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.