Monday, December 30, 2002

square one

yes, i'm being cryptic. yes, i'm saying some things you might not get (even if i weren't being cryptic). yes, i mean every word. yes, i hate that i mean every word.

no, it's not all directed at the same individual. no, it's probably not about you. no, i don't accept what you've given me. no, i'm not sorry for how i feel.

no, i'm not a child.

yes, it still hurts, even after ALL this time....

Sunday, December 29, 2002

so, would it make you happy if i gave into your fear and medicated myself so that i feel nothing and can then be what you would refer to as 'productive'?

or would it make you happy if i gathered up all my 'belongings' (which don't in any way make me feel as though i belong) and moved into my car so that i wouldn't be taking up any more air space in anyone else's home?

or would it make you happy if i sit idly by and watch you do yourself in?

or would it make you happy if i just went ahead and got that graduate degree so that i could be 'live up to my potential'?

or would it make you happy if i changed my appearance so that you don't have to 'worry' about me?

or would it make you happy if i keep phoning and writing even though you never return my calls or e-mails?

or would it make YOU happy if i sit silent for the rest of my life and let the truth become a lie?

i give up.

Saturday, December 28, 2002

back

i arrived home today after my 3-day stint in the full-on south. it was all about not-too-wide roads, familiar buildings, and strip malls up the waz....it's good to be home. i banked some new towels, several novels and all THREE naked chef cookbooks!!

there is more to say but i haven't the words tonight....here's hoping everyone survived this holiday season.....i made it out not quite unscathed....

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

arrival

it's 1:15 on christmas morning. michael left about an hour ago (we watched lotr for the second time in preparation for the 2 towers) and i am contemplating what to pack to take to my parents' house in the morning. although they are calling for snow - and, indeed, it has snowed intermittently throughout the evening - i am hoping for clear weather. i hate driving when it's messy outside. at least i'm going south of here, where the storm is not supposed to reach. snow is a good thing - if you're holed up inside to watch it fall and drink cocoa and make merry with someone special:)....

sammie joy asked me tonight if, this year, i would be making any new year's resolutions (a bit early, admittedly, but good to think ahead). i chuckled and assured her that the answer was most certainly 'NO.' i have made a resolution to change my actions, my reactions, my thoughts, my heart, etc. at least once a week for the last year. and, to God's credit, i have kept many of them. a lot of things have changed for me since last christmas. A LOT. i'm a very different person now than i was when on the brink of 2002. and i am sure that i will continue to make changes, to adjust as needed, to seek resolution, to pursue the heart of God - but i'm not making any official announcements on january 1...at least not to the blogging world:)....

but tonight, my mind isn't on tomorrow, but yesterday....i'm thinking of a perfect life that entered our reality in a stable somewhere thousands of miles away....of that baby who grew into the man that made blind eyes see and mute tongues cry out with the praise of angels.....of the road to calvary that He bore with my heart in mind....of the sacrifice He made to leave His home and come to mine....of the home He made inside of me.

this is christmas. it is the arrival of the best thing that has ever happened....and will ever happen....to all of mankind. it is God reaching down to show the world His love. it is the beauty and simplicity of a changed heart, of a life given meaning because the creator of the world has offered a way to Himself, of the quietness and rest that can only be found in His presence.

i wonder if his mother and father - and all the animals and all the people who came to see the child that night and in the days to come - i wonder if they felt that peace....and when they stepped out of that tiny barn into the night air and saw the stars shining in the sky.... did they know their lives....that the whole world....would never be the same?

i'm a piece of that legacy that was begun there...in that stable....on that night so long ago. i know who that baby was. i know who He is. and when i see Him face to face someday, i will fall before Him and thank Him for all eternity....

'joy to the world! the Lord is come....'

He has come indeed. merry christmas....

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

'oh come, oh come, Emmanuel....'

on the eve of christmas proper, i am with my favorite sammie joy as the clock strikes midnight. sara groves is singing her heart out and i had epiphanies up the wazoo today. more on all this later, but suffice it to say that suddenly, things seem a bit more evident to me than before.

happy almost birthday, Jesus. it's ALL for you....

and You know i don't just mean the gifts and caroling...it's about the heart of a scared girl sitting here in baltimore thanking you every minute of every day for coming into this world to save a wretch like me....

Sunday, December 22, 2002

completion

i am FINALLY finished with all of my christmas wrapping. this is quite off-schedule for me, as i normally have all of this polished off by mid-december, at the latest. perhaps it's best this way - fewer days to be tempted to give sj all her presents early!!

i'm looking forward to christmas eve. sj and i will rise in the morning and have brunch and do gifts before she leaves for her mom's house. later on, michael and i will be doing something. not sure exactly what yet, but i know it will involve me making dinner. and a movie at home, perhaps? the next morning, i will leave for virginia and spend a few days at my parents' house (where there will be roast beef and yorkshire pudding - my favorite english christmas dinner!!) before returning home to ponder new year's plans....

one thing for which i am praying this christmas is that i will GET TO SLEEP at a decent hour, for crying out loud!! (hehe...i bet you were thinking i was going to say peace on earth or some such nonsense;)....not that peace is nonsense, of course, but....well....i won't get into all of that just now.) i would be thrilled if i could get to bed before midnight without the assistance of any substances. and then, once asleep, i would love a whole evening WITHOUT nightmares (last night's one involved some man stalking and attempting to kill me....and sj for being affiliated with me....and he was VIOLENT.....oh man, was he violent!).

goal for the week: decrease anxiety, increase relaxation.
likelihood of this occurring: slim to none, given time of year and level of family involvement.

welcome to the holidays:)

ho. ho. ho.

Saturday, December 21, 2002

well, at the very least, i'm not particularly cranky today. in fact, i feel quite the opposite....nothing. and sometimes nothing, for the sake of sleeping, is better than SOMETHING.

it's hard to believe that christmas is just a few short days away. although i've been relatively prepared for awhile, i feel like it's suddenly crept up on me. i haven't wrapped anything yet, so it's clear that i need to get on the stick, as they say.

speaking of christmas, sj and i are watching the three tenors' pbs christmas special. it cracks me up every time to listen to those three take a whack at jingle bells and other holiday favorites....it's worth it, though, because i simply LOVE placido domingo.....it's because of his passion and the grace and strength of his voice....and besides, pavarotti is SUCH a prima donna....

i'm in the mood for a christmas-y movie or some madcap fun. i need to take my mind off of....well....my mind:) and if all goes as planned, we're having steak for dinner. and that right there is one step closer to adventure on its own.

a toast: to marinated meat in all its glory:)....

Friday, December 20, 2002

better?

i'm cranky. not feeling under the weather anymore, but now i'm just cranky. and grouchy. and all those other words that mean basically the same thing....

and why can't i make myself do something constructive with my frustration? and why does life today feel like banging my head against a wall repeatedly? and why can't i stop thinking about all of this stuff that's driving me insane?

Lord, i'm frustrated and restless and brimming with desire for something new and different....something altogether NOT ME. i'm at Your mercy here....please reach me.

Thursday, December 19, 2002

storck chocolate riesen and other miracles....

good news: sj is feeling better since the disease-killing tablets came her way to kill her throat dragon once and for all (yay!). i, on the other hand, am feeling just a tad under the weather. oh yeah, that and some quiz i took said that frodo is my ideal lotr mate. so is this yet another indication that i'm doomed to fall for sensitive, tormented men? i will admit - my past record has not been good in that regard:)

just watched the survivor final and am eating a chocolate caramel. i'm praying for sleep tonight that comes without the aid of excedrin p.m. (maybe i should become a corporate sponsor!)....either way, tomorrow is all about some relaxation and present-wrapping.

lesson of the day: SLEEP is your friend. do not burn the bridge; you may not have the resources to re-build.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

'i am shell shocked and i have walked through the trenches full of tears with the mortars of memory exploding in my burning ears....'

i was reading through my journal entries over the last year and i found the above quote in an entry from august 19....caedmon's call really laid it out there....man, that just epitomizes my 2002....every day and every night, moment after moment....memory after memory.....365 days of clarity and blur...of fear and faith.

i have talked and talked - sometimes until the point of turning blue - and i have said A LOT of words to a lot of people.
i have cried rivers of tears and groaned into the night with longing for rest.
i have learned and shared and received and given.
i have prayed and begged and resigned and waited.
i have heard God's voice in the stillness and the clamor.
i have known and seen and felt and tasted.
i have been haunted and i have escaped and i have given in.
i have fallen down and i have gotten back up, knees bloody, only to fall again and again.
i have run and crawled and run some more and exhausted every fibre in my body.
i have cursed and yelled and spoken my mind....and i have screamed in silence through the night.
i have laid it all out. i have held it all in.
i have loved to the point of heartache.
i have been loved with sweetness and grace and warm smiles and drinks with lots of ice:)
i have lost more than i have gained.
i have gained more than i have lost.

and i am slowly arriving on the scene....

and i have more yet to say....

and Jesus, YOUR LOVE has been my relief....
okay, whatever....

so clearly i didn't go to bed early....and sj? she's back up and cranky....and the dinner? add a hot dog and slurpee from 7-11 to the mix. i got hungry, and so did she....

sometimes, the best laid plans of mice and men.....you know the rest:)

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

not bad for a tuesday....

it's 8:20 p.m. and, already, i'm thinking of going to bed. sj has been sleeping for the last hour or more...she needs sleep if the dragon in her throat is going to leave anytime soon. i have no dragon, but i am utterly exhausted and could use a good 10-hour night myself....

dinner was such a simple affair tonight. i sauteed some 'shrooms in a bit of olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper and then added some balsamic to caramelize at the end. poured this over a baked potato with some cheddar cheese and a bit of sour cream that i seasoned with a multi-chili pepper/mustard/other stuff blend. coupled with some super-pulpy oj, this was a fine little meal....

the heat is on and it's all warm and toasty in here. emeril is in the background kicking something up to notches unknown to mankind....the desk light is casting just enough of a glow for me to see but not to overwhelm the eyes. it feels quite good to be home.
'though we both know that the worst part about it is i would be free when you wanted me....if you wanted me.....' - john mayer

so i've realized over the last month or so how much time in my life i have spent settling for mediocrity, especially in the realm of relationships. i have poured countless hours into maintaining relationships that, had i not been the one to call, would have fallen quietly by the wayside, never to be resurrected. why? WHY have i done this? because at the heart of it all, i want people to like me and i've always felt that i wasn't worth doing work for in order to have friendships kept with me....thus, i did the work so that i couldn't possibly be rejected by the other people. but in the end, it has often yielded disappointment and rejection anyway. it just goes to show you that even the most diligent person can't 'work something out' for herself if it's all based on her own strength....

and that's what it really comes down to, at the end of the day....ME having an agenda to not get hurt and trying MY best to do what I CAN so that I DON'T have to feel like I'M suffering or being rejected....doesn't particularly show much trust that God is working things out on my behalf, eh? and, to top it all off, i'm never sure if people really care about me, because i haven't let them seek me out....haven't LET them put forward any effort.....because i'm so afraid that if i let the ball drop into their court, they'll just let it lie there....

well....i'm getting over all of this. i'm tired as heck of this whole internal mess i've gotten myself into....and things are clearer for me now. i'm not panicked about losing friendships, because there are some that i have that i KNOW aren't going anywhere - at least not anytime soon. i know these people love me and are invested in me personally, not the things i DO for them or whatever else....and funny how letting go of a lot of that junk means that i have more emotional time to invest in my relationship with God (who is the ONLY one worth running after and sacrificing things for ANYWAY).

it's a hard lesson....but it's only taken me 27 years to learn it, so i figure i'm not doing so badly:)

Monday, December 16, 2002

not quite home....

i'm at my parents' house - still battling my insomniac tendencies. for the last 2 nights, i have gone to bed no earlier than 4 a.m. and risen sometime around noon. despicable. i am just mortified that this continues to be an element of my life these days. it doesn't seem to matter how tired i am, WHERE i am, or what i'm doing....i just CANNOT seem to make myself lie down and simply rest. i'm praying (please, Lord) that it's just a phase and will be over soon....

in other news, i'm catching up with old friends while in town. doing kind of a pre-Christmas social checking in....in just a half hour, i will venture out with francesca, to brave the wild and wooly suburbs for some light lunching and last-minute gift acquiring. should be divertingly fun and some form of mad cap (as all my outings tend to be). tonight, i will sup with another dear friend, whom i haven't seen in at least 3 years. everything's coming back around again, it seems, at this point in my life....

i do miss baltimore....i miss the clamor of the city. while it's nice to have my own room for a bit (and i'm sure is nice for sj as well, who is at home battling a dragon in her larynx), i've gotten used to the cadence of someone else's breathing, the occasional 3 a.m. babbling in one's sleep, and frankly someone just expecting me to be around. it's nice to be expected, i'm finding.

so it is these times away that make me realize where my life is. and while there is still a part of me that will always be in virginia, i am slowly loosing my grip on that defining term, settling more into the understanding that the people who know me best are just slightly to the north....scratchy throats and all;)

Saturday, December 14, 2002

...to the gills

i took some excedrin p.m. a few hours ago, and BOY are they kickin' in now!! i'm so relaxed, i can barely type. i'm making way more mistakes than normal (but you wouldn't know this, because i'm fixing them all!). tomorrow morning, when i awake from my stupor, i'm driving to my parents' house for a few days. it'll be good to see them; it's been awhile. here's hoping i won't be too stressed while i'm there, however:)....

in other news, i cleaned the whole place today. we had some friends from monty county in for dinner and a movie. it was a full-on ladies night in....very nice company, if i do say so:)....and, to top it all off, we watched a chick-ish flick, 'what women want'.....nothing too pithy for a friday evening....

i'm sure i'll be comatose soon enough, so here's hoping your weekend is tremendous, gentle reader:).....my blogging accessibility is uncertain for the next few days, but let it not be said that i didn't get the last word in....

'cause i did:)

Friday, December 13, 2002

temptation, insomnia, & lack of turtlenecks....

okay, so we went to chik-fil-a tonight for dinner. man, why did i do that? now i'm basically gonna crave it for the next 2 weeks or more. it's all about the chicken sandwich and their lemonade....oy. oy. oy.

other than that, i FINALLY got my stuff from my storage unit. and simply because i CAN, i brought my cuisinart back home with me....man-o-man, i've missed that cobalt blue wonder machine....i'm excited to use it again....it's all about slicing and chopping and some sauce-making and....hmm....i'm making myself hungry.

right....so....the storage unit. WINTER CLOTHES (a non-food-related item). i brought back what few (count them - 3) turtlenecks i hadn't given away to the clothing collection for the homeless thingie before we moved. what was i thinking? i have, like, zero winter items....oh well. at least my mittens, hat, and scarf are back in my possession....and at least i have now verified for myself that i own, actually, nothing warm to wear:)

all in all, a productive evening out. of course, since arriving home, i have been downloading music like a fiend (thanks, tim...now i'm totally addicted!:)) and avoiding sleep. perhaps i'm doing this in honor of certain people who are staying up all night studying....yeah. that's what this has ALL been about....a tribute:)....(keep telling that to yourself, sar....)

anyone for a quick round of blame-shifting?......;)

Thursday, December 12, 2002

'in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me....' - e.e. cummings

i had a strange, juxtapositioned night....a melange of elation and misery....beauty and ick. i emerged from one thing in particular feeling like i needed to hear what was true.....and so i did. i spoke it aloud to myself and read it on the screen of my laptop, blinking off of a welcomed IM....it restored me - the truth. once again, the gospel brings me home....

and in the most random, off-handed moments, i feel my coldness being wrapped in warmth. and in the midst of my maelstrom of a brain, there is peace and a center....

and there are plenty of things to make me smile.....and not everyone knows what they are.

and that's more than fine with me:)

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

cold feet, warm heart

i'm feeling very pleased right at the moment....i've got these on my popsicle toes and they are warm and wooly and make me feel like Christmas (by the way, i'm wearing the charcoal gray pair with red toes and heel). that and i'm listening to some nickel creek on my laptop as i type this, and THAT makes me feel like warm apple cider and bonfires and hayrides and the thrill of autumn/early winter when you just want to snuggle with someone.....

anyway, clearly i'm entering a whimsy phase:) i suppose now's as good a time as any for me to show bits and pieces of my oft-subdued giddy schoolgirl-esque self....

wheeeeee:)
as of 6:30 a.m., i was still awake....staring at the hazy, just-before-sunrise light barely beginning to filter through the slats in the window.... my brain roamed through practicalities and into subjects nestled deep inside my heart....what to do about my insurance at the end of the month? when will i feel remotely ready to go back to work? will that package from amazon.com arrive soon enough for me to send this one particular book off in the mail:)? is venice all that i imagine it to be (i'm still reading that book from last week....still holding my breath as my heart races through it)....and will i ever get to ride that gondola on a cool evening and get that kiss under the bridge of sighs.....? will i get married before i turn 30? will my children call me 'mom' or 'mommy'? will i ever feel normal again?

all i know is that right now, normal or not, i feel really grateful....sometimes God tenderly places a present in your lap and, while the outside looks beautiful and you're just so thankful to have the gift and would be content to place it next to you and gaze at it from time to time, He tells you to open it, and what's inside is even better than what you were expecting.

and in the black of midnight, there is yet the promise that morning will come.....that grace and hope and love are not some far-fetched, pie-in-the-sky kind of notions. they are here and now. they are even better than what i was expecting. they are, indeed, the greatest gifts.
here i am on the verge of daybreak, and i'm still up. yeah, yeah, yeah....so what else is new?

nothing, really.

i suppose i should TRY to sleep now. eventually, my body is going to give out on me if i try to brave awake-ness any longer. goodnight, dark world......

goodnight and good morning:)

oh....and jacob, thanks again for the talk.....:)

p.s. for those of you fond of...uh...online shopping (hint, hint!), there's a new link on the right-hand bar!!:)

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

resolution

okay, so the whole insurance fiasco was not, in reality, what i thought it was.....at least i think it wasn't. i haven't heard back from my former boss that things are a-ok, but i'm sure that it will work out along those lines. it dawned on me yesterday afternoon, as i was sitting in the middle of a discussion with someone, that i had most likely misunderstood the cancellation letter that my insurance company had sent me. SOME of my insurance had been cancelled - dental and vision - but medical (the most important facet) is still cooking - at least until the end of the month.

suffice it to say that i had one of those lightbulb moments and wound up almost laughing at myself for how hysterical i had gotten the night before....

then again, my hysteria was only initially about the insurance and actually much more reflective of deeper issues....as it often is.

so, i continue to take small steps towards wholeness....walking the road and picking up scattered shards of my soul along the way. for those of you who keep me in your prayers, thank you....and please, keep it up. i'm not out of the woods just yet....

Monday, December 09, 2002

ahem....

yes, you read it right. 4:37 a.m. and i'm STILL awake.

oy vey....

OY.

VEY.

Sunday, December 08, 2002

at every turn

we went to my storage unit this afternoon to retrieve my winter clothes and bring a few items from the apartment that need a place to rest. i was brutally rebuffed by a red lock on the door to my mini-garage. apparently, the people at this place FORGOT to remove it after i paid my few-day-late bill yesterday. needless to say, i left a rather polite but miffed-sounding message on their service, letting them know that this, in my estimation, was 'totally unacceptable' and in all ways 'inconceivable.'

and please....please don't get me started on my new-found insurance problem. i'm having a minor nervous breakdown as a result....it's all about taking deep breaths and trying not to freak out....

too late.
eyes tightly open

okay, okay....so that was my poor excuse for a kubrick knock-off....but you'll forgive. i've become an insomniac....

no....see....what i REALLY am is exhausted and unable to sleep at night....and all alone with my thoughts and frankly just feeling all sick of it. Lord, please help me to rest. and not just the kind that comes when i close my eyes, but the kind that can only be found in Your presence....

lots going on around here....emotional upheaval, some of which doesn't involve me for a change....and yet my involvement is secured nevertheless. i can't escape the sorrows of those near and dear to me....that just isn't the way my heart works.

so, i can predict one thing tonight: shortly before sunrise, i will ease into coma and emerge in time for some early afternoon bread-breaking. then, i will attempt to assist miss p back to health (she is, decidedly, 'dying' - in her own words) by some love-filled cooking and lots of cooing and sympathizing. perhaps even trivial pursuit will enter the equation at some point during the day. and then, i fear, the cycle will begin again....and so perhaps we will meet again tomorrow....and you know the drill....same bat time, same bat channel....:)

Friday, December 06, 2002

proprio qui

okay, i take it all back.... i'm not really feeling annoyed or misunderstood or anything resembling yuck. what i feel right now is WHIMISICAL....pure, unadulterated thrills have been chugging through my body for the last several hours. i'm sure you're wondering....'what is up with this flippant chick?' well, people, i'm here to tell you.....

THIS is what has gotten under my skin and turned everything upside down. *sigh.* if ever some as-yet-to-be-seen physical place has captured me, it would be venice....

it was an early spring day in 1996. i had the most delicious sleep, waking from a dream in which i was in this lovely, quaint, soft hotel room. the bed was awash with clean, crisp white sheets, pillows, all billowy and cool...the kind you can sink into and not emerge for days....the walls were a light terracotta red mixed with goldenrod. there was one large window and i walked over to it, swinging it open (each of two halves) toward the spring air. just outside the plain window was a small flower box, filled to bursting with these intricate, bright red and violet blossoms. and the breeze....the sweet, slightly warm breeze just gushed into the room, weaving through my hair and sliding across my skin, smooth like silk.....i felt such warmth and happiness in that moment....

and when i woke up, it was an unusually balmy day for february or march in baltimore; the sun was shining and this SAME wonderful breeze was blowing all around me as i walked over to campus. i ran into a good friend (someone whom i would later love to the point of heartbreak) on the breezeway between these two buildings and as the dead leaves left in winter's wake swirled all around us, i told him about this dream....and i remember him smiling, absorbing some of my own excitement and mirroring it back to me. i felt like skipping, dancing, frolicking.....things that, in most of my waking life, i feel too bound-up to do or even entertain doing.

from then on, it was venice on my mind....venice in my soul....venice coursing through my veins. and someday i will go there...with someone...and we will ride a gondola and kiss under the bridge of sighs and bathe in the sunshine and drink sweet wine.....

but until then, i will read this book and dream....
man, i passed out last night! just moments after i finished my last post (the coma was already setting in as i typed the last few words), i climbed underneath the covers and zonked immediately, not waking up until 11:00 this morning. that's right. 12 hours, baby! i needed it.....soooo sleepy was i.....

in other news, it's cold. my feet are cold. my hands are cold. outside? cold.....this is actually news to NO ONE, but if the local stations can devote three...yes THREE....hours of yesterday's programming to talking about the snow that had ALREADY fallen, why can't i be ms. obvious for a minute or 2?

trying to decide what to make for dinner tonight....trying to decide if and when to shower (it seems so pointless to me, since i did absolutely NOTHING yesterday and i in no way smell - plus my hair is all curly and fun) and which of my traditional clothes to don....

feeling misunderstood, but what else is new?

going to watch 'a makeover story'....at least SOMEONE's getting a new outlook, even if it isn't me.

Thursday, December 05, 2002

waiting....(psalm 37:4 all the way)

tonight i made some pseudo-beef stroganoff for dinner. it was quite delish, even though i had to use some non-traditional ingredients to work it all out....i was remarking to a friend earlier that i can't imagine that i should stay single for the rest of my life.....i've got too many good recipes in my arsenal:)

that, of course, and the fact that these people told me i'm irresistible....boy oh boy!! have i got it made now!!!

seriously, people....if it were about all of that, i'd be married already. but you see....1) it ain't about that and 2) it ain't God's timing just yet anyway.....if it were, then somehow this hopefully would NOT be in the picture...at least not as often as it is these days.....in other words, there's miles to go before i sleep....

unless, of course, the sleepy pills i took a couple of hours ago weave their magic web of doze....

and i feel it coming on even now......

i'm out.

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

tv wasteland

it's no wonder i hardly ever watch prime time television. the nighttime shows these days are just crap! i've spent the evening alone because sj is visiting a friend of hers in the 'burbs. i made some tuna pasta salad with whole wheat rotini. it was pretty good, actually, although i must say that this is the second kind of whole wheat pasta (this one was organic to boot) i've had that tastes grainy. i don't mind a nice nutty, whole grain flavor, but i can do without the sandy feeling in the back of my throat. either way, enough tuna, veggies, and other goodies, and the graininess (is that even a word?) was reduced to a palatable minimum....

in other news, i'm hopefully going to be taking some low-key guitar lessons from a friend of sj's.....i must admit that i'm kinda nervous, because i've wanted to play the guitar since i was 10 years old, and the thought that i might stink at it - that i might have NO kind of talent from which to draw for this endeavor - is disheartening at best. but i'm gonna give it the old college try nevertheless....besides, i've already cut all the nails off of my left hand in preparation. will update you on my progress as chords are being learned and calluses formed....

wish i could say that this day has given me some interesting little factoid to share, but sometimes tuesday is just tuesday.....so, i'm off to take my sleepy pills and close the curtain on all of this ho-hum-ness. night:)

Monday, December 02, 2002

sometime this morning, in an excedrin pm haze, i dreamed i was standing in for one of the dixie chicks during a live performance. i hadn't yet learned my harmony back-up part or memorized the words to a solo i'd be performing, but i kept assuring them that i'd do them proud....that i'd be able to pull it off. they seemed fairly convinced and busied themselves dressing me, doing my hair, and putting on the traditional 'dixie chicks make-up' (whatever that means).....strange as it may seem, i was relieved to have entered this whole crazy scene, because it followed on the heels of a series of nightmares. and even in my dream-ensconced state, i was cognizant of the fact that i had emerged from those terrible places unscathed.

moral of the story: it is always better to be an unprepared dixie chick than to be chased and eventually harmed by a bunch of ill-meaning cretins through the parking lot of mcdonald's and other various and sundry places.

sometimes being awake has its advantages....

Sunday, December 01, 2002

meatloaf makes me happy

no, i'm not talking about the overaged 'singer'.....i'm speaking of that old dinnertime favorite.

sj and i went grocery shopping this afternoon. i have not been inside the grocery store since LATE SUMMER (i kid you not. we have been surviving on 7-11 fare and anything sammie can pick up while out on one of her jaunts-on-foot....

anyhoo....i digress....so we brought a car-full of groceries home, i cleaned out the fridge, rearranged the cabinets, and then made some dinner - which included the aforementioned loaf of meat....some baked potatoes....veggies....it felt SO good to be productive in that way - to cook for someone else....to make something with my own two hands that pleased another person. such a different feeling than yesterday, which was all about regret and disappointment.....fear and frustration.....dismay and melancholy.

life is definitely a bit edgy right about now....i'm having a LOT of trouble relaxing...sleeping....resting of any kind at night.....so until further notice, i'm taking some sleeping aids. nothing crazy. just a little excedrin pm to smooth things over. i'd rather be asleep than freaking out any day....

so....there you have it: cooking and sleepy pills....don't worry, people. i haven't lost it. i just figure - if these things will keep the crying jags at a minimum, who am i to complain?
reading between the lines

life in the blog world would not be interesting if i just said i spent all day crying....

Saturday, November 30, 2002

on the heels of december

i've played my hand of cards and definitely didn't come out a winner this time around. here's hoping that next month will yield more than it subtracts.....

Thursday, November 28, 2002

give thanks

i just returned home from dinner with michael and his family. it's 7:00 and this building is SO quiet; it's eerie, almost. there's no one downstairs at the front desk. no usual hustle and bustle in and out of the garage. strange.

so here, in the quiet, my mind has room to meander a bit....to reflect upon this last year....to pray and offer up thanksgiving after thanksgiving for what the Lord has done. the thing that stands out the most to me is the fact that God literally removed nearly everything in my life that was holding me back from going deeper with Him. last fall, he moved me out of a church where i wasn't prospering. in march, he took me out of a work situation that i would not have left on my own accord (in fact, just months before, i told salimah that God was going to have to get my boss to fire me or close the business to get me out of there, because i knew that i wouldn't leave her - my loyalty to her was too strong). He led me to make some hard choices regarding relationships that needed truth spoken into them. then, in the summer, sammie and i closed up shop, so to speak, on our old apartment and all my belongings went into storage....and i turned into a refugee of sorts:).... and all along, woven throughout (but not because of) all these circumstances, i experienced the onset of a tremendous depression and onslaught of emotional upheavals, one after the other.

so why am i thankful? because God has stayed close to me this whole time. He has drawn me into His presence day after day, even when i didn't feel like coming close....especially when i didn't feel like coming close. He has given me some dear, giving, loving friends to walk this road alongside me. He has taught me multitudes about myself, my tendencies, fears, and the ways that i relate (not always well) to other people. He has shown me that i can go on, even though things seem impossible. He has shown me that His grace IS sufficient for me. He has proven His faithfulness every single day. He has taught me....and is teaching me....to lean on Him instead of myself. He has removed the burdens of years and years of hiding behind secrets and lies. He is easing my pain. He is letting me feel the things i need to feel and not giving me more than i can handle. He is helping me learn to not be ashamed of who i am.

He is the reason that i am still alive. He IS my life.....

give thanks with a grateful heart,
give thanks to the Holy One,
give thanks because He's given
Jesus Christ
His Son.

and now let the weak say, "i am strong."
let the poor say "i am rich,"
because of what the Lord has done
for us.
give thanks.


happy thanksgiving, everyone. it's my prayer that you'll take a moment and reflect on all that you have in your life.....and as you remember these things, that you would know in your heart that the Lord is God, and that His mercy and goodness and love endure forever.

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

it's a cajun thing

my cool friend kristi is, at this very moment, in her kitchen making a turducken. what is this, you may ask? according to this website, a turducken is "a 15-16 pound semi-boneless turkey stuffed with a duck and a chicken, with layers of delicious stuffing between each bird." that's straight up craziness....but in a good kind of way:)

so i'm talking to the woman on the phone, and she's discussing how all these 'random' people are coming out of the woodwork, suggesting plans for this holiday weekend. but not me. i'm not counted among the numbers, people. I'M not random.....and do you want to know why? (heed this, for future reference!)

'you're not random,' she says plainly, 'cause you're FABULOUS!'

turducken or not....delicious stuffing or not....my thanksgiving is now COMPLETE:)

**ps - check out the new 'listen' file in the right-hand column....just ridiculous....but some people LOVE their turducken, i guess!!

Monday, November 25, 2002

the value in leaving

i have always been charmed by the notion that a better life could be waiting for me out there somewhere. and yet, until 6 or 7 years ago, the thought of moving far away from home was not comfortable to me. as much as i wanted to 'break out' of my life, i didn't want to remove myself so much that a car or train or bus couldn't bring me back home in a day's time.

leaving can be such a dramatic affair. those nearest and dearest to you hold a party, tell you all the things about you that they love and will miss, share with you all the things that their hearts have held but mouths have never uttered. at least this is the way it happens on tv and in the movies.

the reality is that what leaving has done in my own life is clarified what was true all along: there are only a handful of people who choose to remember my phone number. and slightly more who both have it written down and use it from time to time. for a long time it hurt me to know this, but now i guess i'm farther along in the process of coming to terms and letting go of the emotional pain that accompanies that journey.

and perhaps it's for the best. i mean, this world is NOT my home. neither are any of the cities in which i have resided over the last 27 years. neither is any person, any thing, any memory. i will say this, though: for the few people out there who DO use my phone number, it is they who make this life all the sweeter....and somehow i think that if i did pack all my bags tomorrow, throw them into my car and announce my departure, they would be there to send me off...to say things to me, not that they had been holding in, but that they have been saying ALL ALONG. because that is the way that friends are.

and i'll take that over tv any day.

Sunday, November 24, 2002

crazy

why would i spend my life longing for the day that it would end
why would i spend my time pointing to another man
isn’t that crazy

how can i find hope in dying with promises unseen
how can i learn Your way is better in everything i’m taught to be
isn’t that crazy

i have not been called to the wisdom of this world
but to a God who's calling out to me
and even though the world may think
i'm losing touch with reality
it would be crazy to choose this world
over eternity


and if i boast let me boast in filthy rags made clean
and if i glory let me glory in my Savior's suffering
isn’t that crazy

and as i live this daily life i trust You for everything
and i will only take a step when i feel You leading me
isn’t that crazy

call me crazy
you can call me crazy
call me crazy

(mercyme)

Saturday, November 23, 2002

apparently, i was really tired last night. i mean, yes, i didn't go to bed until nearly 4, but i slept until 1 PM!! this is unprecedented for me. so much for my attempts at becoming less nocturnal.....well, you know what they say: if at first you don't succeed.....

last night, we had a bit of a dinner party, with me, michael, sj, and her love interest all in attendance. i made meatballs, homemade sauce, baked rigatoni, marinated and roasted portabella 'shrooms and peppers. we had a pumpkin mousse cream cake thing for dessert (compliments of michael), and the love interest brought a nice red wine from spain. an impromptu sing-a-long followed dessert....all in all, a very pleasant time. and to top it all off, michael did most of the dishes from the pile i created doing my food thing. such a sweetheart. and such a relief for me to not have to clean all that stuff up!

well, now that half the day has been wasted by my sleeping habits, i suppose i should go get showered and dressed and run some errands with sammie joy, who is now taking a nap (she woke up at 8, so her day's already well on its way)....look out target, here i come.....

Friday, November 22, 2002

just in case you were wondering, no, this is not my idea of a fabulous weeknight dinner.....

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

some things...or better yet, some people....are worth fighting for.

if you read this, you know who you are....i'm on your side:)

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

'i'm so tired but i can't sleep
standin' on the edge of something much too deep
it's funny how we feel so much but we cannot say a word
we are screaming inside, but we can't be heard....'


i was thinking the other day about what it means to have our cries be heard. this theme keeps surfacing in my life over the last month or so.....first through this song and then through the dedication to a ravi zacharias book that i gave michael for his birthday. in it, ravi wrote a small sentiment to his mother, who heard and acknowledged his cries before he could give voice to them. i thought that was such a poignant way of depicting how in tune mothers can be to their children....but even more so, an acknowledgement of how COMPLETELY in tune our Heavenly Father is to us. the psalmist says that the Lord knows all our thoughts before we do, that He is familiar with all our ways, that nothing is hidden from Him (ps. 139).

i know that even though God is already aware of what's going on in my heart, it's important for me to take the step to actually cry out to Him for help....it glorifies Him. it builds my faith and helps me grow....

'but i will remember you
will you remember me?
don't let your life pass you by
weep not for the memories....'


this leads me to my next thought, though, which is the following: what if you cry out and God does nothing?....what if you're a child and you're in the middle of something really horrible, and you ask God to get you out of it, and He doesn't....at least not immediately?

this question was brought up yesterday by someone i'm getting to know fairly well....and i wanted to give her the answer that always comes to my mind - something about God's will being accomplished, even when we don't understand it....and blah blah blah.....but i didn't say anything. i didn't want to be another of those who gave her a trite answer. if i was going to speak, i wanted to say something she could really sink her teeth into. something that wouldn't leave her feeling just as empty as before. i was in a small group of people, and no one had an answer for her....except to say that no one really CAN answer that kind of question, except God Himself.

i haven't spent much time in my life being angry at God for the bad things that have happened to me. in fact, the really bad things....the things that have scarred me the most....left me feeling sad and unloved and perhaps angry at people, but never at God. but, i'll be honest: i can't really take pride in that fact, because even though i don't struggle with those particular feelings as far as He is concerned, i'm also not always so sure whether or not i'm really worth anything at the end of the day. and i know that, in the end, that says more about how i feel about God than how i feel about me....

i don't blame that friend of mine for asking those questions yesterday. i don't blame her for feeling hurt and sad and confused as to why God would allow her to endure the hell that was her childhood. and i guess i don't blame her listeners (myself included) for not giving her much of an answer. because the simple truth is that i don't know exactly why God allows some things to happen....and then continues to allow them to happen, sometimes for long periods of time.....months...years...decades.....but i have to believe that He's good and kind and merciful and loving. i have to believe that He's just and holy and perfect and consistent. because that's who He says He is....and everything in His word....and all of history....and all of creation testifies to these things.

but all of that truth doesn't change the feelings of confusion that come when the events in my life...or anyone else's life...don't make sense. i just know that, despite how truly down and miserable i feel sometimes....like right now, for instance....i have to cry out to God and cling to Him for dear life....and trust in the Love that has no end....and plead for mercy and rest for my weary soul. and i ask those things, Father, for my sister as well. please let her know, dear Lord, that you remember her pain....that you love her even when she rages against you....that you long to heal the wounds that have been festering....that You are slow to anger......that your comfort and love abounds....

'i'm so afraid to love you, but more afraid to lose
clinging to a past that doesn't let me choose
once there was a darkness, deep and endless night
you gave me everything you had, oh you gave me light

and i will remember you
will you remember me?
don't let your life pass you by
weep not for the memories....'

(s. mclachlan)

Sunday, November 17, 2002

violation

last night, something insidious found its way into my computer. i clicked on some non-descript website, and suddenly, this thing downloaded itself onto my hard drive, changed my internet options, and generally wreaked havoc that took over 3 hours to reverse. actually, when i went to bed at 4AM(!) i still wasn't able to delete all the files from my hard drive. somehow, this morning i finally got the remnants out. thank God. that whole thing left me feeling slimy and invaded....

although i must say that i wasn't doing well emotionally, even before that. and while i am feeling much better in many ways physically, i've now taken up sneezing as a hobby....

just thought you all should know.

Saturday, November 16, 2002

darkness, nutrition, and other musings....

everything looks better in the moonlight....at least that's what i'm telling myself as i sit here typing when i should be sleeping. i WAS lying in bed....for at least 30 minutes....but i had to get up because i could NOT stop thinking about refined sugar and white flour....and this house that was in my dream last night. it was this gorgeous, 3-bedroom get-up with a huge kitchen that had counter tops made of ceramic tiles...and it only cost $60K. yeah. that's how i KNOW it was a dream....

okay, so i want to drink more water. at least 64oz a day. right now, i'm averaging between 32 and 48, which is okay, but not as much as i actually need. i also want to try to give up soda....and mostly because i want to have less sugar in my diet, and i cannot STAND anything containing nutrasweet or aspartame in any way, shape, or form. tastes like metal in my mouth. blech.

in addition, i want to incorporate more whole grains into my diet and reduce the amount of white flour i take in. i'm thinking that, if i'm not too tired after tomorrow morning's festivities, i'd like to go to fresh fields and pick up some groceries. i'm not sure if my foot is up for much in the way of walking just yet, but i'm not gonna get all kamikaze with the shopping expedition.

either way, it's time for an overhaul. in fact, it's LONG overdue....

Friday, November 15, 2002

each and every day, i am treated to the operatic vocal stylings of our upstairs neighbor. interspersed throughout is also some wacky clarinet and/or flute playing. living in a building with conservatory students is, in other words, an interesting experience. but, i must say, i'd take arias over heavy metal and screaming any day of the week and twice on sunday....

which brings me to my next, non-sequitur of a point: i'm having one of those days where i feel like i'm drifting on a small raft in a sea of lonely confusion, with land nowhere in sight. i feel scared, frankly...unsure as to what to do next. it would seem, with the view from where i'm sitting, that any of my efforts will prove futile, so perhaps it's better to just sit and drift. and yet, there is a part of me that, at the very mention of this, rises up and stands in opposition to the notion of drifting....there must be something i can do to change things! right?.......right?

is anybody listening?

...and if you are, could you send the coast guard?

Thursday, November 14, 2002

repast

i gotta say - tonight's dinner was quite yums...i took some artichoke hearts and marinated them. put in some olives to soak in the goodness as well. then i sauteed a can of tomatoes with the marinated stuff, threw in some herbs (i was out of onions and garlic:(, because anyone who knows me KNOWS that i would never make sauce without those if i had a choice!) and cooked it for a bit. tossed with some beautiful, tender linguine that i bought at trinacria for 69 cents a pound! added a bunch of feta cheese and let it soften slightly. quite good. needed a nice red wine, but we do what we can with what's in the cupboard, ya know?

in other news, i slept for almost 10 hours last night! this is unprecedented for me, but i gotta tell ya - i NEEDED it! i feel myself mending bit by bit. God's grace amazes me....it's always good to be reminded of how our lungs are supposed to work under normal circumstances. i take far too much for granted!

i'm hopeful that i will be feeling better by saturday. i have to take my car in for his 30K check-up, even though he's 2K overdue:P....then, after church on sunday, sj and i are going to see michael play in some opera here in the city.

it'll be nice to breathe fresh air again after so many days cooped up inside....

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

lo and behold!

i just looked at my site meter, and it reads that i have had 2000 hits. wow. that amazes me, honestly. once again, thanks to those of you who must be hitting the refresh button over and over. keep it up!!;)

still fighting off this cold. i'm getting a little better, although i cannot seem to stop coughing. i'm hoping that in another day or so, i'll be mostly out of the woods. this thing really hit me for a loop....i wonder where i picked it up and/or from whom....i hope i haven't made anyone else sick:P

nothing profound to report at this moment. once again, being in a fog doesn't make for very interesting reading.....don't worry, though - something interesting is bound to pop up any day now! this is my life, after all....

Monday, November 11, 2002

blog restoration

thank God! for quite some time now, i have not had all my archive date periods posted to the right. i realized not long ago that the only way i was going to be able to fix this was to re-load, or perhaps change, my template. i didn't want to do this, though, because a) i wasn't feeling any of the other template samples on blogspot or blogskins and b) i had changed some things in the original currency template and was afraid that i'd lose all my hard work (hard, i say, because i am not an html guru) if i were able to maintain the same design. BUT, i was able to re-load the currency template and past in copied code from before things went awry. needless to say, everything is back up and running and i didn't have to find a new template design, which was stressing me out....

needless to say, i am thrilled that i am also no longer getting error messages every SINGLE time i update. what a relief!

i had such a rough night last night - and i know that salimah must not have slept much at all, due to my uncontrollable coughing. the medicine i took obviously wasn't doing its work and the excedrin p.m. that was SUPPOSED to knock me out took an inordinate amount of time to kick in. when it finally did (around 4:30 when salimah had to leave for work), i passed out and slept until almost noon. whew....so very tiring, this whole thing is.

no bible study tonight - we're rescheduling for thursday. i'm glad, actually. it's hard to have a serious intellectual discussion when you sound like a frog.

Sunday, November 10, 2002

michael is my hero

last night, the man came to my apartment at midnight armed with major cold and flu products - a new vaporizer, medicine to put in the vaporizer, cough drops, cough medicine, vicks vapo-rub cream, excedrin pm to knock me out, advil for the daytime....he stopped at rite-aid on his way back from the theatre and called me so that i could tell him precisely what i wanted & needed. that is some straight-up TLC right there, people.

poor sammie joy - she had to endure my sauna last night....as well as my coughing fits and occasional groaning in my sleep. at one point, i woke myself up because i was making so much noise. but i must say, i did get 8 WHOLE hours of sleep....very good for the healing process....much needed for my tired self.

it's so balmy here today. it's supposed to get up to almost 70.....what month is this again?!? i remember christmas of 1982 (or was it '83?)...it was so warm outside that i actually went out to play after the traditional gift-opening had finished, and i didn't even need a coat. i think it had gone up to 70-something. it felt so wrong to be playing soccer in the street (a favorite summertime activity) on christmas day, for crying out loud....i remember feeling worried that the world might end - something about it being so abnormally warm scared me. i'm sure i told no one of this fear - can't have people thinking you're a complete lunatic, even at the age of 7, when such fears might be considered 'logical'.....

i think that was the year i got a four-square ball for christmas. i'm not sure how universal a game this is, but the kids at my school loved it. we had a four-square court right outside the door that led out to the playground, and we would have these heated tournaments. it was always a huge scandal when some lowly SECOND GRADER would beat out a 6th grader to win the game. i was actually pretty good at four-square....playing it made me feel like there wasn't anything different about me for a change....and when i won, i felt such satisfaction, such real pleasure with myself. for a few minutes, the kids on the playground didn't tease me so much. for a few minutes, there was comfort and relief....kind of like the warm day that pops up out of nowhere and makes you think that maybe colder days won't ever return....

but winter always comes.

Saturday, November 09, 2002

carpenters to the rescue!

i have got to give some thanks to God right about now....i got a whole six hours of sleep last night!!! and then this morning, after sammie joy left to go and hang out with her friend, i got another hour! last night as i was lying in bed against my mountain of 7 pillows (i had to be very upright, yet comfy), i could NOT stop coughing. then, a moment of brilliance washed over me (that must have been the Holy Spirit - because i doubt this would have occurred to me otherwise!). suddenly, i thought about driving to work every morning....and how i always would be coughing to work out the slight wheezing congestion in my chest (asthma). i had noticed over a period of days that the more i sang, the better off i was breathing-wise...and, therefore, the less i would cough.

/lightbulb moment/

so there i am, alone in the dark (sj was out at the time), listening to 'rainy days and mondays' when i suddenly realized - maybe singing will help me in this case as well! so i forced myself to breathe deeply and instead of coughing, i sang away some of the congestion in my throat and chest. now, mind you, it did not sound melodious - i have barely any voice compared to normal - but it really did help.....it wasn't long before i drifted off into oblivion.....

of course, when i awoke this morning, i began hacking immediately....but at least i had a few hours of relative calm before the storm. i just took a wicked hot shower (yes, i have moments of new england-ness!) and it did much to help me. it's too bad i just can't live in there for a few days until this goes away....

anyway, people, thanks for bearing with my fixation on my illness. frankly, i've been too sick to even be bothered with anything particularly emotional (save for this one cable snafu wherein comcast thought i owed them nearly 300 bucks for an error on their part that took them 6 months to uncover....but i won't get into all of that). maybe this is God's way of giving me a little respite....

i'm off to force some fluids down and stare groggily into space....here's hoping your saturday is congestion-free and lovely:)

Friday, November 08, 2002

i have a man sitting in my throat. and not just any man, but a billy-bob-thornton-in-'slingblade'-esque man. i have gone so far past that lauren bacall, sexy cold voice and straight into something unrecognizable as even being remotely female. last night, i slept for about 2 hours total. the yuck has now moved down into my chest and is making me more miserable than before. i'm coughing. a lot. can't breathe well. dry mouth. sore throat. swollen glands. head and neck aches. chills.

in other news, there is no other news. i'm SICK! but thanks to those of you who have sent your prayers along....

God, in your mercy, please help me....

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

'from the moment i could talk i was ordered to listen....'

it's official....i'm actually sick now. i think i have the flu or something. there is no part of me that feels unaffected by this bug that has settled over me. last night, i didn't even go to bed until 4:30, because once my fever broke, all i could do was sit and sweat for hours on end....and get sick to my stomach (not really my idea of a cool way to spend an evening, by the way). i did wind up taking a shower around 3:30 a.m., and that seemed to help calm down my body so that i could rest. when i awoke this morning, however, my throat hurt SO much, i could barely swallow....and please don't even get me started on my lymph nodes....

right now, i'm listening to some cat stevens - what a throw-back to the 70s, man....it's all about being followed by a moonshadow and hopping on that peace train. people who didn't live through at least part of the 70s were missing out on some truly interesting times. disco had yet to work its way out of the culture, after all....that should explain a thing or 2....

tonight, i'm going to sit on the couch and moan, which is mostly what i've been doing all day. between this whole sick vibe, my depression, and my unrelenting foot pain, i'm feeling pretty pathetic. hopefully i'll be able to learn something of value through the cloud of muck that is my existence right about now.....

'now there's a way and i know that i have to go away. i know i have to go....'
overheated

my throat hurts. i'm sweating. i have chills. i'm awake. none of this is good. one hundred degrees is more than enough to make me feel like poo....

and i do....

Monday, November 04, 2002

i'm forgiven because You were forsaken.
i'm accepted, You were condemned.
i'm alive and well - Your Spirit is within me
because You died and rose again....

amazing love, how can it be
that You, my King, would die for me?
amazing love, i know it's true
and it's my joy to honor You.
in all i do, i honor You.

You are my King....You are my King....JESUS, You are my King....You are my King.

(billy james foote)
i know there was a chaise lounge involved....and being one of two children (the other was my sister, i think) overlooking a land of ice....and someone getting shot and killed by 3 or 4 people, all of whom came over to give their names so that they could fess up to the crime....and i nearly parked my car on a curb, which somehow said something about my views on the holocaust....

don't ask me. it's just my subconscious....

Sunday, November 03, 2002

'teaparty is over....'

only select (and very few) people will know from where that obscure quote comes. but either way, it doesn't matter....it's irrelevant, really. here's the bottom line: my multi-week upswing has turned downward....and over the course of a few hours, no less. i'm disappointed. but i almost don't have the emotional energy to feel disappointed....because i'm supremely and utterly bummed and feel myself slipping....

why? you might ask... too long of a story. i'll say this and this alone: if you're a praying person, lift some up for me, will ya?

thanks....

Friday, November 01, 2002

jump back!

yeah, i know. i haven't written in days. honestly, i've had nothing to say.

and today, the same still applies....

Monday, October 28, 2002

whew!

i spent SO many hours working on my collage, but yesterday around 6:00 pm, i finally finished. i must say that i'm rather pleased with the final result. i wish there were some way to get a picture of it and stick it on here, but a) i have no digital camera and b) as of this date, i have no image hosting. i'm a bit too cheap right now to upgrade to some higher version of blogger. besides, with all the problems they've been having here of late, i'm reserving making any changes until a few more things are resolved service-wise....

today i will brave the pain of driving my beloved tennyson in order to trek down to silver spring for some appointed obligations. i think it'll feel nice to get out in the air, even as cold as it is....i plan on stocking my cd changer with some good tunes to keep me entertained for my 20-some mile drive. then, upon my return home, i will eat a quick dinner and await the arrival of three fine gentlemen whose sole purpose for visiting is to discuss, in great detail, God's plan for all of humanity, as outlined in the first book of the old testament.

okay, i'm getting just plain silly in my speech now....i think my blood sugar is a bit low. feeling swoony. must seek nourishment.

ttfn:)

Sunday, October 27, 2002

Jesus: the union of contrasts

'He was the meekest and lowliest of all the sons of man, yet He spoke of coming on the clouds of heaven with the glory of God. He was so austere that evil spirits and demons cried out in terror at His coming, yet He was so genial and winsome and approachable that the children loved to play with Him and the little ones nestled in His arms. His presence at the innocent gaiety of a village wedding was like the presence of sunshine. no one was half so kind or compassionate to sinners, yet no one ever spoke such red-hot, scorching words about sin. a bruised reed He would not break - His whole life was love - yet on one occasion, He demanded of the pharisees how they ever expected to escape the damnation of hell. He was a dreamer of dreams and a seer of visions, yet for sheer, stark realism, He has all of our self-styled realists soundly beaten. He was the servant of all, washing the disciples' feet, yet masterfully He strode into the temple, and the hucksters and moneychangers fell over one another in their mad rush to get away from the fire they saw blazing in His eyes. He saved others, yet at the end, himself He did not save. there is nothing in history like the union of contrasts which confronts us in the Gospels - the mystery of Jesus is the mystery of divine personality.”
-- james stewart

Saturday, October 26, 2002

the wind tunnel

this apartment is a strange place. if even one of the windows is open a crack, the air around the door howls all the time. if you open the door, it will stop, but then the force of the wind slams it shut and so begins its low, unceasing moan. we actually live in a real-life haunted house, i think....;)

i've been working on my collage that i'm making for monday. it's proven to be a hard task. i have this problem of being entirely too wrapped up in having things be perfect. and i've been stressed for the last two weeks that i don't have good enough materials. i'm sure that, in reality, i have way more clippings than any human being would ever need to make a 24x36 collage, but this is immaterial to my over-zealous mind.

sammie joy and i are in the process of washing all our clothes. it's long overdue. you know things are bad when you've run out of underwear (especially when you have, like, 20 pairs). it's a good thing i have a bit of money in the bank right now, or we'd be in some food and clothes-related trouble....

i am hopeful that my foot will stop hurting long enough for me to drive myself to church tomorrow. i'm not optimistic at this point, but we'll see what happens. i am sure that God, in His infinite wisdom and gracious ways, will provide a way for me to have what i need....

He always does....

Friday, October 25, 2002

brrrrrr....

there is a distinct chill in the air. it seemed like summer was holding on for the longest time, but finally it gave up its grasp on this part of the world. this would be a good thing, except i am definitely low on woolens and other such warm things. it's time to get new sweaters and the like....

today i met with some investigator who's trying to clear sammie joy so that she can officially get into the building that she's been getting into for the last several months without event. how inane! we should be spending our money a bit more wisely, all things considered. i'm wondering how many of our tax dollars went into his tank of gas and hourly wages so that he could come up here and ask if she's responsible and trustworthy and where she's been for the last 3 years of her life....but i was a good little citizen and did my duty by answering all of his questions honestly and refraining, for the most part, from laughing at the silliness of it all....

after my morning of interrogation, michael and i had a brief and cheap buffet lunch at a local indian restaurant, mughal garden. the food was fine; i must say that i'm not altogether fond of buffets in general. i have a lot of paranoia issues, and the thought of things sitting out for who-even-knows-how-long, as well as the possibility of people having touched the food, etc.....well, frankly, just make me nervous. in addition, you're at the restaurant's mercy in terms of what you can eat. this place has only the buffet for lunchtime guests, so if you don't like what's on the table, you're out of luck. we fared okay, though. besides, for 7 bucks, i guess you can't complain:)

i'm off to take a quick nap and to elevate my rather sore foot for awhile. later, people....

Thursday, October 24, 2002

i'm starting to wonder if i have a stress fracture. my foot is STILL hurting, and it's not specific to any kind of activity or lack of activity. it just HURTS. the biggest aspect of inconvenience, though, isn't the pain; it's the fact that it impedes my ability to drive my car. consequently, i've been stuck at home all week long, save for one evening when my friend aaron drove me somewhere:(. how pathetic is this?

i wish i could say that i've been filling my hours with interesting and pithy undertakings. not so. i've been writing a lot of e-mail, reading a bit, and watching the occasional documentary or cooking show. with my foot propped up, of course.

okay, wait....i take that lack of pith statement back a little. i HAVE been reading this. michael, sammie joy, aaron, michael's friend dave, and i have started a small bible study group, and we're currently tackling genesis. it's so interesting - i've read the creation story many times, but there are still SO many small details to be hammered out. that's one of the amazing elements of scripture - even if you can quote the Good Book backwards and forwards, you're constantly getting new perspectives from it and being shaped by it. because even though it's words on a page, it's actually SO much more than that. it is a chance to interact with the very heart and mind of the living God...and He always has something to say:)

in other news, i was considering going to pennsylvania for the day on saturday - for a belated birthday celebration for my grandmother - but at this point, my inability to fully put the pedal to the metal is ruling my decisions as far as traveling and other excursions. so i guess the hermit girl rides again for the weekend....but hey, at least i've got pith to keep me going....and HEY, at least there's a 7-11 in the building.....now, if only hot dogs and slurpees were nutritionally balanced....

cereal it is, then:)

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

in the words of elton from the movie clueless, 'my foot hurts. can i go to the nurse?'

yeah....that pretty much sums it all up right about now.
not to be a whiner, but blogspot is giving me issues. i STILL am getting an error message for my template and, as you can currently see, my archives for old messages from october are not showing up on this page (even after repeated attempts to get them to do so). i have, therefore, included more posts on this main page so that the earlier entries from october will not be missing. i'm feeling out of sorts because of all of that. i know - it's not the end of the world, but it frustrates me, especially because i am not the utmost authority on html and don't know any sneaky tricks to mess around with (and subsequently fix) template problems.

i'm sure i'll have something of value to say later on. for now, however, i simply wanted to vent my frustrations out into cyberspace, in the hopes that someone might have some wisdom to share with me as to how i can go about dealing with my blogger woes....

Monday, October 21, 2002

'i wanna touch the earth...i wanna break it in my hands...i wanna grow something wild and unruly....'

i'm not sure where it is that i really belong....i don't know what i should be doing with my life....and i'm not really certain who i am. not yet, anyway. but i'm getting there. and maybe someday i WILL actually get there. in the mean time, however, i have these desires, some more vague than others. i want to reach out my arms and have there be something...or someone...to grab onto. and i don't mean physically, per se....i mean that i want to be stretching past the confines of my own heart, affecting and being affected. i don't want to live inside myself forever....

i have always admired those people who catch a vision for something they could be doing, and then go off and do it, taking the steps of faith necessary to move ahead. or even people who establish goals and the specific steps they will take to accomplish them - and then do all the things necessary to bring their goals about. a case of slow and steady winning the race once again. i don't feel like i have ever really been either of those kinds of people. i'm more the sitting-back-out-of-fear-and-not-doing-what-i-really-want-to-do kind of person.

so afraid to say what i feel. so afraid to admit what i want. so afraid to be who i am. and to come right out and say that i might have deep needs that aren't being met? unthinkable. i'm such a coward - before others, myself, and God, especially.

i'm SO tired of fear and all that it brings....so sick of not taking risks, calculated or not. to live without regret: that is something i have yet to realize.

a couple of entries below, i wrote about wanting a big kitchen. okay, you know - that's true. but i'll be honest: i don't want it in a vacuum. i want it in the context of having someone to SHARE it with....and not just any old someone - THE someone. and this someone isn't just someone who thinks i'll do....he's someone who can't think of anyone else he'd rather be around than me for the rest of his life. someone who can't wait to see me when he gets home from work or wherever he's been. someone who adores me and is proud of me and thinks i'm just plain swell....but won't ever put me above God....but will put me above his other relationships - not because he HAS to, but because he WANTS to....someone whom i can be proud to be with, whom i adore, whom i think is just plain SWELL....i think you get the picture.

but all of that being said - and as much as i want that kind of relationship - there are other things that i've always wanted to do, to try, to feel, to experience....and i'm beginning to wonder if i ever will....whether i'll have opportunities or, better yet, whether i'll TAKE the opportunities i'm given. few people know this about me, but i've actually considered going to culinary school; i've always wanted to open a restaurant or even be a private chef. i WANT to learn how to play the guitar - this is something that i've longed to do since i was 10 years old. i want to learn to draw and paint. i love to redecorate and change the layout of furniture. i am excited by the thought of organizing someone's life. i adore putting together furniture from a kit. i find nothing better in all of the world than singing in close harmony in a small group of people who are all worshipping Jesus.

i hope that i don't lose sight of these things. and even someday if/when i become someone's wife, i hope that he will be vigilant over my need to not lose sight of them.... and besides, underneath it all, i just don't think that it's pleasing to God for me to pretend like the things in my heart simply aren't there. i know that my chief purpose in life is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. and part of enjoying God is to be who i am - the woman He intended for me to be. so it's okay that i have dreams and desires and wishes and hopes. somehow i don't think God is disappointed by those things. in fact, i have a sneaking suspicion that somehow He's involved with them being there in the first place:)....

'i wanna walk and not run...i wanna skip and not fall...i wanna look at the horizon and not see a building standing tall....
i wanna be the only one for miles and miles....except for maybe you and your simple smile....
oh it sounds good to me....yes it sounds so good to me....' (dixie chicks)

Friday, October 18, 2002

'...and i guess that's how you started - like a pinprick to my heart
and at this point you rush right through me and i start to drown....'


hunkering down under a warm comforter and feeling the cool air drift through the slightly cracked window....letting my hair dry all curly and wild....silent prayers and moments of relaxing....reading fun cooking magazines.....making egg salad on toast.....daydreaming about my someday house.....talking to myself and singing indigo girls songs.....

this was my friday. good segue into a weekend. hope yours is beautiful:)
letting the mind wander is a dangerous thing....

i want a house with a big kitchen....no, not a big kitchen - a gargantuan kitchen. with at least one island. and tons of counter space. and cabinets that are both plentiful and easy to access. lazy susans. pull out shelving. a rack to hold all my frequently used pots and pans. stainless steel appliances. restaurant quality gas range with built-in grilltop and griddle (and a good quality hood to take away the smoke). ice maker with water dispenser in the fridge. sharp knives. lots of fun gadgets - including heat-resistant spatulas, a salad spinner, and a cheese grater that actually works. spices in labeled stainless steel tins - all organized on their own special rack. a quiet-as-a-whisper dishwasher. more than one sink, both with nifty, convenient faucets and those little spray attachments. all my fun toys on the countertops - cuisinart, rice cooker (preferably with a locking top that actually keeps rice warm without drying it out), kitchen-aid mixer. some kind of wine rack built into something. well-placed wood shelves for all my cookbooks. big windows. lots of light. a wrap-around bar so that family and friends can chat and eat while i cook.

yeah. now all i need is a house and the money to pay for all of that.....yeah.....or maybe a show on the food network? NOW i'm talking;)

Monday, October 14, 2002

'i can see clearly now....

as i turned the corner on friday night, i knew that i had been there before. route 22/322 traveling north and west. except the last time, my heart was longing after someone i would never have....

the first time i hit this bend in the road (at least from the driver's standpoint and, therefore, the time i first remembered it), it was a friday evening in march or april of 1997 and i was on my way with my a cappella group, adoremus, to state college, pennsylvania, where we would be singing at penn state for a weekend event called 'gospel jam'. the aforementioned object of my affections was driving in a car just behind me, and as we went around this bend in the road, i was blinded by the light of the setting sun. to my right was the harsh rocky face of a mountain and to my left was the juniata river, reflecting what seemed like millions of hues of pink and purple and orange. i shaded my eyes just as i gazed in my rearview and saw him doing the same thing. i remember feeling thrilled that we were experiencing this beautiful, blinding image at precisely the same moment. i cherished it. i drank it in, hoping that i would never forget it and that it would take a place in my mind's scrapbook as one of those oddly defining moments shared in a fledgling relationship. a few miles later, we pulled off at this exit for dinner (he and his car went for mcd's; my carload of folks went across the parking lot for some chinese food). my brain held on to what ever it could, because each moment i spent with him was a treasure and no part of me wanted to lose any part of him....

on this past friday, it was spitting cold rain and there was fog settling over the face of the road as the sun (if it had been shining) was again beginning to set. it took me a few seconds to realize where i was as i passed this place where mountain and river are divided by only the 4-lane highway. i felt strange, uneasy, not altogether aware of how i should be feeling. then a sadness washed over me - one mostly of regret for all the time and heart i had poured into that relationship from 5 years before. it's funny how God uses those moments to bring things to mind, because it was at that point that i began to realize that there was a reason i had taken this particular path that evening (i must mention that i almost wasn't on that particular stretch of road, except that i had missed my exit for a short-cut, of sorts, and had to go through extra traffic and a few more miles of highway). it felt like the perfect conclusion to what has been a more than 3-year question weighing on my mind, and something about which i had been thinking and praying for awhile. i knew then that i needed to seek some peace in a situation that had ended very badly, with much confusion and loose ends hanging.

later that night, i lay awake in bed, unable to even close my eyes....and i prayed and prayed and asked God for wisdom as to how i should handle this whole mess. should i write or call or send smoke signals? should i even do ANYTHING?

on saturday morning, i awoke refreshed in a way (but exhausted), with new resolve to get in touch with him....say some things that needed to be said. and i knew that, regardless of how he responded, i would be satisfied with having said them. i asked God to continue to confirm in my spirit the decision i had reached. so yesterday, we packed the car and headed down the road for home. i was thirsty and contemplated stopping for a quick drink break. i kept passing exits for no apparent reason and then finally decided on this one particular exit with which i had no remembered familiarity. as i drove up to the shopping center, i knew that it was, in fact, that very same one where we had all stopped for dinner. i laughed a bit on the inside, feeling such peace that my decision was the right one. somehow, i had come full circle at last.

driving home, there was no blinding light blocking my view.....and all the fog had lifted from the road. i made the call last night, and all went well. and i think, as all that i had to say left my mouth, a lot of my regrets and sadness went with them. God has me on a different road these days....with different individuals beside me and different desires in my heart.....and there is nothing preventing me from moving forward, laying all my hopes on Him to keep my paths straight.

**p.s. happy birthday, dad!!

Sunday, October 13, 2002

'hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.' - proverbs 13:12

just returned from pennsylvania, and i must say that i am changed. this weekend was beautiful, relaxing, filled with a lot of fellowship, laughter, excellent teaching (on the book of proverbs), and mostly rest for my heart. we went to a retreat center run by mennonites in central pennsylvania (not that far from where my grandparents used to live). all around us were the beautiful mountains that have been part of me since i was little....the fog rolled in and held us there all weekend, making everything a dream.....the air was still and the night was so very dark. i sank into sleep and felt all my muscles give way to my exhaustion.

before i left for this weekend, i was afraid to ask God to speak to me about anything, because lately, the themes of my life have had much to do with sadness and loss. but in the last 2 days, God renewed my hope in Him....reminded me that there IS purpose to my existence....showed me that it is a joy to love and serve the living God, even in times of trial.....ESPECIALLY in times of trial. and the understandings surrounded my heart subtlely, easing me into truth....and grace, like a river, flooded me once again.

even my consistently clouded mind was somehow cleared, giving me wisdom and resolve regarding some relational issues that have been plaguing me for several years now. it is time to make amends....to right the wrongs....to bless and not curse.....to heal and not cut.....to uncover and not conceal. it is the time of renewal.

i feel the roots sinking a bit deeper now....

Friday, October 11, 2002

on the road again....

today at 2 pm i'm leaving for pennsylvania for a women's retreat through church. sammie joy is coming as well. i'm REALLY looking forward to getting out of dodge for a few days....need to clear my head and quiet the noise of the world so that God's whispers ring loud in my spirit.....

it's raining in baltimore again today....a steady, graying, chilly kind of pour. the windows are open, since they turned off the a/c in the building, so it's kinda humid and not entirely comfortable in the apartment. and yet, it feels sort of nice to interact with the outside air, the smells and non-muffled sounds of the city. it's amazing how quickly horns and dumptrucks and sirens can be incorporated into your dreams at night....

i'm off to pack and get myself ready to go....have a safe weekend, everyone....

Thursday, October 10, 2002

why do you ask?

here's a question: if you love someone a lot and are even in love with them, is it possible to ever truly move on from those feelings? what if you were under the impression that you were going to marry someone - and if your feelings were deep enough to have married them - is it realistic to assume that you'll eventually stop loving them? or is it, in fact, okay to carry some part of them in your heart for the rest of your life? perhaps even after you've gotten married to someone else?

in other words, how MUCH are you still allowed to love someone from your past, even if someone new is in the picture?

just wondering....
the simple things

okay, so i broke down and painted my nails tonight. they are now a deep, deep crimson....very shocking against my oh-so-white skin.....but i love it!

something made me happy for a minute today..other than the nail polish. it was disarming, strange.....and yet it escapes me even now.... having almost no short-term memory is a baaad thing.

the banana bread was good, but a bit overdone. clearly sammie joy's oven is hotter than it looks....nice try, though. very buttery:) and i didn't wind up making any pasta sauce. did a kicky, saucy little number with the sausage - kind of a spicy, tomatoey, barbecuey kind of thing.....put on some cheese and a biscuit topping and baked that sucka for 30 minutes. quite yums and much less mess....

anyway, enough food talk. sleep beckons.

p.s. jacob, you rock!

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

final score: sarah - 1, bananas - 0

there is nothing like the smell of banana bread halfway through baking.....
i need to bake some banana bread. i've got 4 bananas that are seriously hanging in the balance between ripe and rotten. i don't know what's holding me back. i have all my ingredients (including some baking soda and a bread pan, thanks to michael and aaron), but apparently it takes motivation that i have yet to muster today. i just hate to see things go to waste....must get off my duff and go do it!

in other news, sammie joy came home with this excellent nail polish yesterday that i am really looking forward to trying. the color name is 'black raspberry'...doesn't that just sound like something excellent? it's this deep crimson color....very nice but not vampish. good combo:)

i also need to make some pasta sauce....going to do some spicy sausage in this one. i set it out to defrost in the fridge the night before last, so it should definitely be ready to go at this point....it'll be all about the meat, some onions and peppers (i've gotten into the habit now of roasting my own over the gas burner) and perhaps olives - they add a nice little 'something'.... in my opinion, linguine is the only way to go if you're talking long, thin pasta. spaghetti's not quite there and fettucini's a little much. it's all about hitting the middle of the road with this one in terms of thickness.... yes, i know. i think way too much about stuff like this sometimes.....but believe me, it's better than a lot of alternatives upon which i could be focusing my mind!

it's too bad i don't have any ground beef. i could actually get into making some meatballs today. ah well....

i'm in the process of making a collage on sadness....not the easiest thing to do. i think i need some other magazines. the ones that salimah has are filled with these smiling, perky models. that won't do. is there any periodical that portrays the muck and misery of life?? if not, i'd be willing to settle for something just left of smiling and perky.....

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Monday, October 07, 2002

i have nothing left in me right now. i had an emotionally draining monday, as all mondays are for me. i just got home and i'm tired and hungry. all i could do was sob all the way up 95 and hope that God kept me from crashing my car. but this song kept running in my mind, and i sang it, choking on my words and the tears that drenched my face....

draw me close to You; never let me go.
i'd lay it all down again to hear you say that i'm Your friend.
You are my desire; no one else will do.
nothing else could take Your place - to feel the warmth of Your embrace.
help me find a way; bring me back to You.....

You're all i want
You're all i've ever needed
You're all i want
help me know You are near....

Jesus, in your mercy....be near to me this night....and there are four women that are on my mind. let them feel your peace, because i know that they don't....i know that i don't.
checking in

last night i dreamed that jackie chan and i were on the run from samuel l. jackson (i believe that's who it was, anyway). but in a strange twist of events, at the end of the dream, i realized that jackie had been the bad guy all along, and just as i was encouraging jackie to shoot samuel l. jackson (whose head i was holding onto with one of my hands), i was able to discern that samuel was on my side. so he shot jackie, and all was well....at least for the moment. it was then that i realized that, while i was out of the woods, this other guy i knew (who was a cross between michael's roommate aaron and my friend derrick) wasn't, and i had to tell him to run to my counselor's house so that he could seek refuge with her and her brood of kids and grandkids. finally, my mother shows up and tells me to meet her at the barnes and noble in downtown richmond so that we can 'talk things through'. i agree and then proceed to start the car with both my key and a slab of bacon.

i won't bore you with the rest of the dream. that slab of bacon pretty much says it all....the subconscious mind is a fascinating thing.

i have a lot on my mind today, but i'm not really in 'sharing' mode, per se. my weekend was relatively uneventful. i attended a conference on saturday that focused on the issue of shame - specifically dealing with shame and moving into the realm of experiencing God's grace and peace. it was quite good, but it also made some truths stand out sharply in relief - of things with which i need to deal in order to move on with my life. i will discuss this more at a later time....

in any event, it's monday morning and His mercies are new all over again.....

Thursday, October 03, 2002

truth

never in my life have i looked
with such shame
in the mirror
always the hurts pierce
and wound and
grind my soul into pieces and
i bleed
remembering

being in that house was like
a solitary death
my fears quickening and loud
alone with you it was
darkness near and
i bleed
remembering

fyi: sending a present
just because i’m turning another year older
doesn’t make you sorry
your words are nothingness
shards of lies and
i bleed
remembering

© Sarah Hedges
7/15/02

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

coming to terms

i am not the prettiest girl, or the thinnest, or sweetest, or smartest, or funniest, or most talented. i am not the most successful with the choices that i have made. i am not confident enough to forge ahead with what some might feel are basic things. i am not always good at keeping my mouth shut. i am not as brave as i try to appear to be. i am not the person you would immediately want to take home to mom and dad, or out on a date, or to show off to your friends. i am not as good at pretending as i once thought i was. i am not happy. i am not who you think i am.

i am scared. i am broken. i am sad inside. i am hurting. i am insecure as hell. i am afraid that no one will ever want me. i am afraid - period. i am always concerned that i pour out more of myself so that no one ever finds me lacking. i am tired. i am unable to play the game. i am playing it, even still. i am wearing my mask. i am fixated on what other people think of me. i am a coward. i am brave. i am loyal to my friends. i am loving. i am weak. i am strong. i am someone who knows what it means to survive. i am a victim. i am not ashamed.

Monday, September 30, 2002

the keystone state

i love the feeling of falling asleep in complete darkness, that total swallowing kind of black where you can't see your hand in front of your face....i think that the lights in the city and 'burbs prevent one's brain from ever shutting down. friday night was a kind of experimentation for me - would i be able to rest well in a non-siren-blaring kind of setting?

as much as the quiet normally prevents me from falling asleep, the darkness still sucked me in and held me close until morning....and the weather saturday? simply stunning.....thank God for the occasional reminder that beauty truly is in the simple things of life.

oh, and purely as a sidenote, have i mentioned that i hate DSL?

Thursday, September 26, 2002

i don't know what the deal is with blogger these days. every single time i post something, it tells me that there's been an error, and yet my entry still winds up on the page. is anyone fixing this?

anyway, now that i have that off my chest, i can move on....

due to some events that i am not at liberty to discuss, i have been thinking a lot today about what it means for someone to be, in the true sense of the word, a man. i, for one, do not think that it does anyone any good to sit and complain about what dorks men are. and you won't see me sending around forwards delineating the 101 reasons that dogs are better than men, or any such nonsense. as a matter of fact, i am a big believer in encouraging men to be better in all ways. i am definitely one of those women who feels that men who are doing good jobs should be given the utmost respect and support from the women who know and love them. insulting them and putting them down certainly never helps - does that tactic work with anyone, really? but then, there are those bright and shining examples of why some women hate men....and sometimes those individuals really show their colors by doing something truly cruel and/or asinine. and it's in those moments that i feel sobered by what a fine line there is between punk and prince....

i will say this: real men do NOT hit. they are not prone to frequent yelling, outbursts of anger, scolding, demeaning, demoralizing speech, and/or threatening. a real man will not kick you when you're down. a real man will not kick you down. real men traffic in respect, kindness, strength, gentleness, humility, and taking responsibility for their actions. they treat women like ladies and not like men...or dogs...or punching bags....

i am blessed enough to have known some real men in my lifetime....to be in friendships and relationships with some of them even right this moment. but there are some women with whom i am quite close who have not had quite as easy a time of late. to those women, i say that you have my unflagging support at removing these offending posers from your life and moving ahead in whatever way you need to do so. God will protect and sustain you and is the One True Father you will ever need.

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

my nails are really short. i cut them down so that the white part is just barely visible at the edge of my fingertip. having longer nails doesn't really work for me - at least ones that i grow myself. for about 6 months, i had gel nails (done at a salon). i loved those things, but after awhile, they became cumbersome and annoying and expensive, and so just after the new year, i got them removed. i vowed that i would never go back to having them, but now that 9 months have gone by, every time i see a woman with a nice set of nails, it makes me long for the days when mine looked nice all the time.

here's the thing: i'm not a particularly frilly girl (in fact, i'm not sure i have any frill in me), but for some reason, having nails made me feel more feminine....i know that it's an artificial femininity, though, because i shouldn't need external adornment to make me feel that way. i've said it before and i'll say it again - in this post-modern, pro-"feminist" society, living as a Christian woman is an extremely confusing thing to navigate. contemporary Christian culture tells you one thing, the world tells you another, and somewhere in the fray, you're supposed to be able to hear God's voice whispering His desires for your life. sometimes it simply makes my head spin.

at the end of the day, having fake nails never solved anything for me....but for a few moments, i felt a little bit better. is that so bad? is it really any different than getting your hair done or putting on a little lipstick for color (which i know a lot of women do on a very regular basis)? i know that it is the fear of the Lord that truly makes a woman praiseworthy in God's eyes, and that charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting. but here's my question: what is it that contributes to a woman truly feeling feminine?

if only it were as easy as some plastic nail tips and acrylic gel....