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....