety and never-ending self doubt, or if one day it will just come to me... and things will never be the same...

I still get up every single morning, and long for the answer...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Gateway to Hope

"But I will win her back again;
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her there.
I will return her vineyards to her
and transform the Valley of Trouble
into a gateway to hope.
And she will sing again
as in the days of her youth...
In that day, declares the Lord,
you will call me 'my husband'
instead of 'my master'..."
Hosea 2

I made it to a milestone today, and thought it was worth mentioning, since the last few posts have mainly been comical complaining. Yesterday I decided I had had enough of my mess, and took the entire day off today to clean it. I got a LOT done, but there is still a bit left to do. As in all things, I must keep on keeping on...

But the point is, that I finally did it, and the decision was mine. Truth be told, so much of my past was wrapped up in all that junk, that going through it was harder than most people realize or understand. But now I feel like I am putting it to rest, and moving on to that great, unknown future that God has set before me. He knows what I am hoping comes next... but...

For now I am just anxious for this valley to transform...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cat Lady in Training?

I truly hate being discontent, but I have grown frustrated with my story this season. And that is putting it nicely :) As I told one of my best friends last night, I'd have stopped reading if it weren't my own damn life.

So many questions. It all comes down to not knowing who I am, or why I am, or what my purpose will be. I could write such a better story if I knew the answers to these questions...

I hurt.

One of the men that I most respect in life, a former professor at my college, used to tell me that in all the best stories, the hero doesn't come until the very last minute... when it seems all hope is lost. So I suppose every story has to have an "all hope is lost" before it gets to the good part. But reading it and living it are very different things.

Honestly, I often don't even feel like the heroine in my own story. I am the dopey side-kick, the best friend, the bridesmaid... the comic relief. And every story needs that... but... I had hoped for greater things.

Yesterday I was with two close girl friends in a coffee shop, and we were talking and laughing and being ridiculous, and being real. And I made the statement that I am so confused about life, because I know in this culture I am supposed to be a "career woman," but I really don't fit the mold. What I truly, honestly want is to be a wife, and a mother, to be a help and support to a good, godly man. That is the deepest desire of my heart. And I get so lost because everything else I attempt just feels like a waste of time. And I just don't understand.

And right then, the craziest thing happened. The guy sitting on the couch behind our table said, "Might I interject?" and then we were pretty much in a scene from a movie!

He was a nice guy, but a businessman, through and through. He told us about how he found his wife (online), and how we don't have time to waste. As if I don't fear that already. He told us that, as late twenty-somethings, we are competing for the handful of good men who are left, and that we need to be proactive because our competitions are 19 year olds, and we only have a "short window of beauty" to work with. Nice.

I want to give him credit. He was attractive and charming, and trying to speak from the heart, and he made some good points. He also said that he was glad to hear me say that I wanted to be a wife and a mom, and that that desire had been what sold him on the woman he married. I truly believe he was trying to help. But for the love of God, the last thing the world needs is more exhausted, competitive Christian women who feel like they have to hunt a man down. Lord, save us all from that fate!

If that is the case, then I'm out. I will not interview for the position of wife in a man's life. I will not grovel, or beg, or chase. I will not compete with a 19 year old with a perfect body. If you want a 19 year old, go get one. I will, most certainly, not stand in your way.

The truth is, God has made a woman out of me. Brought up in a terribly unhealthy environment, I have chosen to seek and trust Him, and let Him heal me, though it hurts worse than anything I could have ever imagined. I have chosen to save myself for marriage, I have chosen to live vulnerably and honestly before a critical world, I have chosen a harder road, and that has left its share of scars. I leave my heart in God's hands, because every time I don't, I make an absolute mess of things.

And truly, I do not want to waste time. God knows I do not want to compete. And by the grace of God, no, I do not want to just make out with you on your couch! Whether I deserve more than that, I do not know. But I have the power to choose, and I have chosen. I would rather "fail" seeking and trusting the heart of God, than try my luck at anything else.

If that is not enough for a man, then so be it. Bring on the cats. I have nothing more to offer than who I am. And who I am is who God has made me to be thus far. I will continue growing, but I can never be more than He allows. So I will not exhaust myself further trying to be someone I'm not for some guy who won't, in the end, even want me.

My hope rests in the fact that the story isn't over yet. There are still chapters to be written, and the heart of God is a wild, wild place. He has certainly told some good stories in the past. There is still a chance that mine will be no exception. All I really know to do is keep reading...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I Prayed For a Husband, and God Bought Me Fries

Is there a less lame way to start a blog than saying some mindless crap like: "Today was a really bad day"...? Maybe if I hadn't had such an exhausting week I could think of something more creative... oh well.

Everyone is getting married. And yay for them. I mean that. I do. It's just...

This isn't coming out right.

In other news, I've started applying for nanny jobs again. I'll be honest, I don't really know what I'm doing. I just... don't want to feel stuck anymore.

I saw Halloween shirts at Target today when I got out of the house. It was the first time it really sunk in to me that it's already August. I hope this year I don't miss the whole season! I am trying to enjoy the sunshine while it is here, but I hope when this season ends, it takes with it some of the mess I've been dealing with...

It occurred to me that, as dearly as I love my friends, I might need more... I am so sick of the lonely evenings where no one wants to hang out.

Apparently this post is going to be a lot of random thoughts.

I miss something I can't put my finger on these days... and if I can't figure out what it is, how in God's name am I supposed to find it??

Today I saw someone I did not want to see. In fact, if I never saw him again, I would be infinitely happy. And it amazes me how deeply God loves us... loves us all. As angry as I am with him, I want with all of my heart for him to know God's unshakable love. I think that means I am healing.

I have been oh, so lonely all day. I spent my lunch break crying, begging God for clarity, asking Him if my singleness is almost done... if there's even a tiny chance that the guy who's been on my mind might have noticed me... I am so tired of being invisible.

These days, whenever I ask for something, He always answers: "Trust me." It never fails to make me angry. And yet, at the end of the day, trust in Him is all that really matters.

I have been praying for my husband daily. I don't even care if that's stupid. I may not know who he is, but if he's out there, he probably needs prayer just as much as I do. I figure it is a good habit to be into, for when he does come along.

This is a long and lonely road. I had no idea what I was committing to when I committed to waiting! But they say it is worth it...

I think my life would be worse without coffee. I love the stuff.

I accidentally tie-dyed my shirt a few days ago. Total accident. And it looks awesome. Sometimes life is strange.

So after I saw the unmentionable heartbreaker, I broke my diet and went to Burger King. It was either that, or more tears. And I had just recovered from the headache I had aquired over lunch break. I do not regret one calorie.

I didn't order fries. I wanted them, but didn't order them. When I was pulling out of the drive-thru, I thought I smelled them. "Nooo," I convinced myself, "you're just wishing you smelled fries." But when I got home and opened the bag, there they were. I prayed all day for a husband, and God bought me fries. :) I guess He thought it would be okay for me to have one of the things I wanted today.

Maybe I'm crazy, but I really think He is paying attention. I hope He answers me soon... at this point, I don't really care what the answer is. I just want one.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

This One's For the Girls

Where is the "off" button for hormones?? That's what I want to know. A little red "x" in the corner, "End Session," "Sorry, we're closed, please come back another time."

Something... Anything.

The call to Christian singleness is not for the weak-hearted.

A few months ago I was sitting on a guy friend's couch, just watching television, and we had been having normal, if sporadic, conversation. He leans over and puts his arm around me, and in a casual tone that is usually reserved for: "do you want some popcorn?" or "can I get you something to drink?" says to me, "So... nothing below the waist, but everything else is okay, right?"

And this is what the world has come to.

Forgive my shock, I realize I am twenty-seven years old now. But the truth is, I grew up in the era of Joshua Harris' "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" ridiculousness. I am so programmed to be used to being ignored by godly men, that it sometimes surprises me when one decides to start up a conversation. And then I have to fight the 17-year-old girl in me that thinks he might be my husband because he's the only guy who's decided to pay attention to me in a very long while. And this is every guy's worst nightmare.

I still say Josh Harris ruined my life. :) Perhaps that isn't fair. It is just that I was homeschooled, so my chances of getting a date in the first place were extremely slim, and he was most certainly no help at all in that area. It seems to me that it just gave guys another excuse to do nothing, instead of take a risk...

Don't get me wrong, though. I'm all about men respecting women, and setting up boundaries, and the like. But it was as if I never got to choose... and I am not entirely certain that I appreciate that, if I am being terribly honest. And I've been in the bad habit of being terribly honest in the last few weeks. I don't really have the life I want, so I don't really have much to lose, either.

I think it didn't help that Mom got me the book for my 15th birthday. Happy Birthday, hon... welcome to the wonderful world of eternal singleness. You laugh, and truly, that is my goal. And yet... now I am twenty-seven, and alone. Coincidence? Hmmm.

I jest, of course. Mostly.

I just spent a fabulous Friday night sitting on a long-time friend's carpet eating Chinese takeout and laughing about life and men and crushes and singleness. On my drive home, I was thinking and praying about all the beautiful, incredible Christian women I know who are still struggling with their singleness, and don't know why. If this were a poker game, I would fold.

Honestly, I can't even get a guy to pay for my coffee. It is a wonder to me that Christians ever procreate at all.

This one's for all the beautiful, dedicated Christian women out there who don't have the answers. I understand, ladies. I hurt too. If I ever answer the questions myself, I promise you I will write them for the world to know.

Forgive me for my cynicism, if that is all this is. I have been lonely a long time now. I am still trying to sort it all out.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Piece of God's Heart

I am at the close of one of the best vacations I have ever had. I feel exhausted and refreshed at the same time. More hopeful about life but dreading the return to day by day in front of the computer, doing nothing of much value.

But God has bigger plans... I can hear it in the howling wind and taste it in the salt of the sea. Out here, anything is possible. Dreams are washed out to sea and brought back again, redeemed. I always find a wild piece of God's heart out here... the part that I love so deeply. My soul responds immediately to my lack of control. I lose all track of time, all sense of responsibility. I find that I can just be, and that it is enough.

I stand and face the ocean; a vast expanse of churning, crashing mystery... and yearn to know its depths. I find God in the waves, ever-constant and powerful beyond my knowledge; they might lift me up or shove me beneath the surface, and I have little or no say in the matter, but something in me cannot help but swim forward to find out...

And thus, I am renewed. I am anchored, and set back in my place. My perspective is changed, and I hope it lasts awhile this time. I need a peace that will stay around and let me rest. I need something to look forward to, something to move towards. I need to make my life into something I don't dread waking up to. I think these last few days have shown me just how much I need that. So I must work to find the way...

How quickly time passes when we least want it to. And yet, perhaps another adventure awaits me that I know nothing of just yet. And I will never find it unless I dare to dream, and risk, and face the unknown future set before me. God, make it a good one. I am ready for more of what is good...

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Sea-Change

I slept deeply and woke up well, still feeling groggy but with joy inside. A good strong cup of coffee will cure the rest. I have a full day ahead, of sand and waves and laying in the sunshine. I may even attempt surfing this afternoon, if I feel so inclined...! Sometimes life is unexpectedly good. And though these times seem all too rare, I made it here, and I may yet make it a little further down the road now. I did not know how desperately I needed to recharge....

So much on my mind, still. Maybe I can get some stuff sorted out this weekend. There is one thing that bothers me more than all else, and I am trying to just let it go. Almost impossible, it seems... but I will go crazy if I don't. I want to live a life of freedom, and it hasn't allowed me to be free, so it has to go. God help me, because I cannot do it on my own.

But standing before the great ocean with the wind making a mess of my hair seems the perfect place to let it all go and start over. It will be worth it in the end. However things work out, it will be worth it to let it go now. I've just got to trust that God will work it all out in the end. I don't even want it to depend on me anymore... I have never been a fan of having too much control over my circumstances. And the more I learn to trust in God as a loving father, the more I am able to set it in his hands and let him do what he's going to do anyway, just without my interfering :)

Today it is easy. I have the ocean to tackle and the sun to soak up and good food to eat that someone else is even cooking! All I have to do is enjoy my last day of 26 and let the year go. But I must learn to trust this much every day, to let the past go and move into the unknown future in faith.

And I am ready. I am ready for a change, a deeper faith, a closer relationship. I am ready to stop trying to do it myself. I am ready to let go the most important things in my world and say: "but Your will be done..." It is easy now, and we all know how hard it becomes. But I have this day, and this is where I am now. So I'm going to go live it with all I've got, and see what happens next.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Something Old, Something New

How to say what I want to say...? I'm still waking up =]

Life is going well for me, for the first time in a long time. I don't know why. I do not wish to try to explain it; my desire is just to live it well and use this chance to take a deep breath before it all changes again, as it inevitably will. That is the way Life goes for us. I no longer try to be in control, as I have found this to be useless. I only wish to let go, and enjoy the ride...

... I almost added "with arms wide open," but then realized this would then become a Creed song, and not a blog post. Ha. I was thinking about my recent trip to Six Flags, however... but I digress...

So I am rediscovering myself, and learning more about who I am every single day. I feel very stable, something I am not accustomed to. I feel alive, and joyful, like I am shedding all of the old me and letting all the newly redeemed layers show. I don't wish to resort to the overused budding flower analogy... surely there is something more creative I could compare it to? Alas...

I have gone back to some of my old loves, like soaking up the sunshine, and diving into a good novel. At the same time, though, I am trying new things at just about every opportunity I get. I feel like I stepped through some invisible door into a different life, like Alice in Wonderland. Or rather, the same life, only from another angle. It is my old life still, yet everything feels brand new and full of wonder. When I awake, I feel deeply that it is not what it used to be. And I love it.

Prayer comes easily these days, and I feel my faith growing each time I devote time to it. When I pray for people, I feel God's love for them, and I know the answers are coming soon. I felt this way long, long ago. But I had forgotten...

How I ever got away from this, or why, I may never know. All I know is, I am happy now, and wish to stay this way... always growing and learning and watching Him as the author and finisher of my faith. Is it possible to remain in this state, or do we have to lose our footing in the hard times and then come back into this new life again eventually? Does Life just ebb and flow like that, or is there a way to contain stability, and store it up? When I find out, I will let the world know ;]

I think I am understanding Fatherhood, and accepting him as a father for the first time. To be honest, I never believed I would. I just always assumed I would never get to understand God in that way, because my earthly parenting was such a mess. But here I am, finally seeing him in a different way, the way I've heard so many people talk about him. I have no idea where this road leads, but I will walk it in faith and see what happens...

Amazing to me, that just when I thought life was sterile and boring, I discover what a great adventure it can be! Perhaps there was a purpose for me after all. I used to wonder every day why God wanted a Jo in the world, and what on earth he would have wanted me for. I still do not know the answers... I am only convinced that I am part of a great story, and anxious to fulfill my role in it.

This whole change in my life happened because I decided to try some new things, and open my heart up to living again... I would encourage you, next time opportunity presents itself, just to give it a try, and see where life takes you...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Redemption of Stupidity

I realized on Friday that I'm a month away from my birthday, and that we're halfway to Christmas already. Can time really be slipping by so quickly? I wish it would chill out for awhile and let me catch up.

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to take this moment to announce that I am happy. That is not something I have often put into words in here, so I feel it is an event worth recording! I am not saying that everything is perfect, or that I've found out the meaning of life. But truly... between my circumstances, my choices, and my willingness to be still and know God, I have seen my life slowly transforming into something good.

I love it. Some of my relationships are deepening in ways I never expected, and without me having to exhaust myself with the effort of keeping them alive (crazy how that works with healthy relationships, eh?). And a lot of the ones that were unhealthy are finally slipping away into beautiful oblivion. All I had to do was choose to open my hands and let them go. I have not had one regret since making that decision... God has been infinitely good to me, despite some of the worst decisions I have ever made coming back to hurt and haunt me in recent months.

So I am left wondering, what now? I have made better choices, and found a lot of the change I had been hoping and praying for... so now I am just waiting. Not inactively, mind you, I am still exploring and growing and open to changing for the better. I am looking into taking some business writing classes, and learning sign language, and I'm still taking dance, and trying to write poetry, and volunteering at the hospital.

I am not, in any way, who I thought I would be... and perhaps that is the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I thought I knew what I wanted... but now I see that there is something better than even that. So I am content to wait and hope for it to happen in its own time.

I am confident, once again, that I am loved. There is more security in that knowledge than one might imagine. Something in me has settled recently, and seems content to stay that way. So I find myself happy, and hopeful for the future, and resting in the joy of watching the redemption of my stupidity. Perhaps someday soon I will have the courage to write openly about some of my more recent mistakes and the redemption of them. Part of me is still waiting on the end of the story, however. It is not quite ready to be revealed yet, I think.

Happy Saturday to all. I am going to go refill my coffee mug, and enjoy this day to the last drop! =]

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Life is... Better.

Life just doesn't make sense sometimes. Right now it is one of those seasons for me. The only difference this time is that I think I may be okay with it. I think I am at a place where, despite the chaos and confusion, and "things not going as I planned" and all of that... despite it all, I am finding that I am still okay, and still moving in a direction that I believe to be healthy.

I have done a lot of running around lately, chasing one dream or another, and I suppose I have learned a lot doing it. But I think what I have learned most distinctly is that I'm pretty okay with where my life is now. I wasn't expecting that at all. But it is very refreshing.

I find myself longing for the slower pace, the deeper conversations with my girl friends, the occasional undefined is-it-a-date-or-not outing with a guy. Really, its too exhausting to try to want more than this right now. I don't know if that's a good thing or not, but I am trying to let life just be what it is, and be happy there...

I have been recently pondering whether we are who we are because we are made that way, or we are who we are because we choose to be...? I feel like I have been "more myself" in these last couple of months, where I am choosing to be and do things I've never done before, than I have ever been before. But was I already programmed to be this person...? Who knows for sure.

The point is that I feel like I am starting to live my life, stepping outside of my comfort zone, which I have found does not really hold a lot of comfort after all, only regret. And I am having a blast! Honestly, I wish I hadn't wasted so much time before I got here...

But no point looking back now... I've got the rest of my life ahead of me, and it looks like it might be beautiful...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I'm back =]

The news hit me full in the face - or, really, in the heart - and I fell down hard. I was headed straight for a serious depression. And I, knowing the road well, had moments in which to react. It has been said that, two roads diverged in the woods and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. I am currently living the reality of poetry and song.

And so, I finally made some hard decisions, and my life has taken a better turn. I had forgotten how it feels to be okay with yourself, to live in harmony when your choices and beliefs match up. I had forgotten what it feels like to try something brand new and find that it has been part of you, hiding somewhere in your depths, all that time and you never knew it. I am finding joy in the little things again, living a life that I am no longer ashamed of, and growing miles every minute along the way. Sweet freedom has found my soul again, and I can breathe...

Once again I find myself running into the arms of a God who is tender and merciful, filled with unfailing love. Once again I am finding relationship instead of religion, and I don't know how I lost it in the first place. I don't know why I ever wanted something different than this. I find I have not rested in a long, long time. So I am learning to be still, and know...

And so... I am back, and looking for ways to live creatively, and not out of fear. I have learned this time that living your life fully is so much better than exploring even the wildest fantasy... I got caught up in a dream that shattered before my eyes, and revealed an ugly truth that all I had believed in was a lie. I am through, at long last, with the lies. I have traded them for life and hope and happiness, and the world is changed.

I have finally found again the way everlasting...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Dropping Off the Face of the Earth

What an odd expression. I wonder what the face of the earth looks like? I've seen the face in the moon, but the earth? Hmm. Random thoughts.

I have been out of sorts lately. I feel a bit lost these days, and so far I have not been able to pull myself out of the funk I am in. What was I supposed to do? What was life supposed to look like? I believe there are endless possibilities out there, but I am frustrated to find myself in another job I hate, going nowhere. I have found that I get intense writer's block every time I try to update my resume. I honestly feel as if I cannot get out of this... whatever it is.

People keep telling me it's not my circumstances that need to change, but my perspective. I have given myself headaches lately, trying to talk myself out of depression, and into more positive thinking. I have not had any luck so far. I believe that what I need is a deeper understanding of truth. I have a lot of fears and false beliefs about God that no doubt interfere with my ability to correctly assess my current situation, or to develop a healthy strategy to get out of it.

Whatever the case may be, I need things to change, and soon. A better perspective, a better job, a better state of mind... whatever needs to happen. I don't really care what it is, I just want it to get better...

All that to say, I'm going through a very weird stage of life and I may be dropping off the face of the earth for awhile. Perhaps by the time I make it back, I will have some good stories and solid insights to post. Right now I just don't feel like I have much to offer.

Say a prayer for me.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I hate moving. If I could have afforded to stay in this apartment, I would have stayed forever, just to keep from moving again. My shoulders are killing me right now. I'm exhausted, and frustrated, and I can't seem to focus on anything, which is why I just took a moment to sit down and write.

I have no idea how to get it all done. I would love some company, either at this place or the new house, but there is none. Just someone to hug me, or help me focus, or whatever. It's dumb, but I'm mad that I have to work tomorrow, because it would be awesome if I could sleep in a little and just get settled in my new place......

Basically, I hate the inbetweenness of my life right now. I do not do well with this part of life, and never have. So I'm kinda freaking out right now. But it will be okay... this move is a good thing. I will finally have a house! And that's awesome. It is just... unbelievably scary and completely overwhelming to me at this moment. But it will be okay...

Back to work. Wish me luck!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Roses Are Red... And So Is That Wine I Like.

I bought a bottle of wine today, to celebrate Valentine's Day, and the tax return that was so much more than I thought it would be. To most people, it is probably a minuscule amount of money, but I honestly feel like I have just won the lottery. I have been describing the emotion as "Christmas without the family drama."

I have learned, in the past few years of near poverty, to appreciate every dollar. It is one of those mysterious mixes of joy and despair, I suppose, that brings you to that place. When we are at our worst, it seems that we learn what is truly important to us. This has certainly been true in my life of late.

Anyway, it took me at least twenty minutes and a box cutter to open said bottle, not to mention the time I stood in line at Target, waiting to purchase a corkscrew that I later discovered I did not need. Apparently this particular wine has a screw-off lid. And yes, it still took me twenty minutes to open.

I would have just gone back to Walmart for the corkscrew, but the chances of coming into contact with another awkward situation were too great. I had been standing in the card aisle, trying to find something witty and generic for a co-worker's belated birthday, whom I suspect is interested, but the feeling is just not mutual... but that's a story for another time.

Back to my Walmart adventure. There was a guy next to me; tall, baseball cap, also looking at cards, and I made simple small talk about how the card writers must be running out of ideas, because the majority of them were severely lacking. I do not consider this to be a flirtatious interaction, but I know some guys who would disagree with me, and have called me a flirt just because I have a decent rapport with people I have just met.

All this to say, I eventually sighed, grabbed a card, and started to leave with what would have been my parting comment: "I guess I'll just have to go with the generic alcoholic joke card..." to which his response was, "What would I have to do to get your number?"

Interesting follow-up. I'm sure I froze in my tracks, with that homeschooler-in-the-headlights look, my mind racing to form a witty comeback or just find a way out, while he stumbled and rushed through the next few set of questions, including: "I thought people were supposed to be with the ones they loved on Valentine's Day?" (this smelt of a practiced pick-up line), "Where's your man? Do you not have anyone? What are you doing tonight? Would you want to go somewhere?" etc.

Most people resort to "fight or flight" in the midst of a threatening situation involving their pure survival. For me, all it takes is an awkward moment, such as: "Can I have your number?" and I typically bolt. I'm pretty sure I resorted to the dreadful phrase: "I'm just not looking for someone right now..." which really means: "We're in Walmart and I feel awkward, so my default is no..." but to him was probably translated: "I'm another woman rejecting you. Not in a million years would I consent to giving the likes of you my phone number." It wasn't true, but there's no changing the past.

Oh, dear. At this rate, I will see many, many more solitary Valentine's Days. Poor fellow. I should have just told him the truth, that I'm nuts and he has no idea what he's getting into by asking me out for a drink, especially on Valentine's Day. It is a bad idea for oh, so many reasons, such as I have no alcohol tolerance, and despite my best efforts, I'm not that great a kisser. But I didn't think of it in time. It was truly nothing against him. He seemed like a nice guy with a good sense of humor, if a little too forward when nervous... I just have an extremely low tolerance for awkward situations, and that definitely qualified.

I've done pretty well today, considering. And by that I mean I haven't cried yet. My mother, just last night, begged me to sign up for, as if I've got just one chance and it's fading fast. I don't have anything against the website, or those who choose to use it, but I'm just not ready for that. I believe I am an odd mix of woman and child, still. I often feel weary in a way that has come much too soon for my age, and yet my outlook and experience mirror that of someone who has not yet seen much of life. What is to become of me, I have no way to know, and I have failed time and again in my attempt to explain myself to others.

I have been recently asked about my "type of guy" and I have come to the scary realization that I do not have any idea what that might be. Perhaps, despite my best efforts of self-analysation, I do not know myself well enough to be able to answer that question. I may not be as alone as I feel... it seems there are many 20-something singles out there who could echo these same ponderings of mine...

I wish a Happy Valentine's Day to all, but especially to those of us who are genuinely lost in the questions. And for those of us who aren't having nice dinners or receiving red roses from a special someone tonight, here's a toast to the awkward moments that define our days...!

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Edge of Greatness

I've only got a few hours left of my 3-day weekend, and I am sad to see it go. Tomorrow I start back into the normal routine of the life I don't enjoy; the 8-5 daily grind of the job I ought to be grateful for, but have somehow lost the strength to be.

It's been a good weekend. I've just done normal weekend stuff, but with an extra day to rest and get my thoughts together. I took a walk this morning, and it snowed a little, and I just feel a sense of... I guess "peace" is too cliche... but I feel like I see life a little more clearly right now. For the first time in awhile I feel okay. And I wish, so much, that I felt this way more often.

I am on a search for a new life right now. I have grown deeply unsatisfied with what I have currently, and I am working to change it in healthy ways. As much as I don't typically like change, I would change almost everything right now if I could. I still like this city and I have great friends, but other than that... new job, new scenery, new attitude, new everything else would be awesome.

I am trying to do my part. I am making efforts to get in shape and go through all my stuff and only take what I really need into the new house. I am about to update my resume and try to find something more suited to me, and hopefully better pay as well. And even though I'm not really looking for someone, I wouldn't mind getting to the point where I at least felt date-able. Right now I feel like such a mess that I wouldn't dare getting someone else involved with me, unless they really knew what they were getting into. But maybe soon, with a little emotional construction work, I could be closer to ready for that relationship...

And God... I definitely do not feel close to God right now. I know all I need to know, but like I am constantly telling a close friend of mine: "It doesn't matter what you know, it's what you actually believe and live that makes the difference when it comes to eternity..." And I am a little mixed up about what I believe right now, if I am being honest with myself.

I told a girlfriend recently that I feel like a piece of artwork that didn't turn out right, and so got stuffed into the back of God's closet. I mean, at least He kept it. But it's not like He hung it on His wall, where it makes Him smile every day...

Of course I know this isn't truth, it is just my fragile attempt to explain my current emotional state and outlook.

I definitely feel stuck, and I definitely don't feel like I'm a valued member of God's kingdom at the moment. The financial strain and lack of creative necessity in my job has finally caught up with me. I am tired of being poor, tired of paying the minimum amount on my debts, tired of being unhappy, and tired of being, or at least feeling, like second place when it comes to God's daughters. I must find a way to change my perspective. I just wish I knew how already.

Someone I deeply respect told me just this weekend that I am not drowning, as I assumed I was, but that I am right on the edge of greatness. When she said it, it brought to memory my brief moments at the Grand Canyon, peering breathless into something infinitely bigger than I, that I wanted so much to be a part of. I picked up a few rocks, but couldn't grasp it all with just my hand, and I wanted the adventure, but knew I could not survive in the belly of it... in reality, I could only drink in with my eyes and lose myself in wonder...

Can it be? Can it really be that this isn't the end at all, that this isn't the part where I stumble, and fall, and never make it back up... but where I learn that there is something more than I have yet imagined? Am I simply staring at the wall in Plato's cave, wearily watching the same old shapes, with no knowledge of the world that is just beyond my sight? Am I about to turn around and discover light for the first time? Or is hope just another heartache waiting to happen...?

And now, another daylight is fading away, and on to another day that is so like so many before it, and yet different, and new. I do not know what to say, so I merely say a prayer, and go to bed, wishing deep down that I would wake up to another reality... and God knows this well. What he does with that desire, I suppose, is completely up to him.

Here's hoping that at what feels like the end of my rope, I find myself on the edge of greatness instead.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

I don't do New Years resolutions. Let's be honest... how often do people actually succeed at them? I guilt myself enough, so setting some unrealistic resolution would only be another recipe for failure in my life.

And yet... a new year brings about a certain thoughtfulness of what we're leaving behind and what we're hoping to head for. I suppose that's why people do it... because we have no other way of expressing the past and future we are faced with. It is like, for one day, the two aspects of time collide and leave us in wonder, with the hope of change.

I have felt stuck, lately, in my own skin and my own little world. I grow restless sometimes and want to just leave everything behind, go somewhere else and try a new life for awhile. Who doesn't, though? I just... fear, and hope, that corporate America isn't the end of the road for me. But what will change that? What could be the difference between me and the people that have been at my job for 10 or more years, still doing the same thing I've done this past year? Not knowing the answer to that question makes me give in to the haunting fears that float through my consciousness. Perhaps I am no different at all. I can't remember, even, what made me think that I was...

I've said that I'm going through a quarter life crisis. Call it what you will, but this year I looked around at my life and said: "This isn't what I really wanted... why is this it??" I thought I was supposed to be a published writer. I thought I was supposed to be married, with kids, or at least well on my way. I thought I was supposed to be making a positive difference in people's lives, being the voice for those who have none. And the desire is certainly still there... the willingness, even... so why am I going to a dead-end job every day, barely making ends meet, where one day bleeds into another, then another... and nothing is ever really accomplished or changed? If I am not who I was, but not yet who I hope to be, then who am I?

Only one year at this job, and it has already taken its toll. I have stopped reading, stopped showing up to places, stopped cleaning my apartment, and stopped looking for miracles. To some degree, I have even stopped hoping for things to change. I know I am falling back into one of my depressions; the curse of the artistic spirit. It happened exactly this time last year as well. It is, perhaps, merely a seasonal thing. I'm sure I could take some pills to numb the questions, or simply wait it out until the sun's warmth and light remind me of truth.

But right now, I am faced with the frightening reality of the question: what's the point? Why should I keep believing things are going to change, or get better, or that somehow I will motivate myself to do something different in the near future? It feels like nothing has changed in a long time. And I'll not try to hide the fact that part of me has simply given up. Not the viewpoint a Christian is supposed to have, I am sure. But I can't even live up to my own standards, so what's to make me think I will ever live up to God's?

I do not feel so sad as I may sound. In reality, I feel only numb and cynical, and like I am disappointing everyone. Perhaps I only ebb and flow with the tide of seasons, and my heart will thaw out as the sun creates longer days and warmer realities. It never fails that, at some point, something touches me from the inside out and I am inspired to a brighter outlook. I think I am about due for one...

The good news for me is that God is a God of details. If he notices the sparrow's fall, then he has noticed my heart sinking, my dreams losing their color, my motivation to stay positive waning. He notices that I am drowning in my own mind's oceans, and that a badly-lit cubicle is no place for the wild creativity of my heart to flourish. He is, no doubt, leading me to higher ground, as he has so many times before. I just have to do my best to see it.

"I lift my eyes to the hills. From whence does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." Psalm 121

Welcome, 2009, and whatever it is that you bring...